Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Tail Lamp Bulb

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Tail Lamp Bulb

Common signs include the tail lights not working when the headlight switch is activated and the brake light not working when brakes are applied. 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 Tail Light Bulb Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2014 Ford Expedition $77 $7.30 $70.00 32% $114.80
2003 Ford E-350 Super Duty $77 $7.02 $70.00 32% $114.52
2003 GMC Sonoma $77 $7.30 $70.00 32% $114.80
2010 BMW 750i xDrive $83 $13.31 $70.00 31% $120.81
2010 Land Rover LR2 $77 $7.24 $70.00 32% $114.74
2013 Jaguar XFR $77 $7.42 $70.00 32% $114.92
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Tail Lamp Bulb?

tail lamp bulb

One of the most annoying situations is being pulled over by a police officer due to a burnt out tail light. However, even more frustrating is calling the insurance company after you've been rear-ended by another motorist because they didn't see brakes lights due to a burnt out $2.00 part. The tail lamp bulbs are arguably the most important yet least expensive parts on any car, truck, or SUV that can have a huge impact on our daily lives. It is for this reason among others, that being able to identify a problem with your tail light bulb and repair it as soon as possible is more important than you might have previously assumed.

The tail light bulb on most of today's modern cars, trucks, and SUVs operates the tail light and brake light. On many vehicles, these two independent lights are triggered by different light bulbs, but it's becoming more common that both applications are illuminated by one, multi-filtered bulb. They are activated when the headlights switch is engaged, in either the parking or headlight mode. Due to the frequent use, light bulbs do have a lifespan which means they need to be replaced occasionally. Most ASE certified mechanics subscribe to the philosophy of replacing all tail lamp bulbs at the same time.

Noted below are a few of the symptoms of a bad or failing lamp bulb. If you notice any of these, make sure to replace your tail lamp bulbs as soon as possible.

Tail lights do not work when the headlight switch is activated

As noted above, different automotive manufacturers have different tail lamp bulb configurations. In many cases when the lights don't work when the headlight is turned on, it is caused by a burnt out or short circuited tail lamp bulb. Unfortunately, this is often not discovered until a police officer or somebody else informs you of this problem. A good rule of thumb is to check this once per week. Simple turn on your headlights, walk to the rear of your vehicle and ensure that both lights are active and illuminating. If you notice that one or both are burnt out, replace them with the recommended lamp bulb or have an ASE certified mechanic complete this work for you.

Brake light doesn't work when brakes are applied

The tail lamp bulb can also trigger the rear brake lights as well. This item is very difficult for the individual to inspect, but it is always a good idea to have somebody help you complete this important safety inspection. As noted above, once per week, take a few minutes during your day or evening to check if all brake lights are working. If the parking lights work (meaning the rear lights that turn on when the headlights are active), but when pressing the brake light the light does not work, have the tail lamp bulb replaced.

A common issue people have is when the parking lights work, but when the brakes are pressed, the tail lamp bulb turns off completely. This is sometimes caused by a short in the tail light system or a fuse. Either way, if you notice this problem, have an ASE certified mechanic inspect and replace it as soon as possible to avoid any safety or legal issues with the police.

Set up routine service for lamp bulb replacement

Since it's nearly impossible to diagnose a lamp bulb before it has burnt out, a good safety rule is to set up an annual or bi-annual period to replace them. Many people have the tail lamp bulbs replaced every other oil change, during tire replacement or when they have their air conditioning serviced. A crack in the tail lamp lens might also cause the rear lights to malfunction. Any of these maintenance check-ups are great times to be proactive about replacing the tail lamp lens or bulbs – even if they are not due for replacement.

Tail lamp bulbs are vital to the safe operation of your vehicle. Taking time and investing $10.00 once per year to ensure your tail lights don't fail you not only can protect you and others riding in your car, truck, or SUV, but can also reduce the potential of being pulled over and cited by law enforcement.

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Recent Tail Light Bulb Replacement reviews

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YourMechanic Tail Light Bulb Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.7/5

Number of Reviews

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Noel

11 years of experience
17 reviews
Noel
11 years of experience
My experience with Noel was great. During my inspection he not only fix my tail light but he also suggested how to take care of my car. I really appreciated that because now I have a better understanding on how to monitor maintenance on my vehicle. I trusted everything he told me and now I have a better grasp on what to do next to keep my car running and working.
2010 FORD FOCUS - TAIL LAMP BULB REPLACEMENT (PASSENGER SIDE) - HAMMOND, INDIANA

Ryan

15 years of experience
62 reviews
Ryan
15 years of experience
awesome experience. The bulbs weren't burnt like I thought they might be, so he checked for other problems and it ended up being a fuse. Very professional and quick. I definitely recommend Ryan to any one else needing work on their vehicle
1987 JEEP CHEROKEE - TAIL LAMP BULB REPLACEMENT (DRIVER SIDE, PASSENGER SIDE) - OGDEN, UTAH

Joel

18 years of experience
501 reviews
Joel
18 years of experience
I had an excellent experience with Joel! Prompt, knowledgeable and great service. I will definitely be using Joel for my automotive services in the future!
2009 HONDA ACCORD - TAIL LAMP BULB REPLACEMENT (PASSENGER SIDE) - JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA

Brandon

17 years of experience
489 reviews
Brandon
17 years of experience
Brandon was very professional, thorough and provided great service! I appreciated how well he communicated updates regarding the service appointment and follow up. It was a pleasure working with Brandon and I will definitely use Your Mechanic again and request Brandon.
1997 TOYOTA LAND CRUISER - TAIL LAMP BULB REPLACEMENT (DRIVER SIDE, PASSENGER SIDE) - MAITLAND, FLORIDA

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