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Smart Fortwo License Plate Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out license plate light bulb in the tailgate of a 2nd generation 2008 to 2014 Smart Fortwo.

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2013 Smart Fortwo
License Plate Light Housing
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) Smart Fortwo compact city car in changing a burnt out license plate light bulb on the tailgate door.

Owners of any Smart Fortwo models or trim levels such as the coupe hatchback, cabriolet or "cabrio", electric, pure, passion, forfour, prime and proxy may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A compatible replacement festoon style light bulb is part number 6418 which is available from various manufacturers such as Sylvania, GE, Eiko and PIAA.

You can also choose to install brighter 6418 LED bulbs.

The only tool needed to access and replace the light bulbs is either a plastic pry bar tool or a small flathead screwdriver.

Insert Flathead Screwdriver
Pull Out Light Housing
To prevent from scratching the plastic or painted surfaces, I recommend using a plastic pry bar tool or cover the tip of your screwdriver with a thin micro fiber cloth.

Insert the blade of the pry bar or screwdriver in between the left side of the license plate light housing and the tailgate.

Gently pry out the left side of the housing to release the retaining clip.

Pull the light housing out of the underside of the tailgate.

Pull Back Electrical Contact
Remove Old Light Bulb
If the license plate light bulb was recently turned on, be careful when you remove it. The bulb might still be hot enough to burn your fingers.

Gently pull back one of the metal electrical contacts and remove the old bulb from the socket.

Old # C5W Festoon Bulb
Empty Bulb Socket
This would also be a great time to clean out the inside of the light housing with a moist paper towel so that the new bulb will provide the maximum amount of light possible.


Install New Light Bulb
Re-Insert Wires First
Insert the new number 6418 festoon style light bulb in to the socket.

Tip - If you are installing an LED bulb and it doesn't work at first, try flipping it around in the socket.

Re-insert the wires on the right side of the light housing in to the tailgate.

Pop In Plastic Clip
Pry Out Left Side of Housing
Gently snap in the left side of the housing to secure the plastic retaining clip.

The procedure to replace the license plate light bulb in the left (driver) side housing is the same.

Replace Light Bulb
Two Bulbs Replaced
To remove the left (driver) side housing, insert the blade of your pry bar to screwdriver in to the left side of the housing.
Test New Light Bulbs
Testing Both Lights
To test the new license plate light bulbs, turn on the parking lights or the headlights to activate them.

For more, check out all of my 2008-2014 Smart Fortwo DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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