Projects & Repairs --> Lights --> Tail Lights --> 2005 Volvo XC90

Replacing tail lights on a Volvo XC90.

Replacing Tail Lights On A
2005 Volvo XC90

(Covers Model Years 2003 to 2009)

In This Article:

A cover panel in the cargo area is removed and special nuts are removed. The plastic tail light lens is pried out and the bulbs are removed.

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Skill Level: 3 (Intermediate)

Time Taken: About 30 Minutes

By Jim Wilk, Licensed Auto Body Technician


This 2005 Volvo required some complex steps to remove the broken tail light assembly.

Broken tail light housing on a 2005 Volvo XC90.


Lifting up cargo divider in Volvo XC90.

After opening the tail gate I moved the rubber mat and lifted up the back cargo divider.


Then I lifted the cover for the third row seat (which is in the cargo area). Lifting up third row seat in Volvo XC90.


Removing carpet/foam piece in rear of Volvo XC90. To access the tail light cover I had to remove the foam with carpeting glued on top, by lifting it straight up.


View of foam with carpeting. Foam with carpeting from rear of Volvo XC90.


Removing carpeted plastic cover panel near tail light in Volvo XC90. I had to remove the carpet covered panel to reach the tail light area. At the bottom of the cover is a black metal tab that I had to pull out.

Then I unhooked the cover at the top.


View of taillight cover.

Red arrows show the tabs at top of the cover.

Cover panel over tail light, Volvo XC90.


Tail light mounting area. View of back side of tail light mounting panel.

The red arrows show the two special nuts that are used to secure the tail light.

Do not lose these special nuts.


View of special nuts. (One nut has my 10mm socket over the end). Special long nuts for tail light in Volvo XC90


Long nut securing tail light in Volvo XC90. I removed the bottom special nut first...


...using a 10mm socket. Using 10mm socket to remove tail light.


Upper nut on tail light assembly, Volvo XC90. Then I removed the top nut.


I used a rigid putty knife with masking tape covering the blade to prevent damage to the painted area.

I applied light pressure to release the two snap pins at the end of the mounting panel.

Prying off tail light plastic lens assembly, Volvo XC90.


Removing tail light, Volvo XC90. I pulled off the broken tail light.


Then I removed the bulb sockets.

I had to refer to this photo to put the different color-coded bulb sockets in the proper holes.

Tail light bulb socket locations, Volvo XC90.

All of these bulbs were number 1157, which is a common bulb in USA.

Back of tail light assembly, Volvo XC 90 2005. View of back of tail light.


View of mounting panel. Tail light area, Volvo XC90.I


More Info:

Tools Used:

  • Basic Mechanic's Tools
  • 10mm Socket and Ratchet 
  • Rigid Putty Knife

Materials Used:

  • Masking Tape
  • Number 1157 Light Bulbs

Related Articles:




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Written October 22, 2009