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Ford Expedition License Plate Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out license plate light bulb in the tailgate of a 4th generation 2018 to 2020 Ford Expedition.

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2018 Expedition License
Right License Plate Light
Push In Release Tab
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 4th generation (2018, 2019, 2020 and most likely also the 2021, 2022 and 2023 model years) Ford Expedition SUV in changing a burnt out license plate light bulb located in the tailgate door for the cargo area or upgrade both lights to brighter LED bulbs.

Owners of other Ford or Lincoln vehicles such as the Explorer, F-150, Escape, EcoSport, Transit, F-350, F-250, Edge, Flex, Ranger, Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Bronco, Super Duty, Navigator, Continental, MKZ, MKX, MKC, MKT, Aviator, Corsair and Nautilus may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

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

If you would like to have brighter license plate lights, install some 2825 LED bulbs.

The only tool needed to access and replace the bulbs is a small flat head screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool.

The procedure for replacing the driver side and passenger side license plate light bulbs are the same.

Locate the small black plastic tab on the right side of the light housing.

Gently push in the tab with a small flat head screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool to release the retaining clip.


Pull Out Light Housing
Light Housing Removed
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Carefully pull the light housing down out of the underside of the tailgate door.

Try to avoid pulling on or stressing the electrical wires.

Rotate the base of the round black plastic light bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out of the housing.

Empty Bulb Housing
Bulb Socket Removed
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Set the empty light housing aside in a safe place.

Avoid scratching the lens cover.

Be careful when you remove the old light bulb.

If the old light bulb was recently turned on, it might still be hot enough to burn your fingers.

Pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

Old Light Bulb Removed
Push In New Light Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
In this 2018 Expedition MAX, the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) light bulb was a W5W which is the same as the 2825.

Push a new number 2825 miniature wedge base light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter license plate lights, install some compatible replacement 2825 LED bulbs.

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

Re-Insert Wires First
Push In Light Housing
Pop In Retaining Clip
First, re-insert the wires on the left (driver) side of the housing into the opening in the underside of the tailgate door.

Then gently snap in the retaining clip on the right (passenger) side of the housing.

Light Housing Secured
Driver Side Housing
Test New Light Bulbs
Double check that the light housing is securely in place.

To test the new light bulbs, turn on the parking lights or the headlights. You could also press the "Unlock" button on the fob to re-activate the exterior lights.

Tip - If you installed LED bulbs and they don't work, try removing them from the sockets, rotate them 180 degrees and push them back into the sockets. 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 my 2018-2020 Ford Expedition 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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