How to Remove a Rear Brake Light Lens in a Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback uses a tail light assembly that is a sealed unit. Damage to one of the rear lenses makes replacement of the entire assembly necessary, as the lens cannot be separated from the rest of the assembly. Replacement assemblies are available through a Subaru dealer, from a salvage yard or online. Physical replacement of the assembly is quick and easy.

Open the rear hatch of your Subaru Outback and locate the trim panels just inside the rear hatch to the right or left of the opening, depending on which tail light is being removed. Locate the two small access panels in the rear trim panel and pop them out with a flat screwdriver or small pry bar.

Locate the two retaining nuts just inside the access holes in the rear trim. Insert a socket, on an extension and ratchet, into the hole and remove the nuts from the studs. Hold onto the tail light as you remove the nuts, so it does not fall out of the body and damage it or the wiring attached to it.

Grasp the tail light assembly on each side and with your hands pull it straight out of the body. Roll the assembly over so you can access the back of the assembly and remove the bulb sockets from the rear of the assembly. Turn the sockets counterclockwise to unlock them then pull the socket and bulb straight out from the assembly.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat screwdriver or small pry bar
  • Socket set
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About the Author

Christian Killian has been a freelance journalist/photojournalist since 2006. After many years of working in auto parts and service positions, Killian decided to move into journalism full-time. He has been published in "1st Responder News" as well as in other trade magazines and newspapers in the last few years.