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Toyota RAV4 Reverse Light Bulb Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out reverse light bulb in the tailgate of a 2019 to 2023 Toyota RAV4 SUV.

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2019 RAV4 Tail Lights
Reverse Bulb Housing
Open Tailgate Door
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the fifth generation (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and the updated 2023 model year) Toyota RAV4 SUV in changing a burnt out reverse light bulb located in the separate housing attached to the tailgate.

Owners of other Toyota and Lexus vehicles such as the Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Prius, Avalon, C-HR, GR86, Venza, Sienna, Sequoia, 4Runner, IS 250, IS 300, IS 350, ES 350, GS 350 and GX 460 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

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

If you'd like to have brighter reverse lights (also known as "backup" or "back-up"), install some 921 LED units.

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

The first two steps are to open the tailgate door for the cargo area and move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out reverse light bulb.


Plastic Access Cover
Small Notch Top Edge
Insert Screwdriver
Locate the square shaped access cover on the plastic interior panel of the tailgate door.

There is a small notch on the top edge of the access cover (close to the window).

Insert the blade of a flat head screwdriver or the plastic pry bar tool into the notch.

Gently pry out the access cover.

Access Panel Removed
Bulb Socket Exposed
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Set the access cover aside in a safe place.

Once the cover has been removed, you'll be able to see the gray plastic bulb socket.

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

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

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) light bulb was marked as part number 921 12V W16W.

Push In New Light Bulb
1/4 Turn Clockwise
Bulb Socket Installed
Push a new number 921 bulb into the socket.

Clean it with a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol. If there is any grease or oil left on the new incandescent bulb, it may create a hot spot and cause the bulb to burn out prematurely.

If you'd like to have brighter reverse lights that will also last much longer before burning out the like the traditional incandescent bulbs, install some compatible replacement 921 LED units.

Reinsert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction.

Line Up Bottom Tabs
Pop In Top Edge
Test New Reverse Bulb
Line up the two tabs on the bottom edge of the access cover with the opening in the tailgate door's interior panel.

First, reinsert the two tabs and then push on the top edge to secure the two retaining clips.

To test all the tail light bulbs, have an assistant step on the brake pedal, activate the hazard signals and shift the transmission into reverse.

Tip - If you installed an LED bulb and it doesn't work, try removing it 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.

For more, please check out all of my 2019-2023 Toyota RAV4 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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