Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Reverse Light Bulb

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 Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: Reverse lights won't turn on when I put it in reverse. Dark blue wire has power, light green (reverse) wire has no power.

Hi there. Remove the fuse to the reverse lighting system. On the side that does not have power, use a digit ohm meter and check for resistance. The meter should read OL (out of limits). Now, turn on the ignition...

Q: The truck has problems with lights

You may have a shorted wire between your reverse lights and your brake lights. This is a common issue due to the fact that the wires for these two lights are often wrapped together as one wiring harness. If your...

Q: car reverse lights blink.

Hi there. Any time that the rear back up lights blink in reverse would be caused by a short in the flasher circuit or a blinker circuit. This will make the back up lights flash when energizing the flasher. The...