How to Replace Dodge RAM Tail Lights

If you’re up for some DIY vehicle maintenance, you can save money tackling your Dodge RAM tail light replacement at home.
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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Replacing your Dodge RAM’s tail lights could cost between $30 and $70 per light, depending on what part you’re replacing. This is a replacement many car owners can tackle themselves, but if you’d rather have a mechanic take care of this, it could cost a little more than $100. 
When your Dodge RAM’s tail lights stop working, you’re suddenly put in a risky situation—without them, other drivers may not see your truck in certain driving conditions, which could lead to a serious accident. Luckily, replacing Dodge RAM tail lights is one of the easiest
car repair
jobs you can do yourself.
If you’re not sure where to start, no worries—
car insurance
comparison and broker app
Jerry
has thrown together this guide to help you understand what you should know about tail light replacement (and hopefully, avoid a ticket!). Whether it’s a 1996, 2003, or a 2015 Dodge RAM 1500 tail light, here’s what to know about replacing it—and as a bonus, we've included tips on saving money on your
Dodge RAM 1500 car insurance costs
.
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How to replace a Jeep tail light

Cost: $30 to $70 
Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Tools needed: Safety glasses, gloves, T-25 Torx bit screwdriver, replacement parts 
Difficulty: Easy

First, identify the problem and potential cause

To figure out whether you need to replace your Dodge RAM 1500’s whole tail light assembly or a tail light bulb, it helps to get a sense of where the source of the problem is and what might have caused it.
Sometimes, the cause might be more obvious, like if you backed into a pole, but you might have some more investigating to do if you’re learning about the problem for the first time from a well-meaning stranger in the parking lot—or an officer who’s just pulled you over because of it. 
If just one of your tail lights is out, you can start troubleshooting by replacing a burned-out bulb or the tail light itself, depending on the known extent of the damage. If both of your tail lights are out, that could potentially signal an issue with a fuse, wiring, or a control switch.
If you’re not sure what the problem is and are hesitant about taking care of it yourself, you can always have your tail lights inspected by a mechanic, who can get to the bottom of the issue and make any necessary repairs.

Replacing a Dodge RAM 1500 tail light 

To replace one tail light bulb or your entire tail light assembly, check your owner’s manual for the correct part number. When shopping for the part, make sure it corresponds with your vehicle’s make, model, year, trim level, and engine type
Before you get started, if your truck was recently running, it’s a good idea to let it sit for a while in case the tail light bulbs are hot. 
While replacing a Dodge RAM 1500 tail light is relatively straightforward, it does involve working with electrical components, so you’ll want to understand best safety practices.
Once you’ve got your safety gear on and your screwdriver and replacement part(s), here’s how to replace your Dodge RAM 1500 tail light:
  • First, disconnect your vehicle’s battery to protect yourself from electrocution, starting with the negative cable. 
  • Remove the Dodge RAM 1500 tail light assembly. Lower your tailgate. Then, using a T-25 Torx bit screwdriver, unscrew the screws that secure the tail light in place (there are two on each side). Once the screws are removed, you should be able to gently pull the tail light assembly off.  
  • At the back of the assembly, you’ll see two sets of wire harness connectors that are connected to the lightbulb sockets. Slide the unlocking tab and disconnect the harness connector to fully remove the tail light assembly.
  • Remove the old light bulb. For 2013 Dodge RAM 1500s and newer, rotate the tail light’s bulb socket slightly counterclockwise to unlock it. Pull out the bulb and socket. 
  • For 2012 Dodge RAM 1500s and older, unscrew the circuit board that contains the bulbs. Once you’ve pulled the socket from the assembly, simply pull out the defective bulb and reinsert the new one.
  • Reinsert the socket. Rotate the tail light bulb clockwise until it locks back into place in the assembly. If you’re working with the plastic circuit board, reinsert the screws just tight enough to make a seal so you don’t have to worry about cracking the plastic.
  • Replace the tail light assembly. Reconnect the harness connector. Place the assembly back into place. Secure it with the two screws you removed.
  • Reconnect your battery and make sure your new bulb works!
If you’re looking to replace your entire Dodge RAM 1500 tail light assembly, depending on where you buy yours some may come with bulbs, but some come without. 
To replace the tail light assembly:
  • Follow the above steps to remove the old tail light assembly.
  • Add bulbs to the new assembly if you need to.
  • Then install the new tail light assembly like you would your old one.
Pro Tip Use gloves and/or a microfiber cloth when handling replacement bulbs to avoid leaving oil and fingerprints on them.

Common reasons for Dodge RAM tail light malfunctions

Sometimes, it’s easy to figure out what the problem with your tail light is—in other cases, not so much. If you’re not sure what could have caused your tail light to stop working, here are some of the most common culprits: 
  • Burned-out bulbs: If you can narrow down your issue to a single light in one of your tail lights, the issue could just be a dead tail light bulb.
  • Corrosion: Sockets can get rusted or corroded if they’re exposed to moisture. If the corrosion is too severe to clean up yourself, there’s a chance you may need to replace the socket.
  • Faulty wiring, control switch, or fuses: If a replacement bulb doesn’t resolve your tail light issue, there’s a chance the problem is a more extensive one that could have something to do with a faulty control switch, fuse, or wiring. 
MORE: How to get cheap truck insurance

Does car insurance cover broken tail lights? 

Depending on what caused it and what kind of coverage you have, your car insurance policy might cover your Dodge RAM 1500’s broken tail light. However, in most cases, it’s usually a better idea not to use your insurance for this kind of repair. 
Collision coverage
would cover repairs needed after a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object.
Comprehensive coverage
would cover repairs related to incidents like vandalism, fallen objects, or contact with an animal. 
However, there’s a chance you could see your rate rise if you submit a claim. Plus, you’d need to reach your
car insurance deductible
before insurance would cover your repair, and the two most common deductible options are $500 or $1,000
On the other hand, replacing a single Dodge RAM tail light yourself can cost between $30 and $70 or a little more than $100 for a mechanic to take care of it for you. 
Since replacing a broken tail light is a pretty inexpensive repair, it’s usually more cost-effective to replace the tail light yourself or pay for the expense of a mechanic out of pocket. 

How to find affordable Dodge RAM insurance

No matter what year your Dodge RAM 1500 is or how many miles it has, the
Jerry
app can help you find the lowest rate for the
car insurance
coverage you’re looking for. 
If you’ve never used Jerry before, all you have to do is answer a few quick questions on this
trustworthy insurance comparison app
, and then, you can start reviewing competitive quotes from top car insurance providers. From there, you can pick the right policy for you at the right price. 
Jerry’s start-to-finish support also means you’ll have insurance experts who can answer your questions, help you narrow down what coverage to look for, and even walk you through setting up your new policy and canceling your old one. 
Even better, Jerry’s users save an average of $887 per year on car insurance. Those kinds of savings can cover quite a few tail light assemblies! 
 “My policy covers two people and four cars: a truck, SUV, convertible, and muscle car.
Jerry
helped me go from paying $308 a month to $125 a month with the same coverage. I’m loving the savings.” —Jocelyn A.

FAQs

If you’re replacing your Dodge RAM’s tail light yourself, costs could fall somewhere between $30 and $70 per tail light, depending on what price you can find for the right replacement part. If a mechanic is taking care of the replacement for you, it could cost a little over $100 to replace.
Replacing your Dodge RAM’s tail lights is one of the more straightforward repairs you can make to your vehicle, and it’s one many beginners can tackle themselves. It does, however, involve dealing with some electrical components, so it’s a good idea to go in with an understanding of best safety practices when working with them.
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