- Tail lights are crucial to the safety of other drivers on the road.
- Non-working tail lights can compromise your safety by causing accidents, and you may also get a fine for driving a car with faulty or broken tail lights.
- Tail lights of your car may not work due to a blown fuse, faulty light switch, bad light bulbs or corroded bulb sockets, bad wiring or a lousy ambient light sensor.
- Tail lights can work appropriately by diagnosing the cause and using a required solution.
Importance of Tail Lights
Tail lights play a vital role when it comes to your safety. There are certain times, i.e., nighttime, rainy weather, fog, etc., when drivers’ vision is reduced to a certain level, increasing the chances of accidents. In these moments, tail lights help the drivers assess the vehicle’s shape and avoid accidents. Moreover, driving a car with non-working or broken tail lights violates traffic rules in many states, and you may be fined in this regard.
Causes & Solutions of Tail Lights Failure
You may notice that your tail lights are not working, but your brake lights are. Certain aspects are fundamental to be understood. For example, tail lights have an independent control system, wiring, and socket. Neither are they dependent on any other light, nor do the others when it comes to working. Similarly, brake lights are also not reliant on tail lights, and they keep working no matter whether tail lights do or not.
The following paragraphs will attempt to enlighten you with the few reasons that may cause your tail lights not to work and their possible solutions.
Many fuses are installed in the car to protect its electronic components. There is a separate system for every electrical component. However, sometimes when an excessive current flows toward the tail lights, its fuse blows and breaks the circuit. In such a situation, you may find your tail lights need to be fixed when switched on.
All the fuses of the vehicle’s electronic components are fixed in one fuse box. You may locate the fuse box under the hood or the steering wheel underneath a plastic. It may also be found somewhere else, which can be checked by the owner’s manual. After locating the fuse box, check if there is any blown fuse. You might find one or more blown fuses as over-current may have damaged some other fuses. Pull out the blown fuses with the help of hand or pliers and replace them with new ones. If there is no other problem with the taillights, they will turn on when the blown fuse is replaced with a new one.
Faulty Light Switch
There is a light switch, which controls the working of the front lights and tail lights. These switches are durable; however, over time or due to an exceptional condition, these switches may go bad and fail to switch on both the front and tail lights simultaneously. You may also notice that the switch cannot turn on the front or tail lights.
In some cars, these switches are located on the dashboard, while in others, it is mounted on the steering wheel. The process of replacing this switch is difficult, so it is highly recommended to hire an expert.
Bad Light Bulbs
Although it is implausible that both the tail light bulbs have burned simultaneously, bad wiring may be the root cause if it happens. If the wiring is loose or corroded and causes the bulbs to flicker, they may go off permanently. In addition, loose connections and corrosions vary the voltage and cause the bulb to fuse.
We have to replace the bulbs and check for the wiring issue to solve this problem. As far as the wiring is concerned, it will be discussed in the next paragraph as it may also be a cause behind non-working tail lights. However, you may change the bulbs by opening the trunk and locating the tail light hoses. After locating the hoses, access the tail light bulb socket and replace the burned bulbs with new ones. An important thing to note is that the issue may persist due to bad wiring. So, let’s see how lousy wiring causes tail lights not to work.
Generally, detecting the problem with the wiring can be difficult. Car wiring spreads throughout the car, making it challenging to locate where the problem occurred. However, most of the time, it is found that damage is contained close to the tail lights. Rain and moisture can penetrate more quickly in these places and damage the connectors by causing corrosion. Corroded connectors cause fluctuation in the voltage and burn the bulbs.
You can replace the connectors yourself. All you have to do is disconnect the battery and the connectors from the tail lights, use the wire clippers to cut the corroded part of the wire, replace the rusty part with a new one, and the issue will be resolved. Resolving the wiring problem is of utmost importance, as leaving this issue untreated may cause the replaced bulbs to fuse again.
Bad Light Bulb Socket
You might have seen some fogging and mist inside the tail lights cover. This is because water, finding its way, seeps inside these covers. When you turn the tail lights on, the bulb’s heat converts the water into moisture which corrodes the sockets. In addition, corroded sockets cannot provide the required voltage, resulting in broken tail lights.
Replacing the bulb socket is as easy as it is to replace the bulb itself. Open the trunk, get access to the tail lights bulb socket, and replace it with a new one. Before replacing the socket, make sure that the battery is disconnected.
Bad Ambient Light Sensor
In most modern cars, we find an automatic turning on and off of headlights and tail lights. These cars have an ambient light sensor module, which detects the amount of light and automatically turns on and off the light. When it’s dark, lights are automatically turned on, while in the absence of darkness, lights go off. When an ambient light sensor goes bad, it may cause the lights not to turn on or off at a crucial moment.
An ambient light sensor is located behind the dashboard of the car. To replace it, you must pull apart the dashboard, which is challenging. Moreover, there are chances that you may damage some other parts during this process. Therefore, this sensor will have to be replaced urgently.