Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Reverse Light Bulb Last?

reverse light bulb

Your car is equipped with a wide range of lights, from the headlights to the taillights to the interior lights that help you see when getting in or out of the vehicle in the dark. This includes your reverse or back up lights. They’re one of the most frequently ignored, yet important lights on your car.

Your car’s reverse lights are actually safety features. They provide a number of different benefits. These bulbs alert other motorists and pedestrians behind you that you’re about to back up the car. They also provide visibility for backing up in low-light situations (reverse light lenses and bulbs are clear, providing brighter illumination).

When you shift your transmission into reverse, the reverse light bulbs should turn on. Having operational back up lights is actually required by law in most states, as well. Of course, because they turn on every time you put your car in reverse, those bulbs will wear and eventually fail.

There is no set lifespan for a reverse light bulb. A lot depends on the type of bulb, as well as how often you put your car in reverse. Most conventional reverse light bulbs will last for at least 5 years, but LED lights can last for up to 12 years or more. Of course, there may be additional problems to consider if your reverse lights don’t work. For instance, there could be a blown fuse (one of the most common problems with inoperable electronics). The reverse sensing switch could also have failed.

While you probably don't think much about your back up lights, they’re important parts of your car and help enhance your safety as well as the safety of others. It’s important to know the signs of failure:

  • One reverse light bulb is not working (this indicates a burned out bulb, rather than a fuse problem or an issue with the switch)

  • Neither reverse light bulb comes on (could be two burned out bulbs, a blown fuse, or another problem)

  • Reverse lights work intermittently (indicates a problem in the wiring, and not a blown bulb)

Given the importance of having operational back up lights, it’s vital that you have them checked if they are not operating. YourMechanic can help. One of our mobile mechanics can come to your home or office and inspect the bulbs, the wiring, the fuse and other components, and replace anything necessary.

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

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: Light system Stop carefully

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. Sounds like the light control module that is located under the dash went out. Check the condition of the harness to the light control module for any corrosion or looseness. Check the fuse...

Q: How do I use the dome light?

Your car’s dome light provides important illumination when entering or exiting the vehicle, particularly in low-light situations. However, you can adjust its operation so that it works (or doesn’t) when you want it. Here’s how: Locate the dome light....

Q: Reverse lights come on when I start the engine

Hello. It is possible that the reverse light wiring is faulty, or that the light bulb sockets are damaged in some way. However, it is more likely that there is an issue with the neutral safety switch, and it needs...