Written by Fair Fax Auto Repair and published on https://www.fairfaxautorepair.com/.
When it comes to driving, safety is paramount. One of the things that can help ensure road safety is to make sure that the brake lights and tail lights of your car are working properly. Brake lights light up whenever you step on your brakes to keep trailing motorists notified that they should slow down accordingly. Taillights, on the other hand, activate when your front headlights are turned on. They don’t shine as bright as brake lights because they are designed to light up when there’s heavy rain or when it’s nighttime.
The lights on your car provide an important safety feature. They let other drivers predict your movements, and they make you visible in dark or hazardous weather. In most cases, your tail lights engage when your headlights do, and many modern models have automatic settings that allow the car’s computer to sense when conditions are right for illumination. Sometimes, however, the taillights stop working but the brake lights stay functional. Here’s a look at the common causes of this phenomenon.
Any time an electrical part fails, the first step is checking the fuse. This piece consists of a plastic covering housing a metal band, and it’s designed to break when the current rises too high. To check if the fuse has caused your tail lights to go out, find the fuse box for your vehicle (usually housed under the hood or behind a panel under the dashboard on the passenger side). Once located, check the list of fuses on the inside cover and find the one for the tail light. Remove it and test the power with a fuse tester. Replace the fuse if necessary, or move on to the next possible source of trouble.
Worn Out Bulb
When a light goes out, it could always be the bulb. You can remove the tail light cover and check, and if the bulb needs replacing, it’s an easy inexpensive fix.
Damaged wiring can cause an entire system to fail and will likely require professional assistance. If you want to check the wires yourself, locate the wiring diagram in the owner’s manual and perform a visual inspection for obvious signs of damage.
The place in which the bulb plugs in is called the socket. If you remove the bulb and notice discoloration on the socket, corrosion has likely set in and you’ll need a new one before the lights can work properly.
Today’s cars rely on a number of sensors that communicate with the computer system. If the sensor controlling lights malfunctions, the headlights and parking lights will stop working along with your tail lights.
Damaged Control Switch
The control switch that engages the tail lights can stop working. To check it, simply pull it out from the dash and use a multimeter to gauge performance. If you don’t have this tool, you can take it to a technician for inspection.
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