any tips for replacing third brake light (aka center stop light)?
We have a 2002 highlander limited v6 with the optional spoiler. The screws on the third brake light are so well aligned that you have to take off the spoiler to get to the screws. Once I got the screws off, it seems red cover is glued to the body. Other than carefully prying this off, is there any tips for replacing this elusive third brake light? I thought this was going to be a 5 minute job. Maybe someone with experience could share some helpful tips. Thanks in advanced.
Thanks DaiFai. Sure seems like it is glued and not just build up of junk. I did un-seat the outer perimiter of the red cover but it still seems like it is stuck, glued or hooked onto something. I can see a metal housing underneath it (from looking at an angle) and it seems like that whole housing moves when I try to pry the cover off. I guess I'll try to keep prying it off.
I'd replaced 3rd stop signal from the inside of the car! Open the rear door, take off the upper strap of plastic and You can change the buld easily. No need to do anything with spoiler! The external red glass of the 3rd stop signal must be hermetic to avoid any water or dust to penetrate to it.
Sorry for bad english!
Best regards, Oleg Osovitskiy
Kaliningrad, West Russia
'03 Highlander 2.4 4WD
1. REMOVE BACK WINDOW PANEL TRIM UPPER
2. REMOVE CENTER STOP LIGHT SOCKET & WIRE
(a) Disconnect the connector, and remove the center stop light socket & wire.
3. REMOVE CENTER STOP LIGHT ASSEMBLY
(a) Remove the 2 screws.
(b) Disengage the 4 claws, and remove the center stop light assembly.
4. REMOVE CENTER STOP LIGHT GASKET
You don't have to do all the steps in the above thread for my 2002 Highlander.
Just open the hatch, locate the middle plastic trim strip on top of the window behind the 3rd light, and gently pull it out from the clips holding it on. I pulled from the top. Be careful not to damage the metal clips or the plastic pieces behind the trim that go into the clips. There is a clip towards the left side and one towards the right.
Locate the bulb holder and twist it a quarter turn counter-clockwise and pull it out. Take out the old bulb, put in the new, reinsert the bulb and holder, twist clockwise.
Line up the clips with the plastic inserts inside the trim strip and push on. You may have to give it a couple of strategic whacks with the bottom of your fist to get everything to snap in tight.
This was not as easy as the dealer said!!!
Last edited by shib; 04-20-2010 at 06:45 PM.
Reason: didn't specify model year
The Following User Says Thank You to shib For This Useful Post:
If you're like me and you only need to replace the BULB inside the Center Stop Assembly, (2006 Hybrid - The place where I took it to get inspected told me they would have to take the spoiler off just to replace the bulb!), do the following:
The center trim on the top of the door comes off if you pull it straight out. "Shib" up above said pull gently. There are three metal clips holding the trim to the door and they're pretty stiff, so you have to put a little effort into it. I found I had to pull just hard enough to feel like I was gonna break the trim.
Once you have the plastic trim off, you will see where the wire connects. Squeeze the side of the connector to release it, then pull it straight out.
The bulb sits in a socket - turn the plastic socket COUNTERclockwise about half a turn to get it out and you'll be able to change the bulb.
Thanks to all you guys (and the Haynes manual!)
Last edited by Nehesi; 12-04-2010 at 03:55 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to Nehesi For This Useful Post:
Seems that the 3rd brake light is commonly out in these Highlanders. Wife and I were driving around today and she told me that she sees so many highlanders with the 3rd brake light out. Sure enough we saw a few on the road and most of them too had no working 3rd brake lights. We get home and get out of the car and sure enough the light isn't working on our Highlander either and we just bought it 2 weeks ago and it even passed inspection.
So whats the consensus with these things? Are they replaced from the inside as would make sense to me and do they have LED replacements available somewhere so this doesn't happen again in the future?
08 IS-F Ultrasonic Blue firstname.lastname@example.org
02 VW Jetta 1.8t (daily)
07 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (family runner)
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