Saturday, October 27, 2007

Remove and Replace the License Plate Bulbs

The SAAB 9-5 has two small lights above the license plate. The removal and installation of these bulbs takes five minutes.

You will need:
T20 Torx screwdriver
Small flathead screwdriver
2825 replacement bulb
A clean rag or rubber gloves

A photo of the license plate light

I found it helped to open the trunk so that the lenses were pointed towards me and at eye level. Each lens above the license plate has two T20 torx screws, remove them and then use the small flathead screwdriver to gently pry the plastic lens away from the foam gasket underneath. Remove the burned out bulb by pulling down like it was a child's loose front tooth.

A photo of the bulb with the lens removed

A photo of the removed lens and burned out bulb

Wear gloves or use a clean rag when handling the new bulb to prevent skin oil from getting on it. The new bulb will install by pressing up into the socket with a little pressure. Turn the lights on to make sure it is working again. Return the plastic lens cover and install the two torx screws.

The license plate bulbs don't go out very often, but they are easy to fix when they do.


  1. [...] Parking light Front side marker Front turn signal License plate High mount stop [...]

  2. Hi, I am trying to replace the license plate bulbs in my 2003 9-5. Here's the problem: The screws on the lens have rusted big time. The pretty much crumble when I try to go and remove them. Do you have any suggestions? I'm worried that I'm going to get pulled over for having one out. I'm not really sure what to do. Thanks!

  3. That's a tough situation. The best advice I can give is to hit the screws with a WD-40 / liquid wrench type spray for a few days in a row before trying to remove them. Make sure to use the correct size screwdriver so there is as little chance as possible of stripping the head and be prepared to remove the screws with an extractor bit if all else fails. Good luck!

  4. my bulbs were both blown, so I just replaced them with new ones, but they still don't work. Any ideas what else I should check?

    Is it ok that the new bulbs wiggle a little in the sockets, or should they be snug?


  5. The bulbs should at least be snug in the sockets, but I'd suspect the issue is more than loose bulbs.

    With the trunk open, you should see a bundle of tape/tube wrapped wires that snake along the same path as the left trunk support. The 9-5 has problems with these wires getting damaged over time. Check that bundle for any signs of wear. You'll have to get to the wires inside and look for damage. If it is a case of the wire bundle being damaged, then repair and splice new wires where necessary. Be sure to wrap the bundle back up securely to protect it from future damage.

    If it isn't this wire bundle, I'm afraid you've got a harder job ahead to diagnose the issue. Check fuses 3, 4 and 8 (I can't recall which fuse controls the plate lights). But I doubt it's a fuse because you'd have more lights out than just the plate. Still, give them a check just to be sure. I then think it might be easiest to start at the bulb socket and test it with a multimeter. Try to follow the wires back as best you can and check any wire harnesses or connections with the multimeter until you find where the electricity is stopping.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes and what you find out.