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by: ApexL8

Description: I decided to remove my center (third) brake light for cleaning. I found the gist of it by searching the forums, but thought an article would be a good idea so some pictures could get posted. This was posted in the "Service Items" section, because the procedure would be the same if you were removing the light for maintenance or replacement. I read of a "sagging foam" surround, but apparently mine had already been removed before I purchased the car, probably accelerating the rate at which this area gets dusty/dirty.Just two steps really:1. Pull down on the hard plastic trim that goes around the periphery of the rear window. Reach a trim tool into the gap between the trim and the light to get to the tops of the two metal clips, twist the tool, and the clips should pop free from their slots.Clip Shown with Light Removed:
2. Use a 'special service tool' to loosen the two Torx T-20 screws securing the light to the slots in the hatch lid. These are open slots, so you do not need to remove the screws, just loosen them about 3/4 to 1 full turn. The light should then slide free.Trim Tools, and Special Service Tool:
The 'special service tool' is just a 1/4" box end wrench, a T-20 Torx Apex bit, and a piece of a plastic bag to keep the bit from falling out.Red arrows pointing to two Torx T-20 screws:
Picture of hatch structure, with the light removed. The trim clips go through the slots that are inside the red rectangles, and the screws fit in the open slots that are circled in red.
View of same hatch structure from the side:
Reassembly is just the same process in reverse, snug the screws, line up the clips and pop them home with a karate chop.Enjoy!

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