VW R32: Broken tail light

A few days ago when I was stuck in the snow I noticed that my driver's side tail light wasn't working. As if I needed even more stress, eh?

I'm always annoyed when I see automobiles on the road with malfunctioning lights so I wanted to get this fixed as soon as possible....

Unfortunately, I could find nothing in the owner's manual about what type light bulbs are in the R. Fortunately, I'd accessed the tail light assembly previously when I was installing my 5-brake light mod so any stress due to not knowing what I was doing was absent.

After removing the driver's side panel in the hatch...

1. Unplug wiring harness (actually, unless you need more room you can skip this step).
2. Press both clips inward to pull out the light bulb holder.

If you flip the holder over this is what you see...

...and the tail light bulb is the third from the top. The bulb you need is R10W or 5008. I was hoping to find a "Long lasting" version similar to what I used for the 5-brake light mod but I didn't see one at PepBoys. Which reminds me, I first stopped at NAPA to pick up a replacement--but all they sold were NAPA brand bulbs with NAPA part numbers that didn't say which vehicles they were compatible with and where the salesman tried to help but couldn't. Ugh.

Anyway, this is the replacement bulb (purchased from PepBoys) that I used:

And that's pretty much it. Reverse steps to place the holder back into the tail light. The most difficult thing of this whole procedure is manoeuvring the holder in and out of place--it can be a tight fit.

FYI, here's a list of light bulbs for the R32.


  1. Good information. Maybe should make a permanent link to it in the side bar.

  2. Thanks. I put a link in the R32 drop down menu.


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