Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Reverse Light Bulb

reverse light bulb

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
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

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...


Related questions

Q: Goes into reverse but does not have full power

Hello. If a fluid service and solenoid replacement did not solve the issue then there may be a different issue, or a more serious issue with the transmission. Keep in mind that there are 2 solenoids in the transmission, so...

Q: My dome light doesn't work - how can I diagnose/replace?

Hello, thank you for asking about your 2005 Nissan Altima. The body control module controls turning on the lights and supplies power to the lights' power saver mode. The body control module would need to be scanned and seek data...

Q: Reverse lights not coming on.

The reverse light switch is powered by the meter fuse and when you put it in reverse the power is sent to the rear reverse lights. The rear light socket would have to be tested to see if power is...