How-To:Repair tail lights


Active Member
Authorized Seller
Mar 16, 2007
Memphis, TN
When I got my car it had several rear hatch leak issues. This in turn created havok for everything electrical in the hatch area. Power antenae, tail light failure relay and the tail light sockets were all corroded and mostly inoperable. I got most of the lights operational to a point. With the tail lights on I had all lights. Hit my brake pedal and I lost a light on each side. Without the tail lights on I had all 4 brake lights, sometimes. I knew it was a intermittent connection issues mostly caused by corrosion and partly by age. After I fixed the water leaks I set out to repair the tail lights. After purchasing a new tail light failure relay, new socket boards were out of the question. Napa sells the repair pigtails for $2.50 each and this is how I did it.

For the stop/tail light sockets you will need part # LS6428, for the back-up or turn signal you will need # LS6426. I only needed the stop/tail light repaired.

First the everything I used:

Soldering gun, wire cutters, electrical tape, battery terminal cleaner, pick, wire strippers, solder and the socket pigtail.

Here you can see the corrosion I was having on the sockets and bulbs.

Remove the screws holding the sockets to the board and have the sockets loose. With the bulbs facing down loosen this connector so you can pull it out from the board.

You will need to remove the tail light and stop light wires from the socket to make it easier to work with. The wires you are pulling both have electrical tape on them.

Removing the tape you will find crimp connectors. You will need to seperate all three wires from each other.

Once the wires are seperated remove the socket pigtail from your socket. As you can see mine were in rough shape.

Make sure to clean the inside of your socket using the battery terminal cleaner, as this is the ground path.

The new pigtails come with different wafers for different applications. Do not try to install it with all of them in place as it will not fit. We only want the top wafer with the tabs at the top and the small nylon wafer at the bottom of the spring for tension.

Install the pigtail into your socket. Trim the wires to length and strip the ends. At this point I found which lead powered brake and tail light. I then marked the brake light lead for any future reference.

Next, I soldered the connections together. Taped up my solder joints and reinstaled the wires into the connector. Reattach the sockets and I am ready to go.

Now all my lights work and I have no yellow indicator on my instrument panel. Took me less than an hour to do both sides and costs less than $15 for the pigtails and new bulbs.