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2020 Sorento SX, 3.3L AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I''m trying to remove the outside taillight assembly of my Sorento. I've read the service manual, and watched several videos, and I know how it's supposed to work.
  • Remove the two 10mm nuts from inside the car.
  • Slide the taillight assembly back off the two push pins.
  • Job done!
The one video mentions that it can be difficult to move the taillight off the push pins, and they ain't kidding! I can't get either one of them off! I'm sure there's a few magic words to say that will loosen these up and allow them to come off, but I sure don't know what they are! There's nothing to get a grasp on to pull them off the obviously tight push pins, and there's no practical method of prying anywhere on the assembly without doing more damage. So, how does one get this assembly off?
 

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2016 sorento ex v6 awd wisconsin
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Just had mine replaced about a month ago. Brake light burned out and when the service center assistant tried to use plastic pry tool ,he ended up cracking it. Regular mechanic came out and had a little struggle to get it off. They replaced assembly for free and put a little siilcone grease on pins first. I had tried on and off for a day and a half before taking it in. Dealer wanted $40 to replace bulb ,local service $15. One thing to try is attach a long piece of duct tape to side of assembly and try to pull straight backwards.
works for some, not for me.
 

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2020 Sorento SX, 3.3L AWD
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I'm afraid of, it really doesn't want to come off! :D I'm loath to use a pry tool as I know that's quite likely to break the plastic!
 

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2020 Kia Sorento SX, 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Tech pkg. Former 2014 Kia Rondo EX Luxury,
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467 Posts
My 2013 Elantra GT has the two push-pins that hold the rear light assembly in place (same/similar assembly as a Tucson from the same years/series).

Trying to get the rear off was always a struggle, and I like to try to imagine how ridiculous I look trying it. The issue is that there is nowhere to really grip it, and you kinda have to use your palms to 'massage it off).

Assuming the mounting is similar (sounds like it), if you have some rubber latex gloves for added grip, 'massage' or 'wiggle' the assembly while pulling it straight off. Wearing latex gloves provides a bit more grip while doing this. This guy here kinda shows the process that works for me, and he has the same issue in the Sorento:
 
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2020 Sorento SX, 3.3L AWD
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, that illustrates the problem well, I guess I'll try the rubber gloves and see if that helps. It is a major PITA to get off, and I don't understand why it had to be that difficult.
 

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2016 sorento ex v6 awd wisconsin
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I believe those 2 push pins are also electrical connection for bulbs. If you break it new assembly with bulbs are about 150 to 200 dollars. You are right, head and tail bulbs should be easy to access to replace as it's a safety issue for night driving.
 

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2020 Sorento SX, 3.3L AWD
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hard to believe they used those for electrical connections, but as far as the removal difficulties, it probably doesn't make any difference.
 

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2016 sorento ex v6 awd wisconsin
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You are right. My memory sucks sometimes. I didn't see mechanic unplugging harness , but it's there.
 

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2017 Sorento LX
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Yeah it's pain in the butt. I used a plastic prybar and I think latex gloves and that combo have me enough grib to yank them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I do have a plastic prybar, I may gently try that, but I'm going to err on the side of caution as I don't want to have to buy a new taillight! Since my Sorento has the LED brake and running lights, I suspect it would be even more expensive to replace the taillight assembly. I just wanted to replace the turn signal bulb with a nice bright LED model I got from LASFIT. The front ones were easy, and they certainly improve the brightness over the stock bulbs. I replaced the backup bulbs, and the visibility now when I back up is way better than the anemic dim stock bulbs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, 20 minutes of trying to get the stinkin' taillight free without breaking it and I give up! No sense going to the other one if this one isn't going to come off! 😡
 

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I now drive a 2020 Ram Bighorn. Had an 03 LX 3.5 Sorento
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I know there is a difference in years, on my 2003 I had I would push gently in on the lense(towards fender, It helps to take pressure off the pins) then push back.
It can be very frustrating. Silicone on the pins is a good step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, getting silicone on the pins without having the taillight assembly off is going to be a neat trick! :D
 

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Sorento LX V6 2018
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So, thinking this thread was filled with a bunch of incompetent weenies, I went out to my wife's Sorento and prepared to easily and quickly remove the assembly. An hour later, using every "blessing" I could, it remains firmly fixed within the automobile, I've reinstalled the 10mm nuts and offer up an apology to anyone who I thought was incompetent. I wondered if you left the 10mm bolts really loose, would the resultant vibration loosen those fricking pins but somehow I can see the entire assembly ending up in the middle of the Interstate with that approach. I guess when I need a $2 bulb replaced, I'll be prepared to pay $100 in labor to the dealer :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, thinking this thread was filled with a bunch of incompetent weenies, I went out to my wife's Sorento and prepared to easily and quickly remove the assembly. An hour later, using every "blessing" I could, it remains firmly fixed within the automobile, I've reinstalled the 10mm nuts and offer up an apology to anyone who I thought was incompetent. I wondered if you left the 10mm bolts really loose, would the resultant vibration loosen those fricking pins but somehow I can see the entire assembly ending up in the middle of the Interstate with that approach. I guess when I need a $2 bulb replaced, I'll be prepared to pay $100 in labor to the dealer :(
Yep, it sounded so easy when I saw the video, it wasn't until I tried to get it off that I learned the truth! 😠
 

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2016 Sorento SX Turbo AWD (sold)
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So, thinking this thread was filled with a bunch of incompetent weenies, I went out to my wife's Sorento and prepared to easily and quickly remove the assembly. An hour later, using every "blessing" I could, it remains firmly fixed within the automobile, I've reinstalled the 10mm nuts and offer up an apology to anyone who I thought was incompetent. I wondered if you left the 10mm bolts really loose, would the resultant vibration loosen those fricking pins but somehow I can see the entire assembly ending up in the middle of the Interstate with that approach. I guess when I need a $2 bulb replaced, I'll be prepared to pay $100 in labor to the dealer :(
I removed the right hand unit to replace a bulb. It was a struggle but I managed to get it out without damaging anything.
The grommets received a dab of dielectric grease before it went back together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I can imagine that a few years and a lot of miles might loosen these up a bit, mine is only six months old and not many miles.
 

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2020 Kia Sorento SX, 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT Tech pkg. Former 2014 Kia Rondo EX Luxury,
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I can imagine that a few years and a lot of miles might loosen these up a bit, mine is only six months old and not many miles.
You and I have the same trim...have your lights stopped working already? Most of the stuff in there should be LED.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No, I want to install the LED replacements for the turn signals/emergency flashers. I did the front, and the LED's are way brighter and really noticeable.
 
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