2007 Hyundai Sonata Q&A
2007 Hyundai Sonata Question: third brake light
I fought with changing the brake light per the service manual on the Hyundai site. (The manual requires removing trim in the back seat and the "package-tray" in the back window to gain access!) After about an hour, I decided that there had to be a better way. There is no way that a dealer is going to remove all the trim in the back window to change a light bulb. I was determined to find their shortcut. With the package tray pealed back as best I could, I still could not adequately maneuver the light socket let alone change out a bulb and replace it. I could, however, see the light socket enough to be able to reach into the trunk through the rear seat passenger compartment and marked the spot under the bulb. I then cut my own access hole with a 2-1/4 inch hole-saw through both layers of sheet metal of the trunk "ceiling" directly below the light. On the 2007 Sonata trunk ceiling (not the lid!) there are raised portions of sheet metal, directly below the light there is one of these raised portions. I cut my hole just aft of the center of the raised portion which just so happened to be about 2-1/4 inches across. My saw cut though both layers at about 3/4" deep and my pilot bit set maybe an 1/8" further out. I ensured that all wires were clear using a nearby hole. Remember to de-bur your holes before getting your fingers in there!!! From now on my light bulb changes will be a relatively straight forward procedure. Hope this works for someone else out there! I will add a photo if the site allows it. - Lindberg76
Ditto to the previous post. I cut my own hole using a hole saw attached to my drill. Worked like a charm. Removing the rear seat??? Ridiculous. - Visitor
here's a brilliant idea that my boyfriend came up with and it WORKED! The part the hold the bulb in (black piece) is what's keep it from being able to slip the compartment back in. If you cut it or shave it down right before you hit the wire, you will be able to slip it back in with no problems. If you can't understand my explanation, feel free to email me: email@example.com. - Visitor
Figured out a very simple way to replace the third brake light. Will also be easy the next time. In the trunk, locate the electrical plug for the light and unplug, unscrew the screw holding the lighting fixture you just unplugged. Next, locate the hole next to the area you just worked on. You will need to cut the foam in order to see a brass screw. Unscrew the brass screw. Now, Head to the back seat. Press the back middle molding containing the 3rd brake light. Wiggle out of its seating. The bulb will still be in place but go ahead and lift it and jerk it slightly. The non-working bulb will break but not break the housing or bulb holder. Next, go ahead and replace the bulb and reseat the plastic member into the case. Now, take a simple saw like a utility knife or small hack saw and cut two vertical 2inch slits dow from where the center of the third brake assembly originally sat on the packing tray. Now, simply put the assembly back in while pressing down on the area you make the cut. This will allow the bulb housing to easily go back in place while the housing clips back into place securely. Reassemble the two screws in the trunk after. This will allow you to easily replace the bulb again if needed. The two cut slits will not show. This method gives you a very durable flap you can push down and have come back into place since the package tray material is so tough. I tried the two main methods on the web (take out the package tray and "simply twist the bulb with a screw driver).. One might certainly cost you a new package tray and other only works if you have seven inch fingers that are very very slim and flexible. I like the post about simply drilling a hole in the metal of the trunk from underneath to get to the bulb assembly. I would have done this if I have the drill at home instead of at the office. If you do cut the metal, be sure to do the extra work to properly seal the cut metal so it does not start a rust rich area. - Kevin Parks
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