Do it yourself, change the tail light assembly on your Chevy Malibu, the model made in the years 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. This replacement can be done without tools, in less than 15 minutes, if you follow the steps shown below.
In order to replace the tail light assembly and its bulbs, you will have to go in the trunk of your car and remove the plastic nut-like retainer, seen in the picture below. You can do it by hand, by twisting it, or using a flat blade screwdriver, if you find it easier.
After you remove it, pull out the insulation in the trunk a little bit, just enough to gain access to the three wing nuts seen below. You should be able to do it by hand, but if you find it difficult, you can use a 10 mm wrench. These retainers actually hold the tail light. Remove them and pull out the assembly.
You will be able to detach it completely only after you unplug the harness behind it. If you need to service the light bulbs, now is the moment to do it. You will have to detach the plate holding the four light bulbs by removing its tabs.
After you make the replacements desired, install back the tail light into the body of the car and secure it with the wing nuts behind. These are the steps you need to follow, if you plan to remove and replace the tail light assembly on your Chevy Malibu, the model produced between the years 1997 and 2003.