How to Replace Honda Tail Lights

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Jessie Devine
Updated on Apr 1, 2022 · 4 min read
If you have a
Honda
tail light out, you can likely repair it at home in less than a half-hour for just a few dollars. Replacing a burnt-out bulb is the quickest and cheapest, but even if you have to switch out the whole casing, you can do it yourself and save.
Having a tail light out is a pain that can
lead to a ticket
. It’s also a potential hazard because a tail light not working is also a tail light that can’t signal other drivers. Instead of spending big bucks to have a mechanic change your bulb, try fixing your Honda tail light at home.
No matter if you have a
Honda Civic
tail light or a
Honda Accord
tail light on your hands, you can repair it yourself. If you’re not sure how, you’re in luck!
Car insurance
genius and super app
Jerry
has created this guide to repairing a faulty Honda tail light.
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How to replace a Honda tail light

Cost: $10-$20
Time: 10 to 30 minutes
Tools needed: Goggles, safety gloves, screwdriver, wrench, replacement parts (like bulbs)
Difficulty: Easy
If you have a Honda tail light out, the first thing you should do is figure out why it’s not working. The most common cause of Honda tail lights going out is a burnt-out bulb. Luckily, this is also the cheapest and easiest of the potential problems to fix.
However, if neither tail lights are working, or if your turn signals and parking lights have also been affected, there may be a problem with a fuse, your Honda’s wiring, or even the control switch. In this case, you should take your car to the shop so they can determine the reason.
In this guide, we’ll focus on the most common reason for Honda tail lights going out—a faulty bulb. To get started, look up the replacement part number for the bulb.
Remember that even simple parts like light bulbs vary. Your Honda’s model likely has its own bulb (a Honda Accord tail light and a Honda Civic tail light will be different, for example), as does its year (a 2004 Honda Civic tail light will be different from a 2020).
Trim level
can also affect which part you need, so make sure you’re buying the right one.
The exact process will vary depending on your model, but you can follow these basic steps.
  • Disconnect the battery. You risk getting shocked if you don’t.
  • Access the tail light assembly. For a Honda Accord tail light, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the cover. For a Honda Civic tail light, you’ll need a flathead to pop out the plastic screws.
  • Move any fasteners and liners out of the way.
  • Remove the bulb socket by turning it counterclockwise. 
  • Remove the old bulb out of the socket with your hand.
  • Put on gloves to handle the new bulb. This ensures you won’t smudge or damage it.
  • Insert the new replacement bulb into the socket.
  • Reinstall the bulb socket and turn it clockwise.
  • Replace trunk liner, screws, and fasteners to their original places.
  • Reconnect the battery and test your new Honda tail light.
Burnt-out bulbs are the #1 reason for Honda tail lights not working, but if you have a broken tail light assembly, you’ll have to switch out the whole thing. Access it the same way you would above, remove it by using a socket wrench and disconnecting the wires, and replace it with a new one.
Key Takeaway If you have a Honda tail light out, you can change the bulb at home in just a few minutes. 

Commons reasons for Honda tail light malfunctions

Sometimes you’ll know exactly why your Honda tail light isn’t working. Maybe you were in a collision that damaged it, or you accidentally backed into an object. But if you can’t easily tell why your tail light is out, look into these reasons:
  • Dead bulb: Tail light bulbs have delicate filaments that burn out easily. If you have just one light out, this is probably the cause.
  • Faulty wiring or fuses: If you try changing the bulb and it doesn’t help, a wiring or fuse problem could be to blame.
  • Damaged socket: Tail light sockets can corrode when exposed to moisture. Look for discoloration and build-up when you change the bulb.
  • Broken control switch: If it’s not one of the above reasons, a broken control switch could be to blame. Take your car to the shop if you’re not sure. 

Does car insurance cover broken tail lights? 

You might be able to get coverage for your Honda’s broken tail light, but unless it’s part of a larger, more expensive repair, going through insurance isn’t worth it.
Car insurance does cover repairs if they’re caused by something your policy covers. For example, if you have
collision coverage
, your policy will cover broken tail lights caused by a collision with a stationary object or another car.
Comprehensive insurance coverage
will cover you if your broken tail lights are the result of vandalism or an “act of God” like a natural disaster.
So why wouldn’t it be a good idea to use your insurance for this repair? Because for insurance to cover anything, you first have to pay your entire deductible. Since the average
car insurance deductible
is $500, and even in the shop, a simple tail light repair usually costs a little over $100, your insurance won’t kick in. 
The worst part is that your premiums may rise if you
make an insurance claim
—which definitely isn’t worth it if your insurance isn’t covering anything! Instead, it’s better to do the repair at home or pay for it out of pocket.

How to find affordable Honda insurance

Drivers of newer Hondas pay about $2,151 per year for car insurance. With Jerry, you could be paying a lot less.
Jerry
is a licensed broker and car insurance super app that saves drivers an average $887 per year on car insurance. A comparison shopping pro, Jerry will take all the stress out of finding an affordable policy from a top company—without sacrificing coverage.
 “
Jerry
helped me cut my rate almost in half by switching me to Allstate for the same coverage. I highly recommend this app to anyone” —Drewe E. 

FAQs

Repairing Honda tail lights is inexpensive as far as car repairs go. It will depend on your car’s model and year, but you can usually expect a simple Honda tail light replacement to cost $10 to $20 at home.
Yes! You can replace your Honda tail light at home even if you’ve never done a car repair before. It’s hard to mess it up, you don’t need any special tools, and it will save you a bunch of money. Give it a try!

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