Working from the trunk.
1. Locate and remove the 2 retaining knobs (doohickeys that you fasten
the trunk cargo net to) on each side that hold the hard plastic trunk
liner to the rear light assemblies.
2. Move the plastic plate that holds the spare tire back away from the
plastic trunk liner. This releases the bottom of the plastic piece.
3. With a large screw driver, pry the long plastic piece that goes
from side to side by prying up from the bumper. It's held in place by
some push in holders. Remove the large plastic piece.
4. Locate the 5 studs (threaded posts) on each light assembly. Three
will be located vertically in a line, and the other two will be
5. Using a 10 mm socket remove 4 of the 5 nuts fastening the light
assembly to the body. DO NOT remove the lowest nut of the 3 in a
vertical line as this does not fasten the light assembly to the car.
6. Hand pull the light assembly from the car body.
7. Remove the bad lamp. Twist lamp socket and pull out of assembly.
Pull the lamp and replace with a # 194.
8. If replacing a tail lamp replace with a #3057 (book says #3357).
9. Test light prior to reassembly.
10. Ensure gasket material for assembly and studs is intact. This
keeps water/dust out and dampens movement (prevents rattling and
increases the life of the lamps).
11. Use reverse instruction for reassembly.
This is the BETTER answer since it has numbered steps to follow.
Also, hemicuda suggests that the seals are intact around the bolts when you replace the assembly. If you see any rust on the nuts or the bolts, then apply a small amount of silicone sealer around the bottom of the bolt before you replace the assembly.
Remove 2 screw-on parts/tie-downs on inside of trunk and pull plastic part away from light. It does not need to be removed.
Pull back trunk lining to access hardware holding taillight assembly.
Remove 3 nuts - top 2 on inside (1 long bolt & 1 short bolt) and 3rd further back toward side of car. These are the only nuts holding assembly. A 10mm long/deep socket is needed with a wrench. If you try using a box end wrench, you may be able to loosen the nuts enough to remove them by hand.
Pull assembly out - don't disconnect wiring, just unscrew bulb holder while depressing plastic tab. 3057 is the bulb number.
Pull bulb straight out of holder.
Replace bulb and screw in bulb holder so plastic tab is back where you started.
Replace side bulbs while you are at it - 194.
Replace assembly by replacing nuts while pushing on assembly.
Do not over-tighten nuts.
Replace plastic tie-downs.
hemicuda, May 11, 2009, 11:18 answer works for 2004 too.
Only difference is #5 there's 3 nuts, not 4 to loosen 2 on the inside 1 one the outside.
Bulbs came in packs of 2 so did both sides as long as the plastic piece was off. The 194 bulb isn't the turn signal, but was burned out on both sides.