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Replace rear turn light 2003 Focus ZX3

- Ford-Focus

Forum Post
12/02/08 17:38
Gary B.

Replace rear turn light 2003 Focus ZX3

How do I change a burnt-out rear turn light on a 2003 Focus ZX3 hatchback? The directions in the owners manual are not clear.


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This post has a total of 7 replies. Your feedback, comments, opinions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

This forum post has messages dated from 12/02/08 through 07/22/11, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

01/14/09 22:07

There are a few screws you have to undo. There is one on the inside sorta under where the light is. It's a knob that you have to twist off, and there is another one of two screws between the weather stripping and light dome on the outside you have to unscrew. This is the part that got me too. It STILL stuck. You literally have to force it off whilst being careful not to break anything. They glued it on the belly of the light dome, and there are some plastic molly hook things. You should be fine getting that off. Once you have that off the light part sucks because it is like that kids game where you have to match the shapes to the holes, but this is a little trickier. You are doing it with no knowledge of the shapes. Pretty much just try to get it out. Once you get there, you are all set. I literally just did it a couple minutes ago after being frustrated for the past two months.
08/01/10 02:22
Leo M. Gates

I have a 2001 ZX3 and I, too, found the handbook vague in order to replace the left rear tail light/brake light bulb.

I took it to R & S Strauss (Pep Boys type place) and they did it for $25.00. Every mechanic in the place was looking on. The bulb (2 pack) was 5 bucks. Worth every penny, I'm sorry to say.

02/27/11 12:47

I Just did it in 5 min with no knowledge of changing ligHts. I'm a 22 year old girl.. Come on. Easy peasy. 2002 focus haychback.. 1 knob underneath, 1 screw. Poll off the cover, undo the clips on the top bulb. Unscrew the bulb. Replace and reverse.
03/25/11 11:31


Yeah, if you have a 2002 or later it's easier - but the earlier models are not so easy.

My 2003 zx5 was like yours - open the hatch, remove the cargo area cover, reach in under the lip of the cargo cover, there's an oblong hole about 2x3" with a plastic nut inside.

Unscrew the nut.

On the outside, in the channel between the edge of the light and the hatchback door's weatherstrip, there's a philips-head screw. Undo it.

Gently rock the light assembly from side to side until its rubber grommets loosen from the car body, then pull straight up and back - the whole assembly will pop loose.

Find the bulb holder, twist it out.

That's it.

05/11/11 12:41

Felt encouraged by replies from girls and had a try, but on my 2003 1.8 tdi hatchback the assemble is in two parts. I unscrewed the plastic nut, undid the philips-head screw, pulled and found there was another 'plug' type thingy under the screw. this pulled out and all I managed to remove was the tiny bit above the light assembly to the side of the cargo cover. I still had no way of getting to the bulb! the rest of the plastic in front of the bulbs seems to be an entire unit attatched to the whole of the inside of the boot (trunk). I am a new driver and was willing to have a go, but I'm stumped. Any ideas?? please.
05/19/11 13:42

Trying to change the rear turn signal bulb and I am having trouble. The instructions dont make sense to what was behind the panel. Any help would be appreciated. Ford want 50 bucks and I refuse to pay that for a light.
07/22/11 20:00
Thank author of this post/comment"blinker"


Did you detach the wire harness from the bulb holder and then twist the holder to remove it from the cover? Then, the two latches holding the bulb have to be released (I used flat edge screw drivers) in order to pull out the bulb.

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