How to Replace the Top Brake Light on a Toyota Highlander

The third brake light on your Toyota Highlander is an important safety feature despite the common “vanity light” name assigned to it. The third brake light aids in visibility when you are stopping, protecting yourself and your family. If the third brake light burns out on your Highlander, you can access it from inside the rear hatch. Buy a new bulb for the light from an auto parts store or Toyota dealer.

Step 1 - Open the rear hatch of your Toyota Highlander. Locate the plastic panel at the top of the rear hatch, opposite the location of the upper brake light.

Step 2 - Pry the plastic cover off with a flat-bladed screwdriver. Use caution not to break the clips securing the cover. You will need to reinsert the cover after you replace the bulb.

Step 3 - Remove the retaining ring by turning it ¼-turn counterclockwise. Disconnect the wiring harness from the socket by pulling it straight out.

Step 4 - Pull the bulb straight out of the socket. Insert the new bulb into the socket and secure the wiring harness by pressing it straight into place.

Step 5 - Replace the plastic cover over the back of the brake light assembly by pressing it straight in until it locks into place. Test your lights to be sure the light is functioning properly.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED: Flat-bladed screwdriver

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