I really appreciated everyone's advice. I'd like to add some thoughts from the completely novice perspective. This was my first time ever attempting the bulb changing process for my tail lights, and I noted several things. First, yes you must unscrew the nuts, I did it with a wrench and that was it. You do have to be careful of dropping the nut down inside, but like they said a magnet would work just as well, or the first time I tried I used tape, the rest the time I just hoped they didn't fall down in.
I had to replace bulbs on both sides for my break lights, because replacing just one didn't fix the problem of the light brightening when the break is pressed (they were both burnt out anyway), but because they are a combo type light, both must be working. Also, at first I was unclear as to whether or not I was supposed to get the lights from the inside, or actually take the lens cover off from outside the car. The lens cover is the red reflective thing on the outside that houses your turn signal/reverse/stop lights, and has to be jimmied off. My drivers side one was ridiculously hard to get off, but the passenger side one took me much less time. The most valuable info I think I got was using a leash, or in my case, a very thin rope to assist in pulling off the cover evenly. I found light tapping with the rubber end of my pliers on the bolts themselves didn't do anything, and the rope was the main thing that worked. I also very lightly loosened the edges with a flat head screw driver around the outside of the lens cover. When you're all done, just make sure you line everything up as far as the bolts in the holes, and that the wires that go thru the hole by the upper bolt and nut area, and are surrounded by a rubber gromet, need to be securely re-inserted if it came loose during the process. Don't forget to screw the nuts back on after its all said and done and you have tapped the taillight lens cover back in place.
Also the other valuable info I got was to check the lights before putting it back together, where as I probably would have done that, that tidbit of info saved me a lot of time if I hadn't.
I agree with the other post too, if I can do it, you can too!! And while I love being able to go to the dealer, the $60 I would have been charged was just not feasible, and I must admit a great sense of satisfaction comes along with doing it yourself when you can. Good luck to all who attempt it!!
Last edited by owac; Apr 21st, 2010 at 10:24 PM.