What is the Backup Light Switch all about?
Backup lights serve two purposes. First, they provide warning for other drivers and/or pedestrians behind you that your car is in reverse. Second, they provide some illumination if you’re reversing in the dark. Turning backup lights on is the responsibility of the backup light switch, which is mounted under the hood, generally on the transmission. When you put the gear selector into reverse, the switch sends a signal to the reverse lights. When the gear selector leaves reverse, the switch turns the lights off.
While backup light switch failure is relatively rare, it does happen. However, just because your backup lights don’t work doesn’t mean that the switch is faulty. There could be a problem with the wiring, the bulbs, the switch or another component in the system.
Keep in mind:
- Backup lights should be checked during normal maintenance when the mechanic tests your headlights, taillights, and brake lights.
- Backup light switch failure can be caused by many other problems, so a professional diagnosis is recommended.
How it's done:
- The back up light switch is verified that it needs to be replaced. The vehicle is then lifted and supported on jack stands.
- The defective back up light switch is disconnected and removed from the transmission.
- The new back up light switch is installed into the transmission and tightened to correct specifications.
- The back up light switch is connected and tested for operation by shifting the vehicle into reverse.
- The jack stands are removed and the vehicle is tested to ensure proper operation of the back up light switch
It’s a legal requirement to have working backup lights. They’re convenient, as well as a safety feature for pedestrians and drivers behind your car. If your backup lights are no longer functioning, have the system fully inspected by one of our expert mechanics. It may be the switch, but it could also be a problem with the wiring, which can require significant time to diagnose.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Backup Light Switch?
- Reverse lights don’t work
- Reverse lights only work intermittently
- Reverse lights stay on all the time
How important is this service?
Without operational backup lights, pedestrians and other drivers behind your car will not know you’re about to back up, which can cause accidents and serious injuries. Have any malfunctions of backup light operations professionally diagnosed as soon as possible.