How to Replace a Tail Light Bulb on Toyota Auris

Updated on December 9, 2017

When Your Tail-Light Stops Working

You may be the sort of person who regularly checks their lights before setting off on a journey or like me, you wonder why people are flashing their lights at you everywhere you travel.

If you have not changed a tail-light bulb before it is a simple but slightly confusing task.

First job is to switch your lights on and check round the car to see which, if any are not working. In this case it is the tail-light.

The tail-light on my Toyota Auris stopped working
The tail-light on my Toyota Auris stopped working

Buy a New Bulb

You might think the first thing to do is to go and buy a new bulb.

That is what I did.

Went to local car part shop and asked for a bulb for my Toyota Auris.

A knowledgeable guy gave me a bulb and I paid for it. Now I am ready to do the job.

New tail-light bulb - wrong one!
New tail-light bulb - wrong one!

Find the Light Access Point

Remove all the garbage that you carry around in the boot. After half an hour of solid work you should have a clear space to work in.

There are two access points - one either side - on the wall of the boot.

Undo the fairly obvious clips and the cover can be removed.

Light compartment cover in rear boot
Light compartment cover in rear boot

The Tail-Light Puzzle

It is really difficult to see anything without climbing into the boot.

In addition it is dark inside the hatch.

And finally - even when you can see - nothing is obvious. Which bit goes where? What do you unscrew?

Use a torch to have a look and familiarise yourself with the position of wires and retainers.

Tail-light assembly with cover removed
Tail-light assembly with cover removed

Lights in Close-Up

Using a camera is a good way to get a decent view of the assembly. You can point the camera to the exact place and the flashlight will illuminate the area.

As you can see from the photo it is STILL hard to see what goes where.

What I discovered is that the red section and the grey section are separate - so you determine which one to remove depending on the bulb position.

For the tail-light it is the grey section.

Close up of Toyota Auris tail-light assembly
Close up of Toyota Auris tail-light assembly

Removing the Assembly

It is virtually impossible to get a picture of this.

The assembly is held in with a single plastic bendable clip to the right hand end. The bit furthest away from the red section.

The only way to find this is to feel for it. Gently touch the bulb enclosure until you find the plastic retainer and bend it slightly. Bend it and pull the assembly out.

Eventually the whole grey section should release. Be careful not to damage or disturb any wires too much.

Note. There are NO screws to remove and no wires to take off. Simply click and pull out.

Tail-light assembly removed
Tail-light assembly removed

Check the Bulb

The bulbs are bayonet fitting. Undo as you would a normal house light bulb.

At this point I compared the damaged bulb with the nice new one I had purchased.

They were completely different!

The sensible thing to do is to remove the old bulb and take it with you when you buy the new one, That way you can make sure they are the same.

I bought the wrong bulb!
I bought the wrong bulb!

Back to the Shop

I bought a new set of bulbs from a different store.

Comparing the old bulb helped a lot and it was a simple and cheap transaction.

NOW I am going to fix that tail-light!

The correct bulbs are purchased!
The correct bulbs are purchased!

Fit the New Bulb

Put the correct bulb into its bayonet fitting.

Fiddle around randomly attempting to get the whole unit back into where it came from.

This is like putting a puzzle piece back into position. Be gentle and patient and it will eventually find the right place and ciick back in.

Replace the boot cover and go check the lights are working.

Job done!

Here is the working tail-light - hooray!
Here is the working tail-light - hooray!

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    • profile image

      Sue 2 weeks ago

      Thank you, as you did we bought a bulb from the local car parts shop and they gave us the same one. Just read this and it has really helped and given us a laugh so thanks :-)

    • profile image

      Andrej 10 months ago

      Thanks for this step by step instruction it Helped me a lot!

    • profile image

      mac 14 months ago

      Thanks, this also goes for the 2009 auris, had a look in the handbook but that was written for an model with counter clockwise detachable bulb holders..

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      Carlo Schots 19 months ago

      for the 2011 Auris: locate the brake light bulb under the orange bulb pointing upwards. It has not a bayonet fitting but is of the plug-in type. Just turn the bulb holder counter clock wise and pull the holder+bulb out. It might be necessery to unclamp the wiring squeezer.

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      azza 23 months ago

      thanks! very helpfull