We plan to post various handiwork tips that the authors have encountered over time. Saves money, effective, and makes you a more well-rounded professional! The following was written by Smart Money MD contributing writer (a surgeon).
You can use a needle nose plier to pull the screw and the fastener out vertically. Be sure to pull gently so that you don’t break the plastic fastener/seat. The plastic panel then pops out, and you see that the metal housing is fixed with two hex bolts (size 10, I believe):
These bolts can be unscrewed using a long handle bolt wrench or thin nose vise grips. The bolts in the photo above have already been removed. I ended up using WD-40 to loosen some of the rust build-up on the bolt. At this point, then entire light housing unit can be slid out.
For the 2006-2007 Impreza hatchback models, the housing is slid out in AP (Anterior-Posterior) direction. This means that if you are standing directly behind the car, you pull the housing towards yourself. If you have an older model Impreza, the housing should be pulled laterally outward. Be sure to pull gently so you don’t break the plastic fasteners inside:
In my case, I slid the unit towards me in the back. The photo above is viewed a four-thirds view from the side. The left of the photo is the rear of the car. You can see the direction of the blue plastic fastener that to remove the light housing, you slide the light housing posteriorly. The corresponding grip on the plastic housing looks like this:
At this point, you will have access to the wires and the light bulb sockets from behind:
The socket is unscrewed counterclockwise, and the bulb can be unseated from the socket by pulling vertically. Be sure to wear clean gloves when removing the bulb so that you don’t get oil smudges on the bulb. Oil and grime will result in irregular heat distribution on the bulb and can cause premature burnout. After replacing the bulb, just reverse the steps and put the bolts back in. The entire job probably took me less than five minutes. Not bad for a surgeon!
Note: If you have a sedan model, access to the socket is through the rear carpet paneling.
If you have any questions, please sound off below! I did not label the photos with arrows, but hopefully the instructions and photos are self-explanatory!