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Ford Escape Tail Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to replace the brake, turn signal and reverse bulbs in the tail light assemblies of a 2008 to 2012 Ford Escape.

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2011 Ford Escape Tail Light
Open Liftgate - Two Screws
Remove Phillips Head Screw
This automotive "how-to" guide was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012) Ford Escape SUV in replacing a burnt out combination brake/turn signal bulb, or reverse bulb in the tail light assemblies.

Owners of other Ford, Lincoln, Mercury or related Mazda SUV, crossover, or hatchback vehicles such as the Edge, Explorer, C-Max, Expedition, E-150, E-350 Wagon, Flex, Transit Connect, MKX, MKT, Mariner, Mountaineer, Navigator, and Mazda Tribute may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

Replacement tail light bulbs with their part numbers are as follows: Brake / Rear Turn Signal # 4157, and Reverse (Back Up) # 921.

The only tool needed to access the bulbs is a standard Phillips head screwdriver.

Remove Upper Screw
Remove Lower Screw
Pull Off Tail Light Housing
The first two steps are to open the rear cargo tailgate door and move to the side of the vehicle with the burnt out tail light bulb.

Locate the two screws along the inner edge of the tail light assembly that were hidden by the tailgate door and remove them with the Phillips head screwdriver. Set the screws aside in a safe place.

Turn Over Assembly
Brake/Turn - Large Socket
1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Turn the tail light housing over and rest it on the bumper.

If you'd like to prevent the possibility of scratching the plastic tail light assembly or the painted bumper, place a towel in between them.

The dual filament brake and turn signal bulb is located inside the large black plastic socket at the center of the assembly.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn counter clockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Pull Out Brake Socket
Pull Old Bulb Straight Out
Push In New # 4157 Bulb
Pull the old brake / turn signal light bulb straight out of the socket.

Push a new # 4157 bulb straight in to the socket.

I recommend buying the Sylvania 4157 LL long life light bulbs since they tend to last for many years.


Re-Insert Socket
1/4 Turn Clockwise
Small Grey Reverse Socket
Insert the new bulb and socket back in to the tail light housing.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn clockwise to secure it in place.

1/4 Turn Counter Clockwise
Old Reverse Light Bulb
Pull Bulb Straight Out
The reverse light bulb is contained inside the small light grey socket at the bottom of the tail light assembly.

Rotate the socket 1/4 turn counter clockwise and pull it straight out of the housing.

Pull the old reverse bulb straight out of the socket and push in a new # 921 bulb.

I recommend buying the Sylvania 921 LL long life light bulbs or a compatible 921 LED bulb.

Insert the reverse light socket back in to the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn clockwise to lock it in place.

1/4 Turn Clockwise
Line Up Spike & Socket
Push On Housing
Line up the two metal spikes on the back of the tail light with the corresponding holes on the rear corner of the vehicle.

Gently push the tail light housing in place.

Tighten Lower Phillips Screw
Tighten Upper Screw
Test New Light Bulbs
Insert and tighten the two Phillips head screws to secure the tail light.

Test the new tail light bulbs by having someone step on the brake pedal, activate the hazard signals and shift the transmission in to reverse.

For more, please check out my other Ford Escape Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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