How to Replace Saab 9-3 Tail Lights

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Replacing Saab 9-3 tail lights typically costs between $65 and $90 per light. Depending on the model, some tail lights could cost up to $140. Completing this repair at home can help you save money in the long run.
Your vehicle’s tail lights help maintain safety on the road by showing other drivers where you are on the road—but a burnt bulb or broken lens could put you and other drivers at risk. Knowing how to replace your tail lights can help prevent accidents and save you money. 
Car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has created this guide to replacing Saab 9-3 tail lights. We’ve done the research on cost, labor steps, and even insurance claim options.
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How to replace a Saab 9-3 tail light

Cost: $65 to $90 (some may reach $140)
Time: 10-20 minutes
Tools needed: Safety gear, Phillips head screwdriver, replacement parts 
Difficulty: Easy
First, you’ll need to start by identifying the location of and the problem with your Saab 9-3 tail light. 
If there’s a chance you backed into your garage door recently, it shouldn’t be hard to pinpoint the problem. But if you got a warning from a patrol officer or just happened to notice an unlit bulb, you may need to do some troubleshooting to determine whether the issue lies with the bulb, a blown fuse, or something more systemic. 
If both Saab 9-3 tail lights are not lighting up, you could need a fuse replacement. But if only one tail light is not working and the brake lights are still lighting up, you most likely just have a burned-out bulb.
Don’t be nervous to bring your 2003 Saab to a repair shop or mechanic if you don’t feel comfortable diagnosing the problem yourself. A certified mechanic would be able to take a deeper dive into why your tail light may not be working. 
If you are feeling confident about the repair and know which part of your Saab tail light needs to be replaced, you can locate the item number in your car’s manual. Make sure you order the correct parts based on your Saab’s model and year
Once you receive your ordered part, round up your tools and safety gear before following these steps to replace a 2005 Saab 9-3 tail light: 
  • Always disconnect the battery before you begin any vehicle repairs.
  • Open the trunk.
  • Remove the carpet panel near the tail light.
  • Remove the three 10-mm nuts underneath the carpet panel.
  • Pop out the bulb holder to replace the bulbs or pop out the tail light to replace the entire frame.
  • To reinstall, repeat these steps in reverse order.
  • If you need to replace one of the tail lights attached to the trunk part, the process is pretty much the same, but to access it, you’ll need to remove the pins attached to the carpet along the top of the trunk lid to peel back the carpet.
If all you needed to do was replace the tail light bulb, then you’re finished! Just replace the Saab 9-3 tail light cover (if you needed to remove it) and hook your battery back up before you run the car. 
Key Takeaway Replacing a 2003 Saab 9-3 tail light isn’t rocket science—you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver and some elbow grease.

Common reasons for 2003 Saab 9-3 tail light malfunctions

A broken tail light is pretty obvious in most cases. A stray golf ball or a small fender bender during rush hour can cause a broken tail light. 
However, if you are unsure what caused the broken tail light, look into these possible causes: 
  • Dead bulb: If only one light is burned out, it’s probably just that: a busted bulb.  
  • Faulty wiring or fuses: If the problem isn’t resolved by replacing a bulb, you could have a wiring issue or a broken fuse. 
  • Damaged socket: Moisture causes corrosion. Look for any clues like discoloration or build-up in the socket when you’re replacing the tail light bulb. 
  • Broken control switch: Tail light problems can be located far away from the actual bulb in the control switch. This could be a suspect if you’ve ruled out other mechanical issues.

Does car insurance cover broken tail lights? 

Car insurance might cover your Saab’s broken tail light—but it’s usually a better idea not to file a claim for repairs.
If collision and/or comprehensive coverage is included within your car insurance policy, you could get coverage for a broken Saab 9-3 tail light. Collision coverage would cover all repairs caused by a collision with another vehicle or stationary object. Comprehensive coverage would take over if your tail light was damaged by vandalism or a natural disaster.
Don’t forget that you’ll have to meet your deductible before you receive any cash back from insurance claims. Because tail light replacements aren’t very costly (usually well below the deductible amount), it’s often not worth the hassle of filing a claim.

How to find affordable Saab insurance

On average, car insurance for Saab drivers costs $1,007 annually—but depending on your vehicle, driving record, and payment history, you could end up paying more.
The best way to find savings on your policy is to download the Jerry app. In less than a minute, Jerry will pull quotes from dozens of top insurance providers to find you the best rate. 
Jerry’s insurance experts will walk you through the sign-up process, help you find the right coverage and discounts, and even assist in canceling your old policy upon request!
“I just had to buy a new car, and I needed quick help to get insurance before I could get my plates. Because I work so many hours, Jerry was the ideal choice for getting things done without long phone calls and waiting periods.”  —Rosa G.

FAQs

The cost to replace a 2003 Saab 9-3 tail light averages between $65 and $90. Look up your Saab’s replacement part item numbers in your user manual to estimate the cost of an at-home replacement.
Replacing your Saab’s tail lights is one of the easiest car maintenance tasks, and it doesn’t require any special tools. A simple mistake won’t cause any serious damage, either.

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