Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Can the Light Bulb Wiring Become Damaged?

wiring

Your car is as much electrical as it is mechanical. Wiring harnesses snake their way around the engine bay, and throughout the cabin of the vehicle. Most of your accessories run on electricity, and even the engine needs a constant supply of voltage in order to run. Your headlights most certainly run on electricity, and that’s supplied by a wiring harness. However, light bulb wiring can be damaged in a number of ways.

  • Rodent damage: One of the most common (and most surprising) sources of damage to light bulb wiring is from rodents. This is particularly common during the fall, when squirrels, mice, and other rodents are seeking warm places to build their nests. They’ll gnaw wiring for use in their nests.

  • Melting: If your wiring harness is not protected with the right routing (the wiring isn’t secured and out of the way) it’s possible for it to contact any number of hot surfaces under the hood. While the wires can tolerate hot ambient temperatures relatively well, they can’t tolerate direct heat.

  • Vibration-related wear: Every part of your car vibrates when the engine is operating, and if your wires aren’t secured properly, it’s possible that they will contact another component while the car is running. Over time, this can lead to abrasion – the insulation is actually worn through, exposing the inner wire and potentially creating a short.

  • Accident damage: Another very common cause of light bulb wiring damage is from a front-end collision. Even seemingly minor accidents can cause hidden damage, including tearing or breaking your headlight wiring harness.

  • Broken solder points: While most of the wiring for your headlights is continuous, there are solder points in several key places. These are weak points, and subject to breakage over time (heat, vibration, frequent replacement and other factors can lead to damage).

As you can see, there are many ways that your light bulb wiring can be damaged. Once damage occurs, you’ll need to have it repaired by a professional mechanic.

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

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed Related Trouble Codes: P2441: EVAP Vent Valve Stuck Open EVAP trouble...


Related questions

Q: Burning wire smell coming from the alternator

The howling sound you are hearing is most likely your alternator failing. When it starts to make this kind of sound, this is a sign of the bearings inside beginning to fail (hence the whining noise) or the diodes inside...

Q: How do I use the autolights?

When the autolights are turned on, your vehicle will automatically turn on and turn off the headlights depending on how light it is outside. To turn on the autolights, rotate the Headlamp Control knob to the autolight setting.

Q: My rear left turn signal will not work and I have replaced the bulb and checked the fuse.

Hey there. The most likely problem is the bulb holder / socket itself. It may look fine but probably has a crack or break internally. Also possible (but rare) is the circuit board within the tail lamp housing itself. I...