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Toyota Tacoma 3rd Brake Light Bulbs Replacement Guide
How to change a burnt out high mount third brake light bulb on a 2nd generation 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

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Paul B. Michaels
Author & Photographer
Auto Mechanic Since 1989

2013 Tacoma 3rd Brake Light
Loosen Counterclockwise
Remove 2nd Screw
This automotive maintenance DIY tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015) Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in changing a burnt out high mount third brake light bulb.

Owners of other Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles such as the Yaris, Matrix, Prius, Camry, Corolla, Sienna, RAV4, Tundra, FJ Cruiser, Venza, Highlander, Avalon, Sequoia, Hilux, Land Cruiser, IS 250, ES 350, GS 350, tC, xB, xD, iQ and FR-S may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The OEM bulb part number is 168 from manufacturers such as Sylvania, GE, Wagner, Eiko and PIAA.

You may also be able to use any other miniature wedge base bulbs such as the # W5W, 2825, 158, 194 or a compatible LED unit.

The only tool needed to access and replace the 3rd brake light bulbs is a Torx T-20 star bit screwdriver.


Two Screws Removed
Pull Off Plastic Lens Cover
Rubber Gasket
The first step is to carefully climb in to the truck's cargo bed.

Then loosen the two screws by turning them counterclockwise with the Torx T20 star bit screwdriver.

Set the two screws aside in a safe place.

Gently pull the red plastic lens cover off the light housing.

The black rubber gasket or seal might come off the housing.

Old Bulbs Exposed
Pull Out Old Light Bulb
Old # 168 Bulb Removed
Grasp the old burnt out bulb with your thumb and forefinger before pulling it straight out of the socket.


# 168 Miniature Wedge Base
Empty Bulb Socket
Push In New # 168 Bulb
Push a new number 168 miniature wedge base bulb straight in to the socket.

Or you can replace all three bulbs with brighter LED units.

If necessary, you may also use any other miniature wedge base bulbs such as the # 2825, W5W, 158 or a 194.

New Bulb Installed
Re-Insert Rubber Seal
Push On Red Plastic Lens
Re-attach the black rubber gasket around the outer edge of the light housing.

Push the red plastic lens cover back in to place over the housing.

Tighten T-20 Screws
Turn T20 Clockwise
Test New Brake Light Bulbs

Re-insert the two screws and tighten them in the clockwise direction with the Torx T20 screwdriver.

Try to avoid over tightening the screws to prevent from cracking the plastic lens cover.

To test the new high mount third brake light bulbs, have someone sit in the vehicle and step on the brake pedal.

For more, check out my other 2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma 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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