Q: How Does a Car's Light Bulb Wiring Get Damaged?

asked by on

How does a car's light bulb wiring get damaged?

There are many factors to consider when dealing with damaged light bulb wiring both physical and heat related causes can be a concern. The location where the bulb is installed or the actual routing of the wiring to the bulb can play a part in resultant damage. If the bulb is a taillight in the trunk for instance it can put the wiring at risk from damage by objects that are either placed or tossed into the trunk or perhaps shift as the vehicle travels down the road. Another factor to consider is heat.

The types of problems that generally occur are pinching or scuffing of the insulation around the wires which can lead to a short circuit and cause a fuse to open.This is due to the fact that when the wires become grounded they draw excess current (amperage) which will heat the circuit and cause the fuse to open. Most people generally call this a blown fuse. However, the actual fact is that the fuse melts or pops open to protect the circuit from further damage. If the wrong bulb is used or the socket that the bulb is in gets overheated from the bulb or an electrical condition known as resistance due to corrosion then the excess heat created can cause the wiring to melt or become damaged near the point of excess heat.

The socket itself can also melt and result in damage to the wires in the connector itself. The connector is the plastic housing that holds the wires and the socket is where the wires meet the actual contact connections on the bulbs themselves. Sometimes wires are damaged by someone who tries to improperly install an add on accessory or additional lights to a particular circuit.

Wiring can also be damaged if the harness containing the wires is pulled to gain access to a connector instead of releasing it from its secure mount first. If the vehicle was in a prior accident, it may have damaged/changed the routing of the wiring. If you check the wiring run in your vehicle, it is safely packed in a conduit wrap and secured by fasteners of varying types to insure it does not contact a sharp body surface, body pinch point, or hot objects like your exhaust system. These fasteners which secure the harness may degrade or break over time and cause wiring to fall and contact hot or sharp surfaces. Proper adherence to fuse type and amperage are critical when protecting the wiring in your car.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. How Does a Car's Light Bulb Wiring Get Damaged?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I customize the Vehicle Locator Lights?

The vehicle locator lights can be turned on or off with just a few steps: 1. Turn on the infotainment system. 2. Press the CONFIG button to select the Configuration Settings menu. 3. Rotate the MENU/SELECT knob to Vehicle Settings,...

Q: I am going to attempt to change the wheel bearing or hub asssmbly on my car.

This is a repair that is going to take require some specialty tools and techniques to complete correctly. It would be highly advisable to have a certified mechanic perform this or possibly assist you with the repairs, especially if the...

Q: The back-up camera on our 2011 Ford Edge shows shows images upside down or a blank screen 50% of the time. How do we fix this?

Hello, thank you for writing in. Issues like this are typically related to electrical issues, or programming issues. Both can cause you symptoms, and similar problems. In these situations, there may be several things you have to try until you...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...