While washing my 2013 WK2 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude, I noticed an unexplainable chip missing from the passenger side inner tail light. There was no damage in the area surrounding it, I never backed into anything, and really had no clue as to how it happened. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the passenger side outer tail light had a good amount of back to front play. Enough play such that it was able to come into complete contact with the inner tail light assembly. I’m guessing that when I closed the lift gate, the tail lights clipped each other with enough force to cause the break.
I ordered a new OEM inner tail light from justforjeeps.com and received it a few days later. I figured that removal and installation would be a breeze. Step 1, check owners manual, ok, no… Couldn’t find anything showing how to get access to the inner tail light, I figured since it has bulbs in it, there has to be access for their replacement, and that was how I’d start removal. Wrong again. Checked online as well, but struck out. So I decided to take a few pictures of the process in case someone else ran into the same problem.
Passenger inner tail light showing damage due to clearance issue.
Outer tail light easily slides back to contact inner unit.
These plastic rivets pop right out with a small flat head screwdriver. Just be careful not to damage the soft plastic.
Detail shot of the plastic rivet.
Outer tail light removed. Rear mounting clip can bee seen at the bottom, I believe this assembly is faulty and allows for the movement.
This should be engaged by the mounting clip, which should eliminate the front to back play.
Close up of mounting clip.
The inner tail light is secured by 10mm nuts.
I used a nylon interior trim removal tool to pop the rear inner trim panel off. Work slowly around the outside edge being mindful of the various clips.
Here you can see the clips that hold the rear trim panel in place. Removal of this piece allows for access to the 10mm nuts that hold the inner tail light in place.
The new tail light came with the bulbs already installed so you will just need to unplug the harness and plug back into the new lights.
Replacement tail light fitted. Unfortunately the outer light still has play in it so I have to remain mindful of this when closing the lift gate.