DIY Subaru Tribeca Tail Light Replacement: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re a car owner who drives a Subaru Tribeca and looking to replace the tail light, this article is for you. The taillight is an essential part of the car that tells other drivers on the road behind you when you’re braking or turning. In case your Subaru Tribeca’s tail light is broken or malfunctioning, you need to replace it immediately as it puts you and other drivers on the road at risk of accidents. In this article, we will provide you an easy-to-follow guide that includes all the tools required, safety precautions, and potential challenges that you may encounter during the process.

Tools Required

Before we begin, you’ll need some tools to perform this job. It includes:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Replacement tail light assembly
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses

Safety Precautions

Safety should always be your number one priority while performing any DIY car repairs. Here are some safety precautions that you should follow while replacing the tail light on your Subaru Tribeca:

  • Ensure that the car is parked on a level surface before beginning the work.
  • Use a pair of work gloves and safety glasses to avoid injuring your hands or eyes.
  • Make sure the engine is off before starting the work.
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable to avoid electrical shock while working on the tail light.
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Steps to Follow

Now that we have the tools and safety precautions covered, let’s dive into the steps to change the tail light on your Subaru Tribeca.

  1. The first step is to access the tail light assembly. You can do this by opening the trunk of the car and looking for the backside of the tail light. You will find two plastic covers there. Gently remove them using a screwdriver.

  2. You will then expose two nuts that you need to unscrew with a socket wrench. Ensure you put them in a safe place to avoid losing them.

  3. After removing the nuts, gently pull the tail light assembly from the car. Use a little force if it’s stuck by applying some pressure. Be careful not to break any plastic clips during the process.

  4. Now, locate the broken tail light bulb or the one you want to replace and remove it by twisting it anticlockwise. It should come out easily from the socket. If it’s hard to remove, try wiggling it a little.

  5. Insert the new bulb into the socket, ensuring that it’s tight and secure.

  6. Before reassembling everything, check if the bulb is working correctly. To do this, request someone to sit in the driver’s seat with the brake pedal down or turn on the hazard lights to verify that the new bulb is in good working condition.

  7. Once you have verified that the new bulb is working well, you can reassemble the tail light assembly by following the reverse order. Insert the tail light gently in place, attach the nuts, tighten them using the socket wrench, and then put back the plastic covers.

  8. Finally, reconnect the negative battery cable and test if the new tail light is working correctly before hitting the road.

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Choosing the Right Tail Light Assembly

While replacing your Subaru Tribeca’s tail light, it’s essential to install a replacement tail light assembly that’s compatible with your car. The fitting should be a perfect match, and the quality of the assembly should be excellent. It’s recommended to buy an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) tail light assembly or an aftermarket part from trusted sources.

Potential Challenges that You Might Face

Changing the tail light on your Subaru Tribeca is a relatively simple process, but you may encounter some challenges along the way:

  • If the tail light assembly is stuck, you may have to use some force to remove it, which can break the plastic clips.
  • When replacing the bulb, ensure that you don’t touch the bulb’s glass surface as the oil from your skin can cause the bulb to burn out prematurely.
  • If you’re unsure about performing DIY repairs, it’s better to take your car to a trusted mechanic to get the job done correctly.


Q. What if my Subaru Tribeca’s tail light is not broken but is only dim?

A. Sometimes, a dim light can be an indication of a faulty fuse or wiring. Ensure that you check the wiring and replace the fuse before deciding to replace the tail light assembly.

Q. Is replacing a tail light on a Subaru Tribeca a costly affair?

A. No, typically, replacing a tail light on a Subaru Tribeca is not an expensive affair. OEM tail light assemblies cost between $60 and $150, while aftermarket tail light assemblies can be bought for even less.

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Replacing your Subaru Tribeca’s tail light does not require a trip to a mechanic and can be done easily at home with some basic tools. Ensure that you follow the safety precautions to avoid any injuries or accidents. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can save time and money and get back on the road safely.

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Billy Covington

With a passion for all things automotive, Billy is our go-to expert on Subaru performance upgrades and modifications. He's been featured in several car magazines and blogs, and his extensive knowledge and expertise make him a valuable member of our team. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys playing guitar and writing music.

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