Reverse light switch for different automobiles
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Your Reverse light switch worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
The reverse light switch is a small internal switch engaging the reverse lights when shifting in to reverse gear. Contrary to headlight and blinkers, the reverse light switch is engaged automatically without any intervention by the driver. The reverse light switch hardly ever fails and is easy to replace.
Reverse light switch position
The reverse light switch can be installed at several different locations in the car. It must be automatically activated as soon as the reverse gear is engaged. In many models it is therefore positioned right at the drive shaft, in other cars it is located close to the gearbox. The car's repair manual provides information about the exact location of the switch. The reverse light switch is connected to the wiring harness with two cables. The wiring and the cable shoe are two malfunction sources which should be checked prior to a complete replacement of the switch.
Reverse light switch construction
The reverse light switch consists of a massive steel housing. Essentially this is a thick hollow bolt with an integrated switch. For economic reasons most reverse light switches are purely mechanical parts: on the top of the hollow bolt sits a pin, opening and closing the circuit with a spring. At the other end of the hollow bolt is a plastic housing for the cable shoe.
Reverse light switch defects
A reverse light switch defect can be determined in only one way: a non-functional white reverse light. To do this, the reverse gear needs to be applied at stationary running and engaged ignition. Standing behind the car, you can establish whether or not the reverse light is working. It must function irrespective of the light being switched on. The first suspicion falls on the lamps. In most cars this is a simple light bulb. Sooner or later these burn out, like the brake lights, rear lights or the blinkers. We recommend replacement by an LED-lamp. These lamps are considerably more reliable and durable than the traditional bulbs.
If the lamp is ok, (test-wise it can be checked with another bulb from the rear lighting) the fault must be found in the area of the wiring or the switch itself. Firstly, the fuse should be checked. This can be replaced in case of a defect. Nevertheless the reverse light's functioning must be monitored as a fuse does not blow without a reason. If the resistance in the switch is too high, this can lead to burning of the fuse. If the fuse, wiring and the plug connections are not the reason for the non-functional reverse light, very probable the reverse light switch is the cause.
The reverse light switch must be simply screwed from its fitting and replaced by a new part. At replacement, the contact should be cleaned and if necessary polished. Purchase of a new reverse light switch The price of a new reverse light switch starts at ca. 6 euro (£5). Even high-grade branded spare parts by e.g. FEBI BILSTEIN should only cost a fraction more. Therefore there is no reason to choose for offers by an obscure cheap retailer. A certified branded quality protects against undue wear and durably secures the function of this unit.
On occasion of checking the rear lighting, all signalling lights should be checked as well. Best functionality is guaranteed by the use of LED lamps. Apart from being durable, they show a very short responsiveness as well. This upgrades the operational security of your car.