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How to Replace a 2018 Ford F150 Rear Tail Light

Nolan enjoys working on his own vehicles and recently replaced the right rear tail light on his 2018 Ford F-150 truck.

how-to-replace-a-2018-ford-f150-rear-tail-light

Is Your Ford F-150 Taillight Repairable or Does it Need Replacing?

Ford F-150 taillights (tail lights) should last the life of the vehicle, however occasionally they may become cracked from hail, collision with another vehicle or some other kind of impact.

You may have gotten a defective part on your vehicle with a faulty seal that's resulted in water damage. In either case it will be necessary to replace the entire taillight assembly, since they aren't repairable.

If a turn signal or brake light isn't working, it could simply be a bad bulb. Bulbs can easily be replaced, after you follow the steps listed below for removing a Ford F-150 rear taillight assembly.

In the photo above, our Ford F-150's taillight assembly has been leaking water for some time, shorting out the bulbs and causing our vehicle to fail its annual inspection.

Luckily the job of replacing a bad rear taillight on a Ford truck is not that hard, and can even be done by those with a minimal mechanical experience.

How Much Does it Cost To Replace a Ford F-150 Taillight?

OEM (original equipment manufacturers) Ford F-150 taillight assemblies can cost anywhere from $130 to $500, depending on where you get it. We bought our OEM light assembly from a Ford dealership (who has a shop on Amazon) for $139. There are aftermarket versions of these light assemblies available for as little as $90 each; however, it's always best to use genuine Ford parts on your truck.

how-to-replace-a-2018-ford-f150-rear-tail-light

How to Remove a Ford F-150 Rear Tailight Assembly (2018-2020)

Turn off the key and remove it from the ignition and give the automatic entry lights a few seconds to turn off.

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With the vehicle parked on a level area, start by opening the tailgate and locating the two screws on the inside next to the taillight. Using a 5/16" socket, remove these two screws and set them aside.

Grab the edge of the taillight assembly closest to the truck bed and pry it outward and away from the truck's body. After the light is separated from the body of the truck by a couple inches, then pull the whole light assembly straight back towards you. (There are only two small pointed pins holding it in at this point.)

While carefully holding the light assembly against your body with one hand, disconnect the small electrical connector that connects the light to your vehicle's wiring. To release this connector, press down on the small plastic tab that holds the two pieces together and pull on each side of it.

A helper can come in handy for this step, since it's a bit difficult to hold both the light and disconnect the wire.

Check that the part numbers on each light assembly match. (There may be slight variations in models 2015-2022 but ones made for those years should fit.)

Check that the part numbers on each light assembly match. (There may be slight variations in models 2015-2022 but ones made for those years should fit.)

Install The New Ford F-150 Rear Taillight

First make sure that the area underneath where the old taillight was mounted is free from dirt and debris. Using a damp rag, wipe away dirt and dust under this area. Check inside the electrical connection for signs of corrosion and clean the plug with contact cleaning spray if necessary.

Remove the new taillight assembly and connect it to the electrical wiring on your vehicle by inserting the plug. Next, place the two pointed prongs on the light into the corresponding holes on your vehicle and swing the light assembly closed like a door.

To line up the two screw holes, you may have to put some pressure on the light. Be careful that the taillight wires are all tucked inside where they need to go and aren't being pinched.

Tighten up the two screws using a 5/16" wrench and test the turn signal, four way flashers and brake lights. Have someone turn on the turn signal by just itself, and then in combination with your brake lights so you can see that all functions of the taillight work.

If you performed all the above tasks correctly, your new Ford F-150 taillight assembly should be as good as new, and you'll have saved hundreds of dollars by doing the job yourself.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Nolen Hart

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