Replace The Brake Light Bulb on a Subaru Impreza WRX STI

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This is a quick and easy-to-do article to swap out a burnt light bulb on your STI. My car is a 2005, but the procedure is applicable to multiple model years. The swap will take about 10 minutes to complete.

The primary (round lens) brake light was not coming on.

Let's get that bulb!


Open your trunk and clear an area around the brake light area. Locate the two plastic rivets that hold the cover panel in place. Using a flathead screwdriver of rivet removal tool, pry the center rivet head back from the surrounding assembly and remove.

Image 3713 from Replace the Brake Light Bulb on a Subaru Impreza WRX STI

For added room to work, locate the plastic nut that secures the felt cover to the rear plastic panel. Unscrew and remove.


With the 2 rivets and retaining nut removed, pull the the top of the felt cover panel back to expose the rear of the brake light assembly. Locate the primary (round lens) brake light bulb nearest to you. Rotate the bulb receptacle assembly counterclockwise to unlock, then pull it out of the mount.


Remove the old bulb by pulling it back from the receptacle.

Replacing the Bulb


When replacing the new bulb, optionally use a light glove or paper towel to keep skin oils from the bulb surface, as oil residue may create hot-spots on the bulb and reduce operational life. Press the new bulb securely into the receptacle. Place the receptacle assembly into the brake light mount and turn clockwise to lock.


Replace the felt panel, 2 rivets and thumbscrew. Test for proper operation.

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