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RX330 tail light bulb replacement

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Old 04-07-09, 12:04 AM   #1
dfranklin
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Default RX330 tail light bulb replacement

I just had a terrible time trying to do a what should be a trivial task - replace the 168 tail light bulb on the back of a 2004 RX330. Thought I'd share what worked and what didn't.

You start by removing the small plastic access panel on the inside of the vehicle behind the tail light. Small screwdriver, or even your lexus key, can pop it off.

Grab a flashlight, and inside, you'll see 3 sets of wires plugging into different parts of the light assembly. The upper-most set of wires goes into the black plastic tail light socket itself, partially obscured by a gasket. Reach in (small hands help) grab the plastic where the 2 wires go into it, and twist it slightly. It should come loose, and you will be able to pull it outward, and down out of the hole, where you can access the bulb. The 168 bulb just pulls outward from the socket (it's also got a gasket around the base).

It should NOT be necessary (nor as I discovered is it particularly helpful) to remove the 3 nuts holding the taillight assembly onto the vehicle.

Hope this helps someone avoid the frustration I just had.
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Old 04-07-09, 06:35 AM   #2
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The bulb is for the tail light. The brake light which is LED, will require oulling out the assembly. But good tips. It was a pain to take that off and put back in. The dealer replaced one of my brake lights under warranty. They just replaced the whole light assembly. Did not even bother to replace the circuit of the brake LED.
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Old 08-03-11, 07:17 PM   #3
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two + yrs later and this is the best info out there on changing the rear tail light bulb on a RX330
The inner tail light on the lift-gate that turns on when the headlights are on are bulbs (168)... No screws to remove....just a twist of the fingers removes the socket and the bulb just pulls right out.
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Old 08-04-11, 06:34 AM   #4
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I have removed my tails and know how hard this is. Small hands WILL help.
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Old 08-22-11, 02:03 PM   #5
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I replaced the right rear running light with a LED on lift-gate, and the HID headlamp would go out.
Then I used a low amp replacement bulb, recall 161(1watt). and the HID would go out intermittently.
So I changed to a published 2825 (5watt) and HID headlamp works again.
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Old 10-18-13, 08:24 PM   #6
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This is helpful too:
http://www.fixya.com/cars/t1547331-r...ght_2004_lexus

Some tips I wish I'd read here.
1) The actual screw you can undo (the only screw behind the light) is a red herring. I think the engineers put it there as an inside joke. Ignore it.

2) The panel being referred to is THE ENTIRE BACK PLASTIC PART. If you're looking for an "access panel" you'll miss the forest for the trees.

3) I needed a long flat screw driver to get the pins out. The tip about trying to get the pin out of the door and not the pin out of the panel is good. Everything about the "look" says remove the pin from the panel. Another inside joke I suppose.

4) Twist the socket thing counter-clockwise a quarter turn to get it out. Bulb has these little fins things that scream "pull straight down" but again, you guessed it, another inside joke.

And finally, make sure you have the right bulb. I didn't so off to the store again.

I hate to say it but once you get the inside jokes it's pretty easy. My old car was an Audi and it was, for all intents and purposes, impossible - no inside jokes, just flat out "you need to pay someone" to change a lightbulb.
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Old 06-16-14, 04:25 PM   #7
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I just did this and it was a real PITA.

Whenever I turned on the headlights, the notification on the dash would come on. It was the rear driver side that was out, but sometimes I would tap on it and it would come back on. But it was the bulb that was bad.

I wound up taking out the whole assembly and didn't realize I didn't have to but it's good to know that they're not easy to steal.
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Old 06-16-14, 04:25 PM
 
 
 
 
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