Changing '03 Rio Tail Lights

04-30-2009, 10:30 AM
Changing the 2003 KIA RIO tail lights is not as bad as it looks....

Pry off the two plastic push fasteners holding the stiff carpet covering on the
inside of the trunk over the light.

Pry it away from the light fixture - it will probably scratch the back of your hand leaving small cuts !

The Stiff Carpet Covering is almost ALL of the problem changing the bulbs.

Remove the three yellow nuts protruding from the frame holding the Tail Light Fixture to
the body.


Now - push out on the white button on the side toward the center of the trunk
and pull on the tail light fixture at the same time pushing everything toward the center
of the trunk.

The whole thing is angled toward the center of the trunk lid.

The Fixture will come out in its entirety with a long wire cable inside.

Change the bulbs by unscrewing the bulb holders.

When inserting the Fixture back on, be sure the wire cable is out of the way of
the bulb holder back ends and push the whole thing on angled toward the outside of the

Make sure the white plastic peg and the three bolts are going back in the proper places.

Screw the nuts back on tight - pliers?.

DO NOT DROP THE NUTS - or they will fall down inside the carpet covering and be Hell to retrieve!

I had five cuts on the back of my right hand doing the Left Brake Light change...


12-23-2010, 08:59 PM
It is a pain like you said even for 2001 Rio read lamps. philips screw driver and a 10mm wrench. best thing to do would be to have a long screwdriver handle like magnetic LED light in case you drop anything down into that hole below the back of the lamp.

07-12-2011, 04:41 AM
I have a 2008 Kia Rio and it's even easier than that. Just remove two phillips screws that are in the rear doorway and the tail light assemblies come right out.:smokin:

Add your comment to this topic!