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Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Side Marker Light Bulb Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out front side marker light bulb in the bumper cover of a 4th generation 2016 to 2021 Miata.

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By
Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

 
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2018 Front Side Marker
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Turn Front Wheels
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Plastic Wheel Well Liner

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 4th generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021) Mazda MX-5 Miata in changing a burnt out front side marker light bulb located in the front bumper cover.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the Mazda2 (Demio), Mazda3 (Axela), Mazda5, Mazda6 (Atenza), CX-3, CX-5, CX-7, CX-9, RX-8 and MPV may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement miniature wedge base light bulb part number is 168 which is available from various manufacturers such as Sylvania, GE, Eiko and PIAA.

If you would like to have brighter front side marker lights, install some 168 LED bulbs.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a small flathead screwdriver and a plastic pry bar tool.

The first step is to turn the steering wheel all the way in the opposite direction of the burnt out bulb.

Turning the front wheels will move the tire out of the way to create more working room in the wheel well near the front side marker light housing.



 

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Pry Out Center of Fastener
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Pull Out Pop Rivet
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Release 2nd Fastener
Locate the four round black plastic pop rivet fasteners located along the outer edge of the wheel well liner or "splash guard".

Use a small flathead screwdriver or a plastic pry bar tool to gently lift up the smaller center piece of the pop rivet to unlock it.

Once the middle of the fastener has been released, you can pry out the base of the pop rivet.

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Release 3rd Pop Rivet
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Remove 4th Pop Rivet
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Four Fasteners Removed
Repeat the process to remove all four pop rivets.

Set the pop rivets aside in a safe place.

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Pry Open Splash Guard
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Wheel Well Liner Opened
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise
Use the plastic pry bar tool to gently pry open the outer edge of the wheel well liner.

You may be able to wedge the wheel well liner against the front of the tire to hold it open.

Reach inside the wheel well and grasp the front side marker bulb socket.

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



 

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Light Bulb Socket
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Pull Out Old Light Bulb
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Push In New Light Bulb
Carefully pull the old light bulb straight out of the socket.

If the old bulb is stuck, stubborn or rusted in place, I recommend putting on a pair of thick gloves. Then try gently wiggling the bulb back and forth while pulling it straight out.

Push a new number 168 miniature wedge base light bulb straight into the socket.

If you would like to have brighter front side markers, install some compatible replacement 168 LED bulbs.

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

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Empty Bulb Housing
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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
Re-insert the bulb socket into the housing and rotate it 1/4 turn in the clockwise direction to secure it into place.
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Bulb Socket Re-Installed
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Replace Wheel Well Liner
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Re-Insert Pop Rivets
Push the wheel well liner back into place.

Make sure the smaller round button in the center of the pop rivets are in the up position so that they are fully released.

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Push In Center Button
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Splash Guard Secured
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Test New Light Bulb
Re-insert the four pop rivets back into the wheel well liner.

Push in the center pin on the pop rivets to lock them into place.

To test the new light bulb, turn on the parking lights.

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

For more, check out all of my 2016-2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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