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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fiat 500 License Plate Bulb Change

Fiat 500 Tailgate Handle

There have been more than 165,000 Fiat 500s sold in North America since 2011. As the cars age, it is inevitable that things like light bulbs eventually burn out. One item that caused owners of early Fiat 500 models some annoyance was replacing the license plate LED bulb located in the tailgate lift handle.

Early cars required you to change the entire tailgate lift handle at considerable expense - normally well over $100. However, starting somewhere around March 2012, Fiat revised the license plate LED to make it replaceable, with a cost of around $20. Below is how to change the license plate LED bulb in late model Fiat 500, 500 Cabrio and 500 Abarth models.

Fiat 500 License Plate Bulb

Take a small screwdriver and insert it into the notch at the one end of the license plate lamp lens on the underside of the liftgate light bar and handle unit.  Gently release the latch tab that secures the lamp in the light bar assembly.

Fiat 500 Abarth License Plate Bulb

Carefully pry the light out of the liftgate handle.

Fiat 500 License Plate Light Connector

Late model cars will have this style connector with locking tabs that allow you to unplug the bulb from the wire harness. Early cars will not have these tabs and the light bulb is serviced as a complete assembly. If you are handy you may be able to modify the harness with a new connector so you can use the late model bulb.

Fiat 500 License Plate Bulb Removal

Using the small screwdriver, carefully unlock each tab and remove the bulb from the connector. The tabs are delicate and the connectors will become fragile as the car ages, so proceed with care. Plug your new bulb in and just reverse the procedures and you are done!

Fiat 500 License Plate Bulb Part Number

  • Right 68212034AA
  • Left 68212035AA

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Anonymous said...

if you have the older style can you just cut the wires and attached the new assembly.

Anonymous said...

Where can you get the full assembly instead of just the new bulb?

Unknown said...

The lights 68212034aa and 68212035aa have been removed and replaced with 68228931aa, does anyone know if these new bulbs allow a direct replacement for a 2012 Sport. I'd really prefer to not exchange the whole handle if I don't have to since they are about $150.

The new bulbs look very similar, but I can't tell if the socket join will fit the old sockets...any help would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Oscar Fiat said...

Hi. I had the same problem and is easy to fix. I bought a 2013 license plate bulb. The difference is that the 2012 plug is square and the 2013 is round. All you have to do is cut that side edge or ear that won't make the plug fit in the round one. Once cut the plug will fit in the 2013 bulb. I just did it my self and didn't have to replace the whole license plate assembly that some dealers are recomending.

Instructional Technology said...

How do you know if you have the older or newer 2012 model?
Where can you purchase those model numbers?