All vehicles are equipped with reverse light bulbs, also called backup light bulbs. The bulb lights up when you put your transmission into reverse. Its purpose is to alert pedestrians and other vehicles around you that you intend to move backwards. This way, they know your intentions and can get out of the way if need be as a second line of defense. There are a few things that can cause the reverse light bulb not to work. Watch for the following symptoms if you suspect your reverse light bulb is going bad or failing:
Bulb does not illuminate
The reverse light bulb will not illuminate at all if the light bulb has blown or has burnt out. If this happens, it is time to replace the bulb. If you feel comfortable, you can do this yourself after purchasing a reverse light bulb from the local auto shop. Yet keep in mind there could be other problems causing the bulb not to illuminate, such as a fuse issue, but the bulb is a good place to start. The bulb will generally have a visible break in the filament or a discoloration. If you replace the light bulb and it still does not work, it is time to contact a professional mechanic.
Light is dim
If you notice the light is not as bright as it used to be, then your light bulb has not completely failed yet, but it will soon. The bulb may start off bright but become dim after the vehicle has run for awhile. Before the bulb completely fails, have a professional mechanic replace the reverse light bulb to ensure other motorists can see you.
Check your reverse lights
It is a good habit to check the reverse light bulbs every so often; about once a month is recommended. To check the lights, have someone assist you because it will be difficult to do yourself. Have the assistant stand near the back of the vehicle, but not directly behind it, for safety reasons. Turn the vehicle on, put on the brake, and put the vehicle in reverse. Do not let off the brake pedal. Your assistant should tell you if the lights illuminate or not.
Some states require vehicles to have working reverse light bulbs, so as soon as these go out have them replaced as they are a safety features and so you do not get ticketed. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your reverse light bulb easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified Technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Reverse Light Bulb and was authored by Spencer Clayton.