Another 2003 Jetta Wagon Replace Tail Light Question

Mass. Wine Guy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2001
Location
Ipswich, Massachusetts
TDI
5-speed, 2015 Golf S 6-speed manual; 2015 Golf Sportwagen SEL 6-speed manual
Ok. I received the new bulb socket assembly. Are there any particular tips or tricks I should know when installing it? For instance, do you line up the two black tabs on the right first? Or the left side?
 

JDSwan87

Black Swamp Thing
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Location
Michigan near Toledo
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI, 5 speed Lagoon Blue Metallic(sold); 2005 Jetta TDI Wagon auto
I always put the tabs in the slot first, then push the assembly into the clicky tabs
 

JDSwan87

Black Swamp Thing
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Location
Michigan near Toledo
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI, 5 speed Lagoon Blue Metallic(sold); 2005 Jetta TDI Wagon auto
I will refer to each tab as inboard and outboard.
Insert the inboard tabs first then click in the outboard tabs.
 

Mass. Wine Guy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2001
Location
Ipswich, Massachusetts
TDI
5-speed, 2015 Golf S 6-speed manual; 2015 Golf Sportwagen SEL 6-speed manual
Doing it now. The top two bulbs are P21. The third slot from the top is empty in the U.S., the two P21 bulbs along the bottom.
Are the top and second down bulbs supposed to illuminate with equal brightness? When I installed them in the new socket tray the top bulb was dimmer.

Also, I truly apologize for being a total klutz. But there seems to be no way that this bulb tray is going to go in as it should. The black tabs on the left side (looking toward rear of car) don’t line up with anything.

And the buns won’t fit through all the bulb holes behind the lens assembly.

If anyone needs editing or writing done, I’m your guy.
 
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Mass. Wine Guy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2001
Location
Ipswich, Massachusetts
TDI
5-speed, 2015 Golf S 6-speed manual; 2015 Golf Sportwagen SEL 6-speed manual
Best I could do was to use duct tape to hold the tray in. I don’t want to break anything else. To me, inboard tabs are on the right side, when positioned properly. Outboard are the two small black tabs extruding out the left side.

Top two bulbs are P21w 12v. One is single filament the other double.
 
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wonneber

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 12, 2011
Location
Monroe, NY, USA
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagon,2003 Jetta 261K Sold but not forgotten
I got the foam out in pieces. Guess I’ll need to tape the amp in so it won’t rattle.

At the top of the assembly is single filament 12V, 21W bulb. This is very bright and works. The second down was 12V, 5W which is very dim. So much that it’s what I thought had burned out. Do I replace it with a 21W bulb?

The smaller bulb seems strange, since the top and brake bulbs are double filament. I’d post photos but don’t know how.

I need to get this all together before I can drive the car.
My usual, check the ground connection.
With the key on and headlights on have someone step on the brakes.
If any of the lights go out it's a bad ground.
 

mrGutWrench

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 29, 2002
Location
Carrboro, NC
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon, 5-speed, 563K Miles (July '23)
Best I could do was to use duct tape to hold the tray in. I don’t want to break anything else. To me, inboard tabs are on the right side, when positioned properly. Outboard are the two small black tabs extruding out the left side.

Top two bulbs are P21w 12v. One is single filament the other double.
I ran into a similar problem. Somebody "repaired" my lights to pass state inspection. When I removed the bulb holder, there was no bulb in the second spot so I guessed it needed a 21W so that's what I tried. It didn't fit, so I looked at the other side and it was 21W at the top and 5W in the second. I looked through my bulbs, found a 5W, and put it in.
Then the bulb holder just slid right in. Since it was hard to see the inboard tabs and figured I couldn't "jiggle" around to line those up last, I lined them up first. The bulb holder then swung into place and clicked in.
It was a hard-stop bad fit with the 21W in the middle position.
 
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