How to Replace Mazda Tail Lights

A tail light replacement is a quick, easy, and cheap DIY fix that every Mazda owner can complete right at home.
Written by Jim Alexander
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If you own a
, you can replace your tail light in less than 10 minutes and for as cheap as $30. So why bother with a trip to the shop when you can do it all yourself?
Car maintenance
can feel like a daunting task, especially for beginners. Luckily, a tail light replacement is a great first step for anyone who wants to save a little money. Like regular light bulbs, car bulbs can burn out once they reach the end of their lifespan.
Here to walk you through all the steps of a Mazda tail light replacement is
car insurance
comparison and broker app
. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
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How to replace a Mazda tail light

Cost: $30-$60
Time: 5-10 minutes
Tools needed: Safety glasses, gloves, Phillips head screwdriver, replacement parts 
Difficulty: Easy
The first step to replace your Mazda tail light is to properly diagnose the problem. You’ll want to verify that the issue is a burnt-out bulb and not an underlying problem with a fuse or the wiring. 
If only one tail light is out, it’s most likely that the bulb just needs to be replaced. (Remember that your car won’t always notify you when a bulb is out, so you’ll need to regularly inspect your car’s lights when they’re on and the car is in park.) 
If you have more than one light out, it’s likely that you have an underlying issue. For example, there may have been a power surge in your electrical system that caused a fuse to blow. In this case, you’d need to replace the fuse, not necessarily the bulb. 
If you experience problems with multiple electrical systems at once, you may have a deeper
issue with your car’s electrical system
that a licensed mechanic should inspect.
Once you’ve verified that replacing your Mazda’s tail light will solve the issue, here are the replacement steps:
  • Open the trunk.
  • Identify the two Phillips head screws that hold the tail light assembly to the body of the car. These are located next to the assembly along the liner of the trunk.
  • Remove the two screws.
  • Gently but firmly pull the assembly away from the body of the car.
  • Unscrew the bulb socket and pull it out of the assembly.
  • Carefully pull the old bulb out of the socket and replace it with the new bulb.
  • Replace the socket and screw it back into the assembly.
  • Test that the bulb turns on.
  • Repeat the steps in reverse order to reattach the assembly to the car.
If you complete these steps and the new bulb does not illuminate, this could indicate that there is a different issue afoot.
If you ever feel that a fix is beyond your skill level or if you think there is a more serious issue with your car, do not hesitate to bring your car to a trained mechanic.
Key Takeaway A Mazda tail light replacement takes 10-20 minutes and requires a Phillips head screwdriver.

Common reasons for Mazda tail light malfunctions

Sometimes there is no confusion why your tail light is out—maybe you were just rear-ended in a traffic collision. Other times, though, your tail light goes dark with seemingly no explanation. Here are a few common problems that can cause a malfunction:
  • Bulb is burnt out: This is the most common problem and, thankfully, the easiest to fix. Like every light bulb, automotive tail lights have a limited lifespan. When they burn out, they will need to be replaced.
  • Fuse problems: Most fuse boxes are located in the engine compartment. If a fuse blows or becomes damaged for some reason, this can cut power to the tail lights. If multiple lights are out at once, this could indicate a fuse problem.
  • Broken assembly: The tail light assembly is a sealed system that keeps water and dirt away from the bulb and the electrical socket it sits in. If this assembly is damaged, water and dirt can cause a short circuit which can cause flickering or a blown bulb.
  • Electrical system issues: Sometimes there is a bigger problem with your Mazda’s electrical system. If you have multiple problems with electrical components in your car, like your radio or dashboard, the best practice is to bring your car to a licensed mechanic.

Does car insurance cover broken tail lights? 

If your tail light bulb burns out due to aging or normal wear and tear, this is not a repair that is typically covered by car insurance. (You may be able to make a claim on your vehicle warranty if there was a system malfunction and you’re below the age or mileage limit.) 
If your tail light is damaged as a result of a collision for which you’re filing an insurance claim, it will be covered as long as you have
collision coverage
Even if your tail light would be covered by insurance, it may not be a good idea to file a claim. This is because a Mazda tail light replacement alone usually never costs as much as the typical car insurance deductible ($500 or more).  
If the damages amount to less than your deductible, even if you file an insurance claim, you will receive no money back from your insurance carrier. Furthermore, insurance claims only make your premium go up, so it may even cost you money in the long run to file a claim to fix a broken tail light.

How to find affordable Mazda insurance

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You can replace the tail light in your Mazda for as little as $30 and complete the replacement right in your garage. If you bring it into the shop, the labor charges can sometimes add an extra $100 or even more to your bill.
Absolutely! In fact it is one of the most common DIY maintenance fixes that car owners do one their own every day.
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