How to Change 3rd Brake Light--with pics [Archive] - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum

: How to Change 3rd Brake Light--with pics


wardak33
07-04-2009, 04:01 AM
About a week ago, I was randomly surfing on eBay when i found a 3rd Brake Light, the newer LED style. Since I had the neon version of the light, I figured I would bid on this and see if I would get it. I won it for $9 with S/H included. Talk about a great find. The new one does have a scuff mark as it is off an 06 trailblazer, but is still in great shape.

During the swap, I took enough pictures to write a How-to on it to help those individuals who are visual learners such as myself. It is a very easy job and not hard to do at all!

Right after opening the package, i decided to put a coat of turtle wax just for the hell of it to get that glossy look.

http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04457.jpg

Step 1: Open the lift gate and look up at the top and pull the wire out until you see the connector and disconnect it.
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04462.jpg

Step 2: If you purchased a used one or just want to see if the new one works, now would be a good time to test it. Just connect the new light and have someone press on the brakes. All of the LEDs in mine fired up nicely and so should yours.
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04464.jpg

Step 3: Carefully close the lift gate and open the glass portion about halfway, and open the lift gate to try to pull the wire to the top. I found it easiest to keep the wire as closest as you can to the hinge and it will come right out. Sorry, no pic for this.

Step 4: There are 2 (sometimes 3 depending on your model) philip screws holding the light to the top of the lift gate. They are on each side of the light and on top if you have a third screw. They can be accessed by having only the glass portion of the lift gate open.
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04465.jpg

Step 5: After unscrewing them, go ahead and pull out the light assembly.
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04466.jpg

I put them next to each other to compare the wear and fading. New one looks much better in my opinion:thumbsup:
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04468.jpg

Step 6: Go ahead and insert the new assembly and screw it into place.

Step 7: Run the wiring down through the lift gate and connect it back to the harness.

Don't Forget to shove the wire in there until the rubber "grommet" is securely covering the whole. If not, you will get water in your headliner next time it rains or you go for a car wash!!
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04471.jpg

And now you're done! Enjoy!

Old:
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04460.jpg

New:
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04473.jpg
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn97/wardak33/DSC04474.jpg

mwfaith1971
07-04-2009, 08:42 AM
Good writeup and pics. :thumbsup: Now to ebay to see if I can score one.

Matt

wardak33
07-05-2009, 10:28 PM
Thanks! hopefully some members here will find this helpful for them! i'll try to keep an eye out for deals like that again!

Jason08
07-10-2009, 07:24 PM
Nice write up! I have an 08' ergo I already have the light but just wanted to give some kudos where deserved.

Ricky81
07-10-2009, 08:02 PM
Great writeup........:thumbsup:

budfox
07-21-2009, 03:42 PM
Finally found the old neon chmsl on ebay for $75(new part!). Delivered and i installed yesterday, passed inspection today! Sweet...and saved about $600 vs the dealer LED retrofit!! And no tickets!!!!!

montecarlo04
09-21-2009, 02:31 PM
wow i never noticed that they updated the tailight. i got to keep a eye on the road now to see it. i have a 2005 so i have the older version?

Alan

ct_mike
09-21-2009, 03:08 PM
wow i never noticed that they updated the tailight. i got to keep a eye on the road now to see it. i have a 2005 so i have the older version?

I believe it was the early Trailvoys that had a neon 3rd brake light. Somewhere around 2003-2004 I believe they went to the led version for expense and reliability reasons.

ct_mike

ja_karep18
09-21-2009, 04:12 PM
Hi All

So is there a difference between the two brake lights other than one is neon and the other is LED ?

MajesticLT03
09-21-2009, 04:47 PM
Hi All

So is there a difference between the two brake lights other than one is neon and the other is LED ?


nope :)

Chevy-TB-lover
09-21-2009, 08:06 PM
Looks great!!

montecarlo04
09-22-2009, 10:15 AM
nope :)

so you cant tell the difference?

Alan

wardak33
09-22-2009, 10:25 AM
IMO opinion the LED is much more brighter and looks a lot better than the old neon one. And for those with the neon tubes, they do burn out where LED's are basically forever.

snaraLT
09-26-2009, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the Great step by step replacement guide wardak33!!! I found the original neon new on ebay and just installed with ease - works perfect!:thumbsup:

McFly
10-22-2009, 08:10 PM
Am I correct in assuming the only part you guys used was part #15201921? The actual LED bar itself?

GMPartsDirect.com shows a description accompanying that part... that says:
HIGH STOP LAMP
(LED lighting system)(if used on 2003 and prior the bezel molding must be replaced to use new design lamp)

Check with customer service to obtain correct bezel lamp molding.

Did any of you experience this or know what this means? I have an '02 Envoy and I'm looking to replace my 3rd brake light with the newer LED style, but I'm hoping it's just easy...

UntuchablLS
11-18-2009, 09:44 AM
I just spoke to a Chevy dealer and the light itself was $207 and the new molding was around that same price. They guy said it might be necessary to buy both in my case.... yeah, I'll do that.

UntuchablLS
12-03-2009, 11:16 PM
Hey Guys, thanks for posting these step by step instructions. :hail:

I received my 3rd brake light from GMPartDirect today and installed it within a half hour... looks good and it's the LED light too !! :thumbsup:

Thanks for being the best of the best with honors ! lol

Val

UntuchablLS
12-03-2009, 11:19 PM
Am I correct in assuming the only part you guys used was part #15201921? The actual LED bar itself?

GMPartsDirect.com shows a description accompanying that part... that says:
HIGH STOP LAMP
(LED lighting system)(if used on 2003 and prior the bezel molding must be replaced to use new design lamp)

Check with customer service to obtain correct bezel lamp molding.

Did any of you experience this or know what this means? I have an '02 Envoy and I'm looking to replace my 3rd brake light with the newer LED style, but I'm hoping it's just easy...

Hey McFly, I'm going to confirm the part number I received today. I have an '03 and I didn't need to change anything and it fit fine (as it appears to be to me anyway). I don't see anything out of the norm, it fit perfectly. Tomorrow morning I'll let you know.

ttyl, Val

UntuchablLS
12-04-2009, 08:15 PM
Hey McFly, I'm going to confirm the part number I received today. I have an '03 and I didn't need to change anything and it fit fine (as it appears to be to me anyway). I don't see anything out of the norm, it fit perfectly. Tomorrow morning I'll let you know.

ttyl, Val

Thought I didn't get the part number yet...I did notice that it isn't quite flush against the edges as I recall the original one being. Even so, it's not loose and it has rained here and I didn't see any leaks or anything...
I still don't think the replacement molding that the dealer suggested is really necessary. IMHO anyway...

what do the rest of you think ?

Val

marors1
01-05-2010, 01:30 PM
I don't know why it says you need a new bezel. I replaced one as well and it fit in the old housing just fine without any issue.:undecided

DJones
01-05-2010, 06:28 PM
I'll never replace the neon because it looks more unique than the LED. How many cars have neon, legal, anyway?

Decembersend
01-11-2010, 12:19 AM
I know this post is kinda old but I just have to brag a little.

I was reading LED post and came across this one. I bought my TB used 2 years ago and the 3rd brake light was broke so I asked the dealer and they said they would replace it. I never realized that it was LED until I came across this post :D. LOL

But it is a great write up tho..

tooslow
01-15-2010, 01:21 PM
I'll never replace the neon because it looks more unique than the LED. How many cars have neon, legal, anyway?

I agree, I think the neon one looks way better when lit up. We need a pic to prove that.

t02owner
01-23-2010, 11:13 AM
Thought I didn't get the part number yet...I did notice that it isn't quite flush against the edges as I recall the original one being. Even so, it's not loose and it has rained here and I didn't see any leaks or anything...
I still don't think the replacement molding that the dealer suggested is really necessary. IMHO anyway...

what do the rest of you think ?

Val

HI, Really good info guys as I am an 02 TB owner and my CHMSL is dead. I compared a 2004 vehicle (LED) side by side with mine ( visually with hatch open). I measured the bolt patter, length, width, wiring etc all seem to be the same. MY GUESS and I had this problem today.. is that the Bezel replacement is a "possibility" need if you end up braking the mount supports for the Brake light housing. On mine the right side screw bracket was detached from the bezel, the left side was barely holding on. To ease removal of the light I tried removing the Torx screws holding the bezel to the window gate bracket ( give it some slack). Well I then discovered that the bezel was glued to the window with maybe 2-sided tape. It is stuck there pretty well and using gentle presure and a putty knife it did not release. Ok here is where I messed up a bit. Since the rear ( closest to the roof rack) part of the bezel was loose I tried lifting it a bit.. POP oops........ good news the brake light released.. bad news is the center brake light support snaped off the bezel. ( this center piece was pretty much holding mine in). OK out comes the glue to repair my booboo and that is in progress now.

Bottom line IMO the bezel replacement is not needed on any of the similar platforms 2001 to latest Envoy, TB, Ascender etc unless you destroy the bezel during the light replacement step. I do not believe the bezel replacement has anything to do with the new light P/N mouting different etc.

I do not see how folks managed to remove theirs so easily as mine was held in even after the screws were removed. It was the bezel glueing to the back glass that made my experience tricky.

Hope this helps. I am in search of the replacement now ( junk yard shopping)
GMPartsDirect does have the P/N, but shipping etc is like $150+

t02owner
01-29-2010, 12:37 AM
If anyone needs a replacement CHMSL (3rd brake light). I found several on Ebay ( from the same seller).
Look for this posting "GM 15000045 Avalanche GMC Envoy Brake Light NEW"

I rcvd one today and it is perfect.. New no scratches and best of all it works.
Cost about $80 with shipping and that is a ton less the gmpartsdirect ($150) or the dealer ($207).

Be careful on the install. The mount points are way too fragile. Mine snapped and I had to use some glue to repair. The molding/bezel on mine is taped/glued to the window and made it more difficult to free the light for replacement. I think 2004 and later is a slightly different mount that maybe does cause the plastic breaking. Anyway I stick with my original opinion and that is the light will fit any model and the Bezel replacement is not a requirement, but could be in your future if you tear yours up trying to replace the stop light..

kuhldip
01-29-2010, 01:29 PM
If anyone needs a replacement CHMSL (3rd brake light). I found several on Ebay ( from the same seller).
Look for this posting "GM 15000045 Avalanche GMC Envoy Brake Light NEW"

I rcvd one today and it is perfect.. New no scratches and best of all it works.
Cost about $80 with shipping and that is a ton less the gmpartsdirect ($150) or the dealer ($207).

Be careful on the install. The mount points are way too fragile. Mine snapped and I had to use some glue to repair. The molding/bezel on mine is taped/glued to the window and made it more difficult to free the light for replacement. I think 2004 and later is a slightly different mount that maybe does cause the plastic breaking. Anyway I stick with my original opinion and that is the light will fit any model and the Bezel replacement is not a requirement, but could be in your future if you tear yours up trying to replace the stop light..


I also bought from this seller on ebay. Just received mine today and the neon tube was shattered. The part was wrapped in one sheet of bubble wrap and shipped in a triangle box that it barely fit.

Luckily he will replace it or refund my money when I ship it back to him. But, I'm still pissed that it was broken in the first place. :hissy:

t02owner
01-30-2010, 09:16 PM
I also bought from this seller on ebay. Just received mine today and the neon tube was shattered. The part was wrapped in one sheet of bubble wrap and shipped in a triangle box that it barely fit.

Luckily he will replace it or refund my money when I ship it back to him. But, I'm still pissed that it was broken in the first place. :hissy:

Sorry to hear about the damaged light. Maybe I just got lucky for a change. Usually I am the one disapointed on these gigs and I did take a chance that this was a legit offer. My first concern was about how the seller obtained the older design NEON vs the more current LED version. I think the Neon went out of production in 2004(ish). I was just glad to get one that fit, worked and didn't cost $200.
Oh yeah.. mine did arrive wrapped in bubble and the same USPS triangle box.
Was it the entire light damaged as well, or just the shipping rattle the bulb to the point of destruction?
Good luck with the 2nd attempt!

cntinuum
02-26-2010, 04:08 PM
There has been a lot of talk about whether the bezel over the light needs to be replaced. I bought a 2007 Envoy light and installed it into my 2002 TB. Fits perfect after figuring out the interference issue. The *only* difference I found, was the center attachment point that slips into a pocket in the bezel is about 1/8" longer on the 15201921-current p/n, as compared to the original neon part. In the "pocket" that the center mounting point slides into, there was a little "gusset" in the very center of the pocket. This kept the light from snapping into place correctly. I used a sharp pocket knife to cut this piece out and then the light snapped into place. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the rough area above the hole in the center of the pocket. The length of the center mounting point could be shorted to accomplish the same thing, of course.
Bought the part from Spalding in Spokane, WA for $37+s&h $13. Great junk yard, been doing business with them since the mid 1950's.
-Dave

nicotes
03-04-2010, 05:57 PM
I tray to do the work tonight

hornbrd
05-19-2010, 07:44 PM
How did you find this on ebay for $10.00. The cheapest lights that i am finding are around $113.

cntinuum
05-19-2010, 08:27 PM
How did you find this on ebay for $10.00. The cheapest lights that i am finding are around $113.
Check the previous post, #28. http://www.car-part.com/ is a search thru salvage yards. Enter YEAR, "Chevy Trailblazer", "Third Brake Light". An Interchange screen may come up. Years 2002-2007 all take the same part, 15201921-current p/n.
I got mine for $50. Spalding has one "A" grade for $37 from a 2005 right now. It cost me $13 for S&H. I called and asked them to read me the part number so I knew I was getting the correct part.
-Dave

Cody_S
05-20-2010, 03:03 AM
Awesome write-up, thanks, that helped out a bunch!

wdmalik
05-24-2010, 09:29 AM
No pics any more :cry:

Great writeup though

cntinuum
05-24-2010, 10:36 AM
No pics any more :cry:

Great writeup though
I just looked and the pictures are still in the first post. If you can't seem them, it must be a issue with your browser or Internet provider.
-Dave

wdmalik
05-24-2010, 10:55 AM
I just looked and the pictures are still in the first post. If you can't seem them, it must be a issue with your browser or Internet provider.
-Dave

My bad :o

working in my home pc hehe

thanks mate

m0stly_harmless
05-24-2010, 10:25 PM
Wow, this is gonna come in handy - thanks for the writeup!

I have no freggin clue how this happened, but I have some serious condensation in the housing. :confused: Gotta figure out how to clear it up before it affects the electronics.

Drastic
10-10-2010, 10:38 PM
Thanks very helpful

Lckent48
11-13-2010, 04:17 PM
I was able to find one on eBay for $45 + $13 shipping. Hope it is not a POS.

joric
11-19-2010, 04:38 PM
Good job man. I downloaded it and added it to the Haynes.. :thx

Lckent48
11-19-2010, 07:52 PM
The CHMSL I got from eBay did not fit. It was a generic unit. Now to try to get my money back.:no:

cntinuum
11-20-2010, 02:32 PM
The CHMSL I got from eBay did not fit. It was a generic unit. Now to try to get my money back.:no:Check post #31 in this thread. Most of the yards have a 6 month warranty on parts they sell. I scanned and found a part. I called the yard and had them read the P/N on the part. It has been installed and as noted, the only install issue was the little gusset in the center mount position that I cut out and the part fit perfectly. Make sure you are getting a 15201921, the current LED part.
-Dave

56 ford custom
12-16-2013, 12:31 AM
I have a 02 trailblazer and I got pulled over on friday during the day from some rookie that gave me a hard time for the light...Well i need to replace it since it doesnt work. I am contemplating on buying the original neon (if it had that) or the newer style led or they offer the smoked one. I dont know what to get or who to buy it off of on ebay. Can somebody please post the correct one from ebay on here? Thank you

trailblazer06ls
02-13-2014, 11:54 AM
I thought about doing the same to mine, thank for the help!

bwjenkins
03-06-2014, 05:43 AM
I have a 02 trailblazer and I got pulled over on friday during the day from some rookie that gave me a hard time for the light...Well i need to replace it since it doesnt work. I am contemplating on buying the original neon (if it had that) or the newer style led or they offer the smoked one. I dont know what to get or who to buy it off of on ebay. Can somebody please post the correct one from ebay on here? Thank you

This is the one I just bought:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370790626027?ru