Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. 4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Reverse Lights

4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Reverse Lights

reverse lights

Reverse lights are also called backup lights. They are used to warn other vehicles and people around the car that the vehicle is about to move backwards. The reverse lights also provide some illumination when the car is backing up. Reverse lights on a vehicle must be white in color, and these come standard on all vehicles.

Testing Reverse Lights

If you need to test your reverse lights but do not have anyone around to help, there is a way you can do it by yourself. Turn the ignition switch to the “on” position (without starting it), then put the transmission in reverse with the parking brake on. It is very important to make sure the parking brake is on. Once that is set, get out of the vehicle and look at the reverse lights, they should be illuminated.

Reverse Light Replacement

If the reverse lights do not come on when you test it, you may need a reverse light bulb replacement. Reverse lights are required by law, so have a mechanic properly install the light for you to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Are Reverse Lights Required?

Every vehicle in the United States must have one or two rear-mounted rear-facing reverse lights. The lights should be white in color.

Problems with Reverse Lights

Bulbs can burn out on reverse lights, in which case you need a bulb replacement. Other problems can happen with these lights as well. If you replace the bulbs in your vehicle and the lights are still not working, chances are a sensor has gone bad. If this happens, take it to YourMechanic, as you are required to have working reverse lights on your vehicle as it is a safety feature. Another reason your lights could have gone out is from the reverse light switch. This is a switch that is connected to the gear selector mechanism. When you shift into reverse, the switch completes the electrical circuit and turns on your reverse lights.

Reverse lights are an important safety feature of your vehicle because they inform cars and people around you that you are going to backup. If someone is behind you or about to drive past you, they will know to use caution. Test your reverse lights regularly to ensure they are in proper working order. Having a reverse light out may cause you to get pulled over and receive a ticket. If you are having problems with your reverse light, you might need to have it replaced.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...

Related questions

Q: Lamp out in taillight.

Although a lamp may look fine sometimes, a tiny break in the filament that is not quite visible can cause failure. The most accurate way to test a bulb is with a dvom/multimeter set to read ohms and measuring resistance...

Q: Transmission problems, cannot reverse

Hello. It sounds like the transmission that was rebuilt and installed in your vehicle has failed. Start by having a mechanic take a closer look at the issue. A certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can inspect your transmission and shifting...

Q: Battery keeps getting drained on a 1990 Mazda Miata

The first thing you'd want to do is have your alternator checked. It could be that the alternator is not charging the battery. It sounds pretty typical to me. If it's not that, you have a really bad wiring harness...