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Mitsubishi Outlander License Plate Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out license plate light bulb in the tailgate of a 2014 to 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander.

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2020 Outlander Tailgate
License Plate Bulb Housing
Flat Head Screwdriver
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021) Mitsubishi Outlander SUV in changing a burnt out license plate light bulb located in the tailgate door for the cargo area. (Also known as the "number plate", "registration plate" or "license tag" light bulbs.)

Owners of other Mitsubishi vehicles such as the Outlander Sport, Eclipse Cross, Mirage, Mirage G4, Lancer, ASX, Montero Sport, Pajero, Xpander, Strada and RVR may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement miniature wedge base light bulb part number is W5W (also known as 2825).

If you'd like to have brighter license plate lights that will also last much longer before burning out like the traditional incandescent bulbs, install some W5W LED units.

The only tool needed to remove the light housings and access the bulb sockets is either a plastic pry bar tool or a flat head screwdriver.

The first step is to move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out light bulb.

The procedure for accessing the bulb socket on the driver side and passenger side is the same. In this tutorial, I'll be replacing the bulb on the right (passenger) side of the tailgate door. I'll also be removing the left (driver) side housing just for demonstration purposes.

Insert the plastic pry bar tool or a flat head screwdriver in between the right side of the license plate light bulb housing and the painted tailgate panel.

Very gently and carefully push in towards the left and then pry out the right side of the housing to release the small plastic retaining clip.

Do NOT use excessive force! The light housing should pop out relatively easily.


Gently Release Clip
Pull Out Light Housing
Push In Black Release Tab
If you have trouble releasing the housing from the right side, you could try inserting the screwdriver on the left side to release the larger flexible clear plastic retaining clip.

I found it easier to pry out the small clear plastic retaining tab on the right side of both the passenger and driver side housings.

Once the housing is removed, push in the small black plastic release tab and slide out the electrical connector.

Disconnect Power Plug
Light Housing Removed
Other Side of Housing
Make sure the black plastic electrical connector and the wires don't become lost inside the opening in the underside of the tailgate door.

If you gently bend the wires down towards the license plate, the connector should stay in place outside of the opening in the tailgate door.

Grey Retaining Clip
Release Grey Clip
Pull Off Lens Cover
Locate the grey plastic retaining clip that secures the clear lens cover to the bulb socket housing.

The grey plastic retaining clip is located on the opposite side of the power plug socket.

Use the flat head screwdriver to gently push in the grey plastic retaining clip and release the lens cover.

Bulb Socket Exposed
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Old Light Bulb Removed
Warning - If the old light bulb was recently turned on, it might still be hot enough to burn your fingers. Allow the light bulb to cool off before handling it.

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

If you have trouble removing the old bulb due to corrosion (rust) or debris such as sand, put on some protective gloves and try gently wiggling the bulb back and forth while pulling it straight out.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) light bulb in this 2020 Outlander SEL was a Toshiba W5W 12V5W (12 volts, 5 watts).

OEM Toshiba W5W
Driver Side Light Housing
Screwdriver - Right Edge
If you plan on replacing both of the light bulbs, release the other light housing with the same procedure.

Insert the flat head screwdriver in between the right side edge of the light housing and the painted metal tailgate body panel.

Gently push in to the left and pry out the small clear retaining tab.

Pull the driver side housing straight out of the opening in the tailgate.

Light Housing Removed
Reinsert Wires First
Gently Pop In Housing
I wasn't replacing the bulb on the driver side, so I immediately replaced the housing.

To replace the housing, insert the wires first and then gently pop in the light housing to secure the retaining clips.

Push In New Light Bulb
Snap On Lens Cover
Push In Power Plug
Push the new W5W (or 2825) light bulb straight into the socket.

If you are installing a traditional incandescent light bulb, wipe off any grease or oil with a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol or a microfiber towel.

If there is oil or grease left on the surface of the new bulb, it will create a hot spot and may cause the bulb to fail prematurely.

For brighter license plate lights that will also last much longer before burning out like the incandescent bulbs, install some compatible replacement W5W LED units.

Gently snap the clear plastic lens cover back over the grey bulb housing.

Push the black plastic power plug straight into its socket. You should feel or hear the electrical connector "click" securely into place.

Line Up Retaining Clips
Gently Pop In Housing
Light Housing Secured
Reinsert the wires first and make sure they are clear of the light housing's retaining clips.

Gently pop the light housing back into the opening in the underside of the tailgate.

You should feel or hear the two retaining clips "click" secure into place.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The light housing should pop in relatively easily.

Double check that the light housing feels securely attached.

Test New Light Bulbs
Testing Driver Side
License Plate Bulbs Done
To test the new light bulbs, turn on the parking lights or the headlights. You could also push the "Unlock" button on the smart key fob to reactivate the exterior lights.

Tip - If you installed an LED bulb and it doesn't work, try removing the bulb from the socket, rotate it 180 degrees and push it back into the socket. Some LED bulbs are "polarized" and will only work when the "+" positive and "-" negative electrical contacts are in the correct orientation.

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

Please check out all of the 2014-2021 Mitsubishi Outlander 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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