Symptoms of a Bad or Failing License Plate Light

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing License Plate Light

If the license plate light is flickering, is foggy, or does not produce light at all, you may have to replace it. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for License Plate Light Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2010 Honda Pilot $77 $6.95 $70.00 32% $114.45
2010 Toyota Tundra $77 $6.95 $70.00 32% $114.45
2006 Dodge Dakota $77 $6.95 $70.00 32% $114.45
2012 BMW 535i xDrive $77 $7.19 $70.00 32% $114.69
2013 Lexus GS450h $77 $6.95 $70.00 32% $114.45
2008 Jaguar XK $77 $6.95 $70.00 32% $114.45
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing License Plate Light?

License plate light

According to the vehicle code in all US States, having the rear license plate efficiently illuminated at night is a requirement. This duty falls on the license plate light which is attached above the rear license plate frame and shines in a downward direction. However, since the license plate is displayed behind the vehicle you're driving, it's more likely that you won't know that a problem exists until it's too late and you've been pulled over by a police officer.

Most of today's cars, trucks and SUV's have multiple sensors, monitoring devices and computers that relay information to the driver when a potential issue exists. To our knowledge, this technology does not include the license plate light. Like the rear brake and parking lights, there are several things any car owner can do to visually inspect the license plate light before they drive at night that can save you from receiving a traffic infraction ticket.

Noted above are a few of the warning signs that an issue with your license plate light exists, so you can have the license plate light replaced by a mechanic if needed.

1. The light is flickering on and off

The license plate light is supposed to turn on when the headlights are activated including the main headlights or the parking light. The license plate light is a solid light that is either on or off. However, in many cases, the license plate light will flicker. This is commonly due to a loose wire or connection that powers the license plate light. This symptom can be very dangerous as a flickering light can be extremely distracting to other motorists on the road. It will also draw the attention of the police and most likely result in a "fix it ticket".

To avoid this, it's a good idea to complete a quick walk around once per week, before driving at night. Simply turn on the headlights, walk around to the rear of your vehicle, and make sure the license plate light is solidly illuminated. If it flickers, it's a good idea to contact a local mechanic so they can diagnose the issue and fix it as soon as possible.

2. The light seems foggy

Another indicator that a potential issue exists with the license plate light is when the light appears foggy. This is caused by condensation or water trapped inside the light's lens cap. Water can leak from the car's trunk lid into the light lens when it's cracked or has become loose. This will cause the light to appear foggy inside the license plate frame. If this situation occurs, it'll be important to replace the light lens and the light bulb, and ensure all water or condensation is removed before it causes an electrical short – which can impact other systems inside the car.

3. The light does not come on when the headlights are turned on

The most obvious signal that there is a problem with the license plate light is when the lamp is not lit when you turn the headlights on. This could either be a problem with a relay switch, a loose connection or the license plate light has burnt out and needs to be replaced. Most license plate lightbulbs are the same, but you should always check with an auto parts store or contact a professional mechanic to replace the lightbulb with the right one.

The license plate light is more important than most people would assume, as when it's illuminated, it's not a problem. When it breaks, it can lead to safety and legal problems. When you notice that the light is not working, contact a mechanic so they can replace the license plate light as soon as possible.

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Recent License Plate Light Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic License Plate Light Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.8/5

Number of Reviews

25

Rating Summary
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Jeffrey

24 years of experience
683 reviews
Jeffrey
24 years of experience
As usual, Jeffrey was on time, prepared, and quickly and fully handled the maintenance. He is honest and works clean...you can't go wrong with Jeffrey!
2011 HONDA INSIGHT - LICENSE PLATE LIGHT - CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

Damian

8 years of experience
255 reviews
Damian
8 years of experience
I was impressed with the attention to detail Damian displayed while working on my car. He was prepared and did an excellent job.
2011 HYUNDAI SONATA - LICENSE PLATE LIGHT - SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND

Andrew

8 years of experience
394 reviews
Andrew
8 years of experience
Great job. Diligent.
2007 NISSAN ALTIMA - LICENSE PLATE LIGHT - SHAWNEE MISSION, KANSAS

Kenneth

17 years of experience
374 reviews
Kenneth
17 years of experience
Kenneth is come through again for me on my Lexus RX330. I have 200k miles on it and Kenneth keeps my vehicle running strong.
2005 LEXUS RX330 - LICENSE PLATE LIGHT - HERMOSA BEACH, CALIFORNIA

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