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Toyota Highlander Reverse Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out reverse tail light bulb in a 3rd generation 2014 to 2018 Toyota Highlander SUV.

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2017 Highlander Tail Light
Open Tailgate Door
Insert Flathead Screwdriver
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and probably also the 2019 and 2020 model years) Toyota Highlander SUV in changing a burnt out reverse (backup) light bulb in the tail light housings attached to the tailgate door for the cargo area.

Owners of other Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles such as the 4Runner, Avalon, 86, C-HR, Camry, Corolla, iM, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris, FR-S, xB,  xD, tC, xA, CT 200h, ES 250, ES 300, ES 330, ES 350, IS 250, IS 350, RX 300, GS 250, NX 300 and RX 350.

The compatible replacement miniature wedge base reverse light bulb part number is 921 (also known as W16W).

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

The only tool needed to access and replace the bulb is a flathead screwdriver or a small plastic pry bar tool.

Pry Open Access Cover
Plastic Retaining Clips
Hooks - Bottom Edge
The first two steps are to open the tailgate door and then move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out reverse light bulb.

To prevent from scratching the plastic surfaces, you can either cover the tip of your screwdriver with a thin micro fiber cloth or instead use a plastic pry bar tool.

Insert the blade of the screwdriver into the notch at the top edge of the reverse bulb access cover on the plastic interior tailgate panel.

Gently pry out the access cover and set it aside in a safe place.

Reverse Bulb Socket
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Rotate the grey plastic bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Carefully pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

The OEM light bulb was marked as part number W16W.

Old Light Bulb Removed
Push In New Light Bulb
Empty Bulb Housing
Push a new number 921 light bulb straight into the socket.

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

(Tip - If you install an LED bulb and it doesn't work. Try removing it from the socket, rotating the electrical contacts 180 degrees and push it back into the socket. Some LED bulbs are polarized and can only be installed with the "-" negative and "+" positive electrical contacts in the correction orientation.)


1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Plastic Hooks - Bottom Edge
Line Up Friction Fasteners
Re-insert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to secure it into place.

Line up the plastic hooks at the bottom edge of the access cover with the slots near the bottom edge of the tailgate interior panel.

Insert the hooks into the slots and then push on the top of the access cover to secure the yellow plastic retaining clips.

Pop In Access Cover
Access Cover Secured
Test New Reverse Bulb
Double check that the access cover is securely in place.

To test the new light bulbs, have an assistant start the engine, step on the brake pedal and place the transmission in reverse.

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

Please check out all of my 2014-2018 Toyota Highlander DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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