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  1. #1
    Senior Member Three Rings wayneB7's Avatar
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    Installing a rear brake light bulb

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    Just came back from a 400 mile round trip and the car performed beautifully as expected.

    However, on the way up I got a yellow BRAKE LIGHT warning and sure enough, the left rear brake light is burnt out and I need to replace the bulb. Thing is, when I look in the trunk there is no neat little door in the trunk liner to access the bulbs.

    So, how do I go about replacing this bulb (outermost on the left side)?
    Best Regards,
    Wayne | Houston, TX | 2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak CVT in Brilliant Red, Premium & Lighting Packages
    Stock+APR 93, Forge DV, S4 20mm rear stabilizer bar, K&N panel filter

  2. #2
    Senior Member Three Rings Jersey Anthony's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    its easy, open the trunk and on the side there will be a black cap you can unscrew with a long flat head. Once u take this out just pull out on the tail light, remove the cap with the bad bulb.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Three Rings wayneB7's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Anthony View Post
    its easy, open the trunk and on the side there will be a black cap you can unscrew with a long flat head. Once u take this out just pull out on the tail light, remove the cap with the bad bulb.
    Thanks.

    I flipped open the little flap cover over this convoluted black car screw assembly and managed to eventually work the tail light assembly free. I had to pause the operation because we are presently having some severe weather. I will likely take a photo or two and present a small DIY for those who have to do this change and are not sure.
    Last edited by wayneB7; 04-13-2009 at 05:04 AM.
    Best Regards,
    Wayne | Houston, TX | 2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak CVT in Brilliant Red, Premium & Lighting Packages
    Stock+APR 93, Forge DV, S4 20mm rear stabilizer bar, K&N panel filter

  4. #4
    Senior Member Three Rings Jersey Anthony's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    no prob, its pretty easy once u get that little cap open
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Three Rings wayneB7's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    First step is to remove the screw assembly, by prying open the small round cap in the trunk liner material, just at the side of the trunk opening near to the lamp assembly. Use a flat-blade screwdriver to do this.

    Note -- when doing the RH lamp assembly, the little pull-handle for the fuel filler door is also located under the small round cap in the trunk liner material, so while unscrewing the screw assembly take care not to let that little plastic handle slip away under the trunk liner. If that happens then you will likely have to remove at least a part of the trunk liner to get it back.

    That done, the inner edge of the lamp assembly will be loose from the body and the assembly will then be held to the fender by two small nubs as shown in the photos below. Pry / pull the lamp assembly carefully away from the fender.



    The nubs are shown below --



    and they fit into the small holes in the fender as shown below --



    With the lamp assembly removed, it is simply a matter of bending two small plastic clips to allow the black bulb mounting plate to separate from the lens.

    Replace the bulbs as needed and reassemble / reinstall in the reverse order to assembly / removal.

    Now I noted that all 4 bulbs were GE 1057F single contact / single filament, level bayonet bulbs. The Sylvania website says that the Tail / Stop lamp bulbs are 7225, and so does most listings at AutoZone, etc. This is incorrect -- at least for my car, since the 7225 bulbs are dual contact / double filament, unequal level bayonet bulbs.

    Not only that but I could not find the 1057 bulbs. The closest I got was 1156 bulbs which were identical to the 1057 except that the output is 27W instead of 21W. So far, no fuses blown.

    Interesting to note that of the 4 x 1057 bulbs, only the blown one (one side) and the corresponding one on the other side had darkened glass -- all the other bulbs were perfectly clear. Seems that this brake light bulb was poorly specified for the current it sees.

    Any other experiences with this rare / obsolete bulb? What do others use?
    Best Regards,
    Wayne | Houston, TX | 2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak CVT in Brilliant Red, Premium & Lighting Packages
    Stock+APR 93, Forge DV, S4 20mm rear stabilizer bar, K&N panel filter

  6. #6
    Registered Member One Ring black06's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    I had the same bulb blow on my 2006 A4. Like yours, the bulb has GE 1057F written on it but it also has 12VP21W written on it. I will be trying the P21W which I believe is readily available.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Four Rings fly300kts's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    Time to swap to my LED's....coming soon

  8. #8
    Senior Member Three Rings wayneB7's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by black06 View Post
    I had the same bulb blow on my 2006 A4. Like yours, the bulb has GE 1057F written on it but it also has 12VP21W written on it. I will be trying the P21W which I believe is readily available.
    Apparently the Audi dealer I have been going to does have a bulb that is 12V 21W and which is not a GE 1057F, but rather is a 7506 series Osram bulb. It is listed on the Sylvania site but as you can see, despite its "proper" wattage, compared to the 1156LL's 2000 rated life, it only has a rated life of 150.

    The parts guy says he does not see why the 1156LL I installed should be harmful but that table does indicate that the 1156LL does have a design draw of 2.1 amps as opposed to the 1.75 amps for the 7506. So far no fuse has blown, and apart from the different initial post installation warning message (which cleared itself after a minute or two) for a headlight bulb, and the subsequent 30 sec duration flickering of my left side xenon low beam the next morning, everything has been solid ever since.

    Fingers crossed as I leave the 1156LL in at back.
    Best Regards,
    Wayne | Houston, TX | 2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak CVT in Brilliant Red, Premium & Lighting Packages
    Stock+APR 93, Forge DV, S4 20mm rear stabilizer bar, K&N panel filter

  9. #9
    Senior Member Three Rings wayneB7's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by fly300kts View Post
    Time to swap to my LED's....coming soon
    So far your products do look sweet. Priced right I may well be intereseted.
    Best Regards,
    Wayne | Houston, TX | 2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T FrontTrak CVT in Brilliant Red, Premium & Lighting Packages
    Stock+APR 93, Forge DV, S4 20mm rear stabilizer bar, K&N panel filter

  10. #10
    Established Member Two Rings milkywhite's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    Wow thx. Read this DIY and it literally took me 2 minutes start to finish to replace the brake light bulb.

    I found the P21W at Walmart for like 2.98.

  11. #11
    Registered Member Two Rings
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    I had a 7506 left over from another car and it worked just fine. Its 21w just like the GE1057F. The 7225 is a dual filament with the main filament being 21w so it should be fine too as the other filament just won't work, I guess that is why Sylvania's website lists it.

  12. #12
    Active Member Two Rings benvfr's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    Does the black "screw" tab deal unscrew completely or is it like a quarter turn deal? Mine does not seem to want to come out peacefully.

  13. #13
    Account Terminated Four Rings
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    it should come out completely

  14. #14
    Active Member Two Rings benvfr's Avatar
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    Re: Installing a rear brake light bulb

    Quote Originally Posted by jacx920 View Post
    it should come out completely
    ya, But do I just keep unscrewing till it does or do I pull it out once it is unseated? I can keep turning it, but it feels like it just hooks and unhooks.

    I don't wanna sound clueless, but the damn thing just won't come out!
    Last edited by benvfr; 01-25-2010 at 02:46 PM.

  15. #15
    Established Member Two Rings
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    the biggest pain i find is after taking the black screw out ... pulling the tails out from the two stub holding it without breaking one >_<... did that the first time. Second time i did it ... i wiggled the SH** out of it before it came out in fear of breaking the tabs. ANyone else having the same issue? The screw should come out fairly easy in my opinion Benvfr. If not try pulling on it?

  16. #16
    Veteran Member Four Rings beantown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benvfr View Post
    ya, But do I just keep unscrewing till it does or do I pull it out once it is unseated? I can keep turning it, but it feels like it just hooks and unhooks.

    I don't wanna sound clueless, but the damn thing just won't come out!
    Keep unscrewing. It's threaded in there fairly deep.

  17. #17
    Registered Member One Ring
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    Cool

    Just wanted to say thanks for the good DIY. I used a 7225 LL bulb from autozone and it didn't fit very well, but if u give it a little elbow grease, 1 out of 2 of the nubs will fit in. It works great so far!


  18. #18
    Veteran Member Four Rings beantown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wutafobbb View Post
    I used a 7225 LL bulb from autozone and it didn't fit very well
    The 7506 LL bulb is the correct one.

  19. #19
    Veteran Member Four Rings B72.0T's Avatar
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    Bumping this thread because of a question and I didnt want to make a new thread.

    My passenger side brake light bulb (right) went out, but I didnt get a warning on the dash or anything like that, I seen it when my friend drove my car. What could it be that nothing came up on the dashboard?
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  20. #20
    Veteran Member Four Rings xULx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fly300kts View Post
    Time to swap to my LED's....coming soon
    Phil,

    Considering you ever had enough stock...Would you entertain the idea of a group buy,lol?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Three Rings CoDRoX's Avatar
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    Thanks for the DIY Wayne. My left one went out today, hopefully should be easy enough to replace.
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  22. #22
    Veteran Member Four Rings beantown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoDRoX View Post
    Thanks for the DIY Wayne. My left one went out today, hopefully should be easy enough to replace.
    Super easy to do. Had to replace one from each side within the past 1 1/2 yrs.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Three Rings CoDRoX's Avatar
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    Wow, that was easier than I expected. Thanks guys!

    My bulb didn't have any brand name mentioned on it although it did say 12V P21W E1. Replaced it with Osram-Sylvania 7506LL from Autozone.

    Funnily though, the bulb's packaging said 13.5V 21W, although 12V 21W is printed on the bulb itself.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Three Rings HPW's Avatar
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    In case anyone is wondering (I was when I first read through this thread), the process is the same for the B7 Avant.
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  25. #25
    Registered Member One Ring
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    Thumbs up

    Bump & thanks for the research on the bulb types everyone. I was surprised to see !!single filament bulbs!! in my wife's '07 quattro when we got a "left brake light" message this past weekend coming home from Boston. For now, I've swapped out the backup light bulb so she has two brake lights. - Man, I love this car...31.5MPG over 1,100 miles.

    I guess the car modifies the voltage to the bulbs so they are x watt intensity as tails, and 21watt intensity when the brake is applied.

    Personally, I wish the A-4 had another brake light on each side...one single bulb on each side just isn't bright enough IMO..especially when you have the 2nd tail light just chilling out right next to it that never does anything. (although the LED strip up in the window helps a lot)

    Off to Autozone for a 7506!

  26. #26
    Veteran Member Three Rings A 4 Awesome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B72.0T View Post
    My passenger side brake light bulb (right) went out, but I didnt get a warning on the dash or anything like that
    My driver side did that today. Neighbor pointed it out to me. Wonder why too? Did you ever find out why?

    The search on this site works. 1st phrase typed, 1st thread listed. My problem of replacing the burned out bulb fixed in under 10min.
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  27. #27
    Active Member Two Rings
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    Very helpful thread. I puzzled out the hidden screw on my own, but didn't want to force anything. This thread allowed me to visualize the nubs and sockets which made all the difference. Considering the owner's manual just says go to the dealer for any bulb changes, this thread should be moved to the tech section where it will be easier to find.

  28. #28
    Established Member Two Rings
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    I wouldn't waste the money on rear leds....they are so bright that it makes the taillight look pink

  29. #29
    Established Member Two Rings Philthy's Avatar
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    Ok...this wound up being a simple DIY, thx!

    However I have a couple issues. One, the bulb Autozone told me was a 5007LL the seat is perfect but it is an odd little bulb and doesn't seem as bright. To lazy to go check the voltage/wattage right now.

    Two, once installed I realized that neither of the bottom two bulbs are on. Same on both sides but I have no bulb out warning anymore.

    Anyone have any insight?

  30. #30
    Senior Member Two Rings Grada89's Avatar
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    One bottom light is your turn signal and the other is your reverse light.

  31. #31
    Established Member Two Rings Philthy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grada89 View Post
    One bottom light is your turn signal and the other is your reverse light.
    Well now that would make sense. Thanks man!

  32. #32
    Veteran Member Four Rings 80sGuy's Avatar
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    Why couldn't they make it this easy for the front turn signals? Seriously.

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  33. #33
    Veteran Member Three Rings nycmalu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTi View Post
    the biggest pain i find is after taking the black screw out ... pulling the tails out from the two stub holding it without breaking one >_<... did that the first time. Second time i did it ... i wiggled the SH** out of it before it came out in fear of breaking the tabs. ANyone else having the same issue? The screw should come out fairly easy in my opinion Benvfr. If not try pulling on it?
    Sorry to bump such an old thread, but this is exactly the issue I'm having. Got that black screw assembly out, no problem, but the damn stubs won't pop off no matter how much I wiggle the housing. Should I just wrap a flathead or a panel puller in a towel and pry it out? I can't think of any other way to get it out. Also, I haven't been able to get the bulb out, obviously, so what's the consensus on this? Is the 7506 single filament bulb (as listed in Sylvania's guide) the proper replacement?
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  34. #34
    Veteran Member Four Rings mec's Avatar
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    I bought a used pair that look like these, except I hate the lens so I was gonna move over the stock lenses but have the cool led oval.
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  35. #35
    Registered Member One Ring
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    Thanks to all for this thread. You were all right on the money! For $6 I just replaced the brake lights which would have cost me at least $100 at the dealership. I will have to use this site more often for other fixes.

  36. #36
    Veteran Member Four Rings 80sGuy's Avatar
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    ^^Do you have Xenon headlights on your car?

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  37. #37
    Active Member One Ring BoSox75's Avatar
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    ....and this is why I love this forum. One search, first thread to come up, $5.99 and five minutes' work later and I'm done.

    Also, FWIW, Autozone's product search in-store now comes up with the 7506 bulb - think maybe an employee or two reads the forum?
    -B7 A4 S-Line Ti black/black, 50/35 tint (FUVA), APR 2+, APR HPFP, partially debadged

  38. #38
    Veteran Member Four Rings 80sGuy's Avatar
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    ^^......and so much better compared to all the Volvo Forums out there. You'd be lucky if your post is even looked at. I'm thinking about asking Volvo-related questions here. I think the odds are far better.

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