I have learned a lot about 2001 Dodge Durangos since owning one. Parts for these SUVs are expensive, and getting a certified mechanic to put them on for you costs even more. I am somewhat of a DIY mechanic, so replacing a tail light assembly was fairly easy. You can replace the tail light in your 2001 Dodge Durango as easily as I did.
Removing the Tail Light Housing to Check Bulbs
If your tail lights, brake lights or blinker doesn’t work, the first thing to do is check the bulbs. You have to remove the entire tail light housing from the Durango to get to the bulbs. Don’t panic, it only requires a Phillips screwdriver and a little time.
Raise the back hatch on the Durango. There will be two screws on the inside of the SUV right behind the tail light. Unscrew the screws. One side of the tail light assembly will be loose. You will have to gently maneuver the tail light out as the other side is on a hook, or lip, that slides in to hold it in place.
Do not pull it out too far, as the wires connecting it to the car wiring is short. Use the back bumper, your leg, or even a friend to help support the tail light assembly. There will be a row of 3 plastic circular bulb holders. Pull them out gently to assess the condition of the light bulbs. Each bulb will also pull out. These are 12 volt automotive bulbs that you can purchase at any retail automotive dealer.
Check to see if the filaments are burnt or broken. If the lights are okay, or if replacing them still does not fix the problem, it is quite possibly that the tail light assembly is bad. Moisture or jarring can cause the wire contacts in the assembly to corrode or break. If the contacts can’t complete the circuit from the wiring, one or more of the lights will not work.
Replace the Tail Light Assembly Through a Salvage Yard
If you order a new tail light assembly through a Dodge dealer, it will be quite expensive. A salvage yard, if they have one, may charge anywhere from $50.00 to $100.00 dollars for the used part. Ask if they can order an aftermarket light for you. The Auto Salvage dealer I called ordered an after market assembly for almost half the cost of what he could get me a used one for.
An after market part simply means it will not have a Dodge emblem or trademark on it, and it is not a Dodge Durango original part. It will look just like the other tail light and will save you some money. It is brand new and you won’t have to take it off of a salvage car like some salvage yards require.
Putting your new tail light assembly in is a simple matter of unplugging the old one and plugging in the new one. There is a small push pin on the plug- in that attaches to the tail light from the Durango wiring. Unplug the old housing and plug in the new tail light. Check the tail light to make sure it works when you apply the brake, turn on the head lights or engage the blinker.
Slide the tail light assembly in place on the back of the Durango, tighten the screws back down, and you are done. You have accomplished changing the tail light assembly on your 2001 Dodge Durango, and saved your self some money.