How To Replace Tail Lights in a Honda Accord

Are the tail lights on your Honda Accord getting dim or completely out? This is a problem you need to address promptly. Tail lights help other motorists see you in low light conditions. Furthermore, they are legally required to be functional. If you get stopped by a police officer, you may find yourself with a ticket. The good news is that tail light bulb replacement is an easy job.

Getting the Right Parts

Before you begin, you need to pick up some new light bulbs. If the assembly (the piece surrounded the bulb) is damaged, you may also want to replace that. Find the right parts by using a free VIN lookup tool at your favorite auto parts store. This will help you find parts that match your Accord’s model year and trim package.

Replacing the Bulbs and Assembly

The following steps are general guidelines for replacing the tail lights on a Honda Accord. The specifics vary between generations and trims of the car. However, these tips should be helpful no matter which Accord you have. Consult your owner’s manual for specifics. If you don’t need to replace the assembly, you can skip those steps.

  • Disconnect the Battery: Anytime you work on your car, disconnect the battery first. Remove the cable from the negative (-) terminal first then the cable from the positive (+) terminal. Secure them so they won’t accidentally touch the battery.
  • Access the Tail Lights: Open the trunk or hatch (only on older Accords). Move the carpeting away from the lights to access them, if necessary.
  • Remove the Bulb Holder: The tail light cable connect to the bulb holder in the center of the light. Turn this clockwise to remove it.
  • Replace the Bulb: Disconnect the bulb from the cable and replace it with the new one. Your tail light bulb replacement should come with a new holder.
  • Replace the Assembly: If you need to replace the assembly also, loosen the nuts that hold it in place. These may require a little oil or grease to get loose. Pull the assembly out and place the new one in the same spot. Tighten the nuts so that they are firmly in place but not over tight. Tightening too much may crack the assembly.
  • Put the Bulb Holder Back: Replace the bulb holder in the assembly. Turn counterclockwise to tighten.
  • Check Everything Works: Reconnect the battery and put the carpeting back in place. Check that everything works before putting away your tools. Consider checking the turn signals and brake lights before you finish up.

These steps are easy enough that even a novice can complete them. You shouldn’t need anything more than new parts, a couple of wrenches and a screwdriver. Make sure to wear gloves to avoid cutting yourself and to protect the bulbs from your hand’s oils.

Get Started

Taking care of your Honda Accord makes the ownership experience even more rewarding. Get started by picking up some parts and basic tools from your favorite auto parts store. You may be surprised how much you can accomplish in your garage.