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Ford Escape Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse bulbs in the tail lights of a 2013 to 2016 Ford Escape.

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2015 Escape Tail Light
Open Tailgate Door
Pry Off Screw Cover
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 3rd generation (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and maybe also the refreshed 2017 model year) Ford Escape SUV in changing a burnt out brake, rear turn signal or reverse bulb in the tail light housings.

Owners of other Ford or Lincoln vehicles such as the Focus, Fusion, C-Max, Mustang, Fiesta, Transit Connect, Edge, Flex, Explorer, Expedition, Taurus, F-150, EcoSport, MKC, MKZ, MKS, MKX, MKT and the Navigator may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The replacement bulb part numbers are as follows: Brake # 3157 or 3157K, Rear Turn Signal # 7440A or WY21W and Reverse # 921.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a small flathead screwdriver, an 8mm socket, a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench, a 10mm wrench and a T-25 Torx screwdriver.

Pry Out 2nd Screw Cap
Loosen Top 8mm Bolt
Loosen Lower Bolt
The first two steps are to open the tailgate and then move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out tail light bulb.

The Brake and Rear Turn Signal light bulbs are located in the larger outer housing on the rear corner of the SUV.

Gently pry out the round plastic screw caps on the inner edge of the housing.

Set the two screw covers aside in a safe place.

Remove the two screws that hold the tail light housing in place by turning them counterclockwise with the 8mm socket and 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the two screws aside with their plastic covers.

2 Caps & Two 8mm Screws
Gently Pry At Side Edge
Loosen Friction Fastener
The tail light assembly is still held in place to the rear of the SUV by a slot on the side of the housing that acts as a friction fastener on the head of a plastic pop rivet.

Use a plastic automotive panel pry bar tool to very carefully loosen the friction fastener.

You may need to insert the tool in several different spots around the front outer edge of the housing to loosen it.

Side - Slot & Pop Rivet
Turn Over Tail Light
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Gently pull the tail light housing straight off the rear of the SUV.

If you have trouble removing the housing, try gently wiggling it back and forth while pulling.

Turn over the tail light housing to access the bulb sockets.

Rotate the brake light bulb socket at the top of the housing 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out.

Pull Out Brake Light Bulb
Push In New # 3157K
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 3157 or 3157K bulb.

Re-insert the socket in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Remove Turn Signal Socket
Pull Out Old Bulb
The rear turn signal bulb socket is located at the bottom of the housing.

Rotate the base of the socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket.

Push In New 7440A
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Line Up Slot & Rivet
Push a new amber colored number 7440A or 7440NA bulb straight in to the socket.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

Line up the slot on the back of the housing with the white plastic pop rivet head on the corner of the vehicle.

Push On Tail Light Housing
Tighten 8mm Bolts
Tighten Lower 8mm Bolt
Carefully slide the tail light housing straight on to the rear of the SUV.

Replace the two 8mm screws by turning them clockwise until they are snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic inner edge of the assembly.


Push On Screw Covers
Screw Caps Replaced
Reverse Bulb Housing
Pop the two round plastic screw caps back in to place.

The Reverse light bulb is located in a separate housing attached to the cargo area tailgate door.

Pry Off Handle Cover
Tailgate Handle Removed
Loosen T25 Screws
To replace the reverse light bulb on the passenger side of the SUV, you'll first need to remove the handle and its mounting bracket.

(For the driver's side reverse light, you just have to gently pry off the plastic panel to disengage the friction fasteners.)

Gently pry off the handle's trim cover with a flathead screwdriver or a plastic automotive panel removal tool.

It is held in place by two metal clips that act as friction fasteners.

Then remove the two Torx T-25 screws that hold the tailgate handle bracket in place by turning them counterclockwise.

Loosen Counterclockwise
Handle Mount Removed
Pull Back Plastic Panel
Set the trim cover, handle bracket and two screws aside in a safe place.

Gently pull down the plastic tailgate interior trim panel.

Deep Well 10mm Socket
10mm Nut Removed
Gently Pry Off Housing
Loosen the single nut that holds the reverse bulb housing in place by turning it counterclockwise with a deep well 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench or with a standard 10mm wrench.

Set the 10mm nut aside in a safe place.

Use a plastic pry bar tool to gently loosen the reverse bulb housing away from the tailgate.

Housing Removed
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Pull the housing off the tailgate and turn it over to access the bulb socket.

Rotate the reverse bulb socket 1/4 turn counterclockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 921 bulb.

If you would like to have brighter reverse lights, install some compatible replacement 921 LED bulbs.

1/4 Turn Clockwise
Line Up Light Housing
Push Housing On Tailgate
Re-insert the socket in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to lock it in place.

Line up the bolt end and two metal pegs or "spikes" on the back of the housing with their corresponding holes.

Gently push the housing back in to place on the tailgate.

Spin On 10mm Nut
Tighten 10mm Clockwise
Push On Tailgate Panel
Spin on the 10mm nut in the clockwise direction.

Tighten it with the 10mm socket and ratcheting wrench in the clockwise direction until it is snug.

Try to avoid over tightening the 10mm nut to prevent from cracking the plastic reverse light housing.

Push the plastic tailgate panel back in place to secure the friction fasteners.

Re-Insert Handle Mount
Tighten T-25 Screws
Tighten Screws Clockwise
Re-insert the tailgate handle mounting bracket in to place.

Tighten the two Torx T25 screws in the clockwise direction.

Line Up Tailgate Handle
Firmly Tap In Fasteners
Test New Tail Light Bulbs
Line up the metal clips on the tailgate handle trim cover and firmly tap them in to place.

To test the new tail light bulbs, have someone step on the brake pedal, activate the hazard signals and place the transmission in reverse.

Be sure to record the bulb change in your vehicle's service records.

For more, check out my other 2013-2016 Ford Escape DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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