DIY Subaru Forester Maintenance: A Comprehensive Guide to Changing Brake Bulbs Yourself

Are you tired of paying hefty amounts to your automobile mechanic for minor repairs like changing a brake bulb? If you own a 2011 Subaru Forester or are interested in owning one, this article is for you. Learning to replace a brake bulb can save you money and provide you with valuable information for your car’s maintenance. It’s a simple task that even beginners can handle, and we are here to guide you through the process.

Importance of Maintaining Brake Bulbs

The brake system is one of the most crucial systems in your car as it ensures your safety on the road. If a brake bulb is not functioning correctly, it can significantly affect your visibility, especially during the night, and increase the likelihood of an accident. Therefore, it’s essential to check brake bulbs regularly and replace them when necessary to maintain road safety.

Tools Needed

Before starting the process, you’ll need to gather several tools to get the job done. The necessary tools include a new brake bulb, a flathead screwdriver, and latex gloves.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Locate the brake bulb: To locate the brake bulb, you need to open the trunk. Once the trunk is open, look inside the tail light assembly that needs a bulb replacement. You will see the brake bulb socket connected to the tail light assembly.

  2. Remove the socket: With your fingers, grab the socket and rotate it counterclockwise to loosen it. Pull the socket back until it disconnects from the tail light assembly.

  3. Remove the old brake bulb: Gently press on the brake bulb and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it. Then, pull the bulb out from the socket.

  4. Install the new brake bulb: Wearing latex gloves to avoid damaging the new bulb, insert it into the socket and turn it clockwise to secure it in place.

  5. Reconnect the socket: Align the pins of the socket to the holes in the tail light assembly and insert it. Then, turn it clockwise to lock it in place.

  6. Test the new bulb: Close the trunk and check if the new brake bulb is working correctly.

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Tips and Common Issues

• If you’re having difficulty undoing the socket, apply some WD-40 spray, and let it stand for five minutes. Then, try rotating again.
• Be careful not to touch the glass part of the new bulb with your fingers. The oil from your skin can cause the bulb to burn out prematurely.
• If the new bulb is not working after replacement, check if it’s correctly secured in place. If not, remove and reinstall it.


Congratulation! You have successfully changed the brake bulb on your 2011 Subaru Forester. Changing brake bulbs is a small task, but it plays a significant role in ensuring your safety on the road. By following the step-by-step guide, you can save money and learn valuable skills about maintaining your car. Remember, regular car maintenance is essential to prolong the life of your vehicle.


Q. How often should I check my brake bulbs?
A. It’s recommended to check your brake bulbs every six months.

Q. Is it essential to wear gloves while replacing brake bulbs?
A. Wearing gloves helps to avoid damaging the new bulbs. It also prevents oil from your skin from getting on the bulb’s surface, which may cause it to burn out.

Q. Can I change a brake bulb myself if I have no technical experience?
A. Yes, you can. With our comprehensive guide, even beginners can change a brake bulb themselves.

Q. Can I use any brake bulb, or do I have to buy a specific one?
A. Always check your car’s manual before purchasing a brake bulb. The manual specifies the type of bulbs suitable for your car.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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