How to Replace Toyota Tail Lights

Replacing your Toyota tail lights is easy and can be done in about 10 minutes. Typically, this will cost between $35 and $75.
Written by Abbey Orzech
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
You can replace your
tail lights in 10 minutes, costing you between $35 and $75. Replacing your lights yourself will save you money and won’t affect your insurance premium. 
Your Toyota’s tail lights are an important feature on your car for making sure you are visible to other drivers at night. If one of your tail lights goes out, you may immediately think about how you could use your insurance to fix it—but you likely can make the repairs yourself!
car insurance
super app
has put together this guide to replacing Toyota tail lights. We’ll talk about how to replace your tail lights, why they may be malfunctioning, and if using your insurance is the right move. 
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How to replace a Toyota tail light

Cost: $35 to $75
Time: 10 minutes
Tools needed: Safety glasses, gloves, socket wrench, screwdriver  
Difficulty: Easy
Before you begin unbolting and removing, you will need to know what is causing the malfunction, if possible.
If it’s not as clear as an obviously cracked light from that fender-bender last week, it can be difficult to determine the source of the damage. You can always take it to a certified mechanic so they can identify the issue if you’re unsure what’s wrong. 
Or, maybe you’d like to troubleshoot the issue yourself! If you notice that both tail lights are dark, it could be an issue with the fuse. However, if just one light is out, it could just need a simple bulb replacement. 
After determining the cause of your tail light outage, you’ll be able to figure out which part needs replacing. Consult your Toyota’s owner’s manual to make sure you
order the correct part
for your Toyota’s model and year, like a
Now, you’re ready to make the repairs! Grab your safety gear and tools, and follow the steps below to replace your Toyota tail lights:
  • Disconnect the battery before you begin. Working with live wires will introduce the potential for electric shock, so you’ll want to eliminate that possibility at the beginning.   Starting with the negative cable, simply unscrew both cables from the battery. 
  • Open the trunk or tailgate so you can access the tail lights. 
  • Locate and remove the tail light assembly covers. These can be plastic or fabric.
  • Remove the bulb socket of the problem light by giving it a ¼ turn counterclockwise, or to the left. Discard the faulty bulb. 
  • Replace it with a new bulb. It’s a good idea to wear gloves while replacing bulbs since the glass can be delicate and has the potential to break.  
If you’re working on a Toyota truck, like the
, the instructions are fairly similar, but you may have to unscrew a few more clips that hold these lights in place. 
Once you replace the bulb and reinstall the assembly covers, you should be good to go! Just make sure you test out the lights before you hit the roads again. 
Key Takeaway It can be fairly easy to replace your Toyota’s tail lights if you make sure to order the correct part. 

Common reasons for Toyota tail light malfunctions

If you accidentally backed into a streetlight, the cause of your tail light’s malfunction could be obvious. In other cases, though, the cause may leave you stumped. Consider these potential causes: 
  • Dead bulb: The issue may simply lie in a burnt-out bulb.  
  • Blown fuse: This problem won’t be able to be solved by just changing the bulb, and may involve some wiring work. 
  • Faulty or damaged socket: If there’s a problem with the socket, it could be a loose wire or you may need to replace the whole thing. 

Does car insurance cover broken tail lights? 

Whether or not your car insurance will cover your Toyota’s broken tail lights will depend on the type of insurance you have and how the lights were damaged. 
If you have
comprehensive car insurance
, your tail lights would be covered if they got damaged in a natural disaster or by vandalism.
Collision insurance
would cover a broken tail light in the event of an accident with another vehicle or object (re: streetlight). 
But before you use your insurance, it is worth looking into how much a repair or a DIY job will cost—it might be cheaper! Keep in mind that when you use your insurance, you will have to
pay a deductible
, and you risk increasing your premium when you file your claim. 
Deductibles can cost you anywhere between $250 to $500 and sometimes more, but changing your Toyota tail lights on your own will cost just $35 to $75!
So, yes, your insurance can cover a broken tail light, but it might be cheaper to make the repair yourself.

How to find affordable Toyota insurance

The insurance rate on your Toyota will vary depending on the model and year of your vehicle, but on average, Toyota drivers are paying $1,705 a year on their
car insurance
. If you have a 2021 or 2022 model, you likely are paying more. 
If you want to save money on your Toyota’s insurance, the
app is a good place to start. A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country. 
 “When using
, I just put in a bit of information, and they found lots of different quotes for me. I was paying $305 a month for 2 brand-new cars, but now I’m paying $150 a month for both with full coverage!” —Robin U.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
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Depending on your specific model and if you undertake the repair yourself, replacing your Toyota tail light can cost between $35 and $75.
Sure! Replacing tail lights requires minimal work and the use of tools you can probably find in your at-home tool kit. It can be intimidating if you’re new, but check out this guide for tips and have patience with yourself.
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