Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Brake light melted the housing

asked by on

I went to change the brake light in my 2008 Mazda3 when I noticed that the cover over the bulb looked strange. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the plastic was melted in spots. Shouldn’t that not happen? Should the lights get that hot? Is it ok to just change the bulb or will I catch on fire at some point? The car only has 84,000 miles on it.

A: Hello, tail lamps that are melting are more...

Hello, tail lamps that are melting are more common in areas where traffic causes drivers to spend more time braking than driving (think of a Los Angeles freeway during rush hour). With bulbs getting more voltage now due to better electronics and conductor material, the bulbs are brighter and put off more heat causing damage to the tail lamp lens. Heat over time will cause damage to anything. I have seen melted tail lamps on other manufactures’ cars so this is not just a Mazda problem. Replacing the bulb won’t help unless it’s burnt out. If the plastic melts down on to the bulb it will cause the bulb to fail. The only solution is to replace the tail lamp lens and I would suggest all new bulbs for a fresh start. If you can find the vents on the new tail lamp be sure to keep them clear so the tail lamp can vent.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I control the turn signals?

Behind the steering wheel, on the left side, there is a lever that controls the turn signals, windshield wipers, and high-beams. To use the turn signals, this lever can be moved up or down. Moving the lever up will turn...

Q: What could make a grinding sound from the front tire of my truck?

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Chevrolet Silverado 1500. From what you've described it could be one of a few things. You may have brake pad that is worn to the metal or has excessive metal in the pads....

Q: Fog lights staying on after jumpstart.

The fog lights are turned on and off at the switch and the body control module controls when they come on or go off. This is not common but you may have a short in the system that is keeping...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
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...