by Justin Cupler
image of license plates from timur1970 of Fotolia.com
Having a license plate light off can result in a fine and possible court date, so it’s best to get that light fixed as soon as possible. There are several reasons why the light goes out: a burned out light bulb, faulty wiring, or a faulty plug. You will learn how to repair each of these possible causes of your lighting problem.
Replacing a burned out light bulb
Remove the cover over the license plate bulb. Every car is different, but most have a tab that pushes in and slides out.
Remove the bulb from the socket. Sometimes it’s a tight fit, so you may need to use a screwdriver to pry up and loosen the bulb.
Compare the stamping on the metal part of the old bulb to the new bulb to make sure the new bulb is the correct size and wattage for your vehicle.
Fit the new bulb into the socket by simply pressing it in until it is securely seated in the socket.
Replace the cap on the bulb by simply pressing it into place until it clicks.
Turn on your vehicle’s lights and verify that they are working properly.
Faulty wiring replacement
Locate the shorted wire by tracing it through the wiring diagram found in your repair manual.
Cut off the bad section of wiring.
Cut a section of replacement cable the same length as the section you removed from your vehicle.
Strip approximately 1/4 “from the end of each wire and twist the ends together. Use a good layer of solder to secure the connection and wrap them in electrical tape.
Retest the power coming through the cord at the plug end to make sure there is proper voltage. If the voltage is correct, replace the items you removed to access the wire and verify that the lights are working properly.
Replacing a faulty plug
Remove the cap from the bulb. This process varies from vehicle to vehicle, but most are removed simply by pressing the locking tab on the side and pulling on the lens.
Remove the bulb from the socket by pulling it by hand or prying it with a screwdriver.
Remove the plug from your vehicle. This process can vary from vehicle to vehicle, but most vehicles have one or two bolts that hold the bushing in place.
Disconnect the old plug from the wiring by separating the connectors. Some vehicles are hardwired and will require you to cut the plug from your vehicle.
Plug the new plug into the existing cables in your vehicle. This will require splicing and soldering in vehicles where the plug is wired.
Place a light bulb in the socket and verify that it is working properly before reinstalling it, if possible.
Put the new plug in place and secure it with the screws that held the old plug in place.
Replace the lens on the bulb simply by pressing it until it clicks into place.
Check for proper operation once everything is installed.
- Replace the bulb every time you handle it.
- Use a cloth or handkerchief when handling new bulbs to prevent oil contamination.
- Always disconnect the negative terminal of your car battery when working with electronic devices.
Articles will need
- Basic set of hand tools
- Repair manual (Haynes or Chilton & # 039; s)
- Electric tape
- Electric cable
- Wire cutters
- Wire stripping tool