2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer with I6 engine : right rear tail lamp assembly removal and replacement
How to remove and replace the right rear tail lamp assembly in a 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer with the I6 engine.
Tools needed :
1 Phillips Head screwdriver
1 Torx head screwdriver(only if you need to take the inside circuit board loose)
If you have one that takes the different sized Torx head bits, that is the ticket.
If you have the set of Torx heads screwdrivers with the different sizes, you will probably be fine with those as well.
Parts Note :
The tail lamp assembly has a few different parts to it, see the photos below as a picture is worth a thousand words. There is the main assembly which is the outer lens with all of the molded plastic and everything that bolts/screws onto it and hence mounts to the sheet metal of the body. Inside there is a circuit board which screws into the lens, this circuit board is what the tail lights are actually snapped into and the pig tail from the wiring harness snaps into the circuit board. The reason I mention this is that you may buy a used part or a new replacement part lens piece without the circuit board or new bulbs. Some of the replacement parts come with new circuit boards and new bulbs, some do not. Check the fine print before ordering yours whether from Chevrolet or another aftermarket company. If you have to mix and match parts, it is not a big deal to do. In my case I saved the old tail lamp circuit board with the light bulbs still in it and put it on the shelf in case I need it later.
Parts Sources :
- your friendly neighborhood Chevrolet dealer
- a good quality used part from a local salvage yard
- a good quality used part from an online vendor
- an aftermarket quality part from a local parts store of your choice
- an aftermarket quality part from an online vendor.
Personally, I went with option number 5 as I received a new part with the lens, new circuit board and bulbs already installed shipped to my house for about the same as a OEM used part online which depending on who was selling, may or may not have had all of the parts. It was many times less than the local Chevrolet dealer for a OEM* part and the assembly I received looks exactly the same and fits fine. I looked up the prices at a few local parts store chains and at the time it was almost or more than double what I paid… and it was the same aftermarket part manufacturer.
So, as always, do your research and shop around.
* OEM = original equipment manufacturer
How to remove the tail lamp assembly :
Oddly enough, this is a fairly straight forward procedure considering that this is a modern vehicle. Lift up the rear gate and there are two Phillips head screws on the left side of the tail lamp assembly.
Remove these screws and the assembly will drop loose. The other side stick into the body on two pointy pieces into some plastic mounts that snap into the body. See photos for what I am referring to.
Pull the tail lamp assembly away from the body, and un-plug the wires from the circuit board.
If your replacement tail lamp assembly does not have this board and you need to reuse it, you will need to remove the three screws holding it to the tail lamp shell. This is also where the bulbs are snapped in, in case you need to reuse them. Once you take out the three screws, the circuit board comes off.
In my case, my new assembly came with the circuit board and new bulbs already installed. I took off the old circuit board and kept the bulbs for spare parts.
How to reinstall the tail lamp assembly :
Once you have the tail lamp assembly back together in good order, plug the wiring harness back into the circuit board. Then, line up the pointy pieces on the tail lamp assembly with the holes inside the body hole cavity. Line up the Phillips head screws and get them started, but do not tighten down yet. Press firmly on the tail lamp assembly to close up the body gap between the fender and the plastic of the tail lamp assembly, then snug down the two Phillips head screws.
Now check all of the lights to make sure everything works.
That is it, you are done. I was pleasantly surprised at how straight forward this was, good on the GM engineers for a change.
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