How To Fix A Reversing Light

How To Fix A Reversing Light?

Only those who drive can tell the importance of certain car elements that might appear as accessories to others. One such element is a reversing light. The thing about reversing lights is that they are often prone to many damages and faults. Whether it’s a faulty fuse, problematic gearbox, or a blown bulb, reversing lights can stop working for several reasons. Therefore, we will walk you through, in detail, the many possibilities why your car’s reversing light can stop functioning.

We will also provide you with several solutions through which you can tackle these issues. Whether it’s fixing the switch, checking the wiring, or checking the current, in this article, we will cover all the bases. However, before we jump right into how to fix a reversing light, let’s shed a little light on what reversing light is and why it is so important.

What is a reversing light, and why is it important for drivers?

Every vehicle comes with a reversing light, irrespective of its make or model. The light placed at the back of an automobile and only lights up with the reverse gear on is a reversing light.

What appears to be a small light located at the rear end of a car is, perhaps, one of the most useful and crucial elements. While you are driving, a reversing light will signal the vehicle behind you that you will reverse your car. Suppose if cars didn’t have to reverse lights, then the driver behind you would have no clue that you are about to reverse, significantly increasing the probability of road accidents.

Another reason why reversing lights is important is that they help a driver decide the right angle and the extent to which they should reverse their car. This feature is extremely necessary when driving in dark areas. Even though manufacturers have installed reversing cameras in newer car models, a reversing light is still necessary as it illuminates the area and helps the driver decide better.

How is a reversing light setup?

If you want to understand how to fix a reversing light, it is necessary to understand how it is set up in a car. The break light circuit contains either one or a pair of rear lights connected to a switch. Usually, the switch works automatically when a driver shifts to the reverse gear and is placed right on top of the gearbox. However, if a manufacturer has installed the lights post car manufacturing, you can operate the switch manually. 

How To Fix a Reversing light?

Your car’s reversing light can stop working properly for more than one reason. Discussed below are the myriad of reasons why a car’s reversing light stops working and the different ways we can fix such recurring issues:

1.      Blown Bulb

One of the most recurring and common problems in a reversing light is that of a blown bulb. To check if your light bulb has blown or not, remove the light from the light, and use an extension wire to connect the light to a well powered battery. If the bulb doesn’t illuminate after connecting it to battery terminals, it indicates an underlying fault in the bulb.

Check for corrosion in the wiring terminals and bulb holder. If any corrosion exists, use paper to clean it up. It hints toward a blown bulb if the bulb still doesn’t illuminate.

2.      Fuse check

If your reversing light doesn’t work, then check for blown fuses. If you experience a blown fuse upon testing the light, there has been a short circuit that can be fixed and traced easily by an auto electrician.

Try testing your car lights again after renewing a fuse. If all other elements connected to the fuse are operational, you need to check the whole circuit for potential issues with the help of a test lamp.

3.      Check the current

Select the reverse gear and then choose an earth point to plug your test lamp. In addition, push the live terminal inside the bulb holder. The current flow is operational if your test lamp lights up. However, if it doesn’t, the next step should be to check the earth’s lead.

Connect the car body with the bulb holder using a short wire to check the earth’s lead. If the bulb still doesn’t illuminate, you will have to replace the earth lead.

4.      Check the wiring

The next step in learning how to fix a reversing light is knowing how to check the wiring if the bulb still isn’t lighting up. To check if the current is being conducted through the wires effectively, follow the reversing wire’s route with the help of a workshop manual. If the problem persists inside the loom and can’t reach the wire, connect it with a new wire and bypass it.

5.      Switch Test

If the wiring in the circuit is still unable to induct current, the next step should be to inspect the gearbox switch. If your car is manual, it will have two switch terminals. However, if it is automatic, it will have four out of which two shouldn’t be touched as they are a part of the inhibitor circuit.

Switch to reverse gear and probe both the test lamp’s terminal to earth one by one. If the lamp illuminates at only one terminal, it means that the switch is faulty. If it lights at both terminals, it indicates that the wires are faulty. However, if it doesn’t light at all, then you should inspect the wires that connect the switch to the fuse.

6.      Fixing the switch

Fixing the switch is the last yet the most important step involved in learning how to fix a reversing light. 

Manual gearbox

If your reversing light’s gearbox is manual, connect both the terminals to a circuit tester, switch to reverse gear, and tighten the right locknut till the tester illuminates.

Automatic gearbox

Some of the switches in an automatic gearbox can be adjusted. You must refer to your car’s workshop manual for the correct method. However, the basic method involves unscrewing the switch and connecting the light terminals via a circuit tester.

Then screw it back in till the light switches off. Now, use paint to put a mark on the switch. Lastly, connect the inhibitor terminals to circuit testers and keep screwing in till the tester illuminates. Mark this position and keep screwing outward. Tighten up the lock nut when this mark is in the middle of both the marks on the gearbox below.


Knowing how to fix a reversing light is crucial for every driver. Without a reversing light, you’re putting your safety and those around you at risk. Thus, educate yourself and make efforts to learn this invaluable skill.