[quote name='Pacific' date='24 January 2010 - 12:46 AM' timestamp='1264293366' post='61393']
Replacing the lower brake light bulb on a Ford Smax is far easier than on first inspection. As the owners manual states both panel covers beside the brake light need to be removed but what the manual doesnít tell you is that a grey plastic foam panel behind the larger panel must also be removed (careful as it is easy to tare). This comes out easily as there no clips etc holding it in. Now two white plastic wing nuts should be visible both behind the small panel. The first wing nut is accessed via the small panel opening, and the second wing nut is accessed via the much large opening once the large plastic foam panel is removed. The wing nuts once unscrewed come away (i.e. do not stay in place) so be careful you donít lose them into the interior of the wing. The whole lamp must now be removed. This is very easily achieved by gently pushing on the wing nut screws you have just exposed. Once the lamp unit is free on the exterior, the short electric cable to it, needs to be disconnected by pressing on the top release. To expose the bulbs, the single screw on the bulb holder needs to be removed. The brake bulb is a 380 12V 21/5W. Price Ä3.70 for a pair in Halfords. Take care not to touch the bulb when inserting. Follow these instructions in reverse order to replace the unit.
I changed one - the book was not terribly helpful but smaller than average hands helped.
The big problem I had was that the socket for the bulb is really shoddy and I an was able to put the bulb in the wrong way round without any pushing or distortion. The result was that the stop light filament was in the tail light circuit and there was nothing in the stop light circuit. Result - an over bright tail light and the stop light was still apparently broken. It took a long time to realise what was wrong because the bulb went in so smoothly. I've been driving for about 35 years and have alway looked after my own car bulbs; even British Leyland in the 70's could fit foolproof sockets.