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Toyota Corolla Reverse Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out reverse (back-up) light bulb in a 12th generation 2020, 2021 and 2022 Corolla.

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2020 Corolla Tail Lights
Reverse Light Housing
Open Trunk Lid
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the twelfth generation 2019 (hatchback), 2020, 2021, 2022 (and probably also the 2023, 2024 & 2025) Toyota Corolla sedan in changing a burnt out reverse light bulb (also known as the back-up or "backup" light bulb) located in the separate tail light housing attached to the trunk lid.

Owners of other Toyota and Lexus vehicles such as the Camry, C-HR, Venza, Avalon, 86, Sienna, Tacoma, RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, IS 350, RX 350, UX 200, GS 350, IS 300 and ES 350 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

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

If you'd like to have brighter reverse lights, install some 921 LED units.

The only tool needed to access and replace the two reverse light bulbs is a pop rivet removal tool.

If necessary, you might be able to use a large flat head screwdriver or a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the pop rivet friction fasteners.

The first two steps are to open the trunk lid and move to the side of the car with the burnt out light bulb.

(The procedure for replacing the reverse bulb on the 2019 Corolla hatchback should be similar.)


Trunk Lid Carpet Liner
Pry Out Pop Rivet
Fastener Removed
Locate the carpeted trunk lid liner near the back side of the reverse light bulb housing.

You'll need to remove at least the one pop rivet friction fastener located closest to the back side of the reverse light housing.

Use the pop rivet removal tool to carefully pull out the fastener.

Set the pop rivet aside in a safe place.

Pull Back Liner
1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Bulb Socket Removed
Gently pull back the trunk lid liner to access the back side of the reverse light housing.

Rotate the small gray plastic bulb socket 1/4 turn in the counterclockwise direction before pulling it straight out.

Old Light Bulb Removed
Part # 921 (W16W)
Push In New Light Bulb
If the old light bulb was recently turned on, be careful when you remove it since the bulb might still be hot enough to burn your fingers.

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

If you have trouble removing the old bulb, try gently wiggling it back and forth while pulling it straight out.

Push a new miniature wedge base number 921 light bulb straight into the socket. (The bulb is also known as the "W16W".)

Clean off the glass part of the new incandescent bulb with a paper towel and some rubbing alcohol. If there is any grease or oil on the new bulb, it could create a hot spot that may cause the bulb to burnt out prematurely.

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

Empty Bulb Housing
1/4 Turn Clockwise
Line Up Pop Rivet
Re-insert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction.

Push the trunk lid liner panel back into place.

Push In Fastener
Carpet Liner Secured
Test New Light Bulb
Push the pop rivet fasteners back into place.

To test the new light bulbs, have an assistant step on the brake pedal 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 then 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 my 2020 Toyota Corolla 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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