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Chevrolet Malibu Tail Light Assembly

Troubleshooting Chevrolet Malibu Tail Light Assembly Problems

A malfunctioning Chevrolet Malibu tail light assembly can lead to a ticket or, even worse, a higher risk of accident on the road, but identifying and fixing tail light problems is not that particularly difficult. In this guide, we'll show you some troubleshooting tips on common tail light problems for the Chevrolet Malibu.

One of the lights stopped working

If a single tail light stops functioning, the most likely cause is a burned-out tail light bulb. Check the bulb and see if the filaments are broken, the bulb has blacked out or are shattered and in need of replacement. However, if the bulbs are in fairly good condition, damaged or loose wiring might be the culprit. Check the wiring near the tail light and under the car for fraying, cuts and other types of damage. Also, check connections to see whether they are still solid and if the internal surfaces are not covered in rust. Replace any damaged or corroded wiring if necessary.

Multiple light failure

If more than one bulb has failed in the tail light assembly, the likely cause of the problem is a blown fuse. The location of the fuse box in the Chevrolet Malibu depends on the model year, although they are usually located under the battery cover on the driver's side, inside the trunk on the driver's side, near the floorboards on the passenger's side and under the dashboard on the passenger's side. Open the fuse box and look at the thin metal strip inside the fuses - if the strip is broken, the fuse has blown. Replace any blown fuses with new ones.

Dim tail lights

If the Chevrolet Malibu tail lights are emitting a dim glow, it's likely because of a bad grounding of the tail light sockets. Locate and remove out the tail light ground connector and check for rust and deterioration - moisture often enters the compartment of the tail light connector, causing it to rust. Remove rust using sandpaper or, if the connector is already badly damaged, replace it with a solderless ring connector. Once the connector has been cleaned or replaced, return it to the vehicle. Check if the screws securing the connector are rusted as well and clean or replace them if needed.

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  • Tips on Caring for a Chevrolet Malibu Tail Light Assembly 04 March 2014

    The tail light assembly in your Chevrolet Malibu is made of tough injection-molded plastic and metal. It can last the entire life of your car. However, without proper care and maintenance, the tail lights may fail due to wear and deterioration. To prevent this, simply follow these Chevrolet Malibu tail light maintenance tips:

    • Keep them away from sunlight.
    • Constant exposure to the sun's UV rays can cause the plastic tail light lens to deteriorate. If left unattended, the lens may fog up on the inside or, in worst case scenarios, this may result in a textured white layer over the lens with minor to severe fracturing. To prevent this, always park your Chevrolet Malibu in the garage or in a shaded area. If the car will be parked in open sunlight for prolonged periods, protect it with a UV-resistant car cover.
    • Polish the tail lights regularly.
    • Aside from a good washing, polishing the tail light assembly on a regular basis helps keep it clean and remove any minor scratch on the lens surface. Some acrylic buffing compounds used to polish tail lights nowadays also come with chemicals that protect the lens against oxidation and UV rays. After cleaning the tail lights, sand the tail light lens with 1500-grit sandpaper directly on visible scratches and apply the buffing compound on the tail lights one at a time. Make sure to use only 100% cotton rags to avoid adding more scratches on the plastic surface.
    • Check the wiring.
    • Regular inspection of the tail lights' electrical connections is an excellent way to detect any defect and prevent any serious problem with the Chevrolet Malibu tail light assembly. Be on the lookout for any cut on the wires or rust on the metal contacts and repair or replace them if necessary. However, be careful when handling and inspecting the tail light connections as any significant pressure may damage the wires.
    • Take extra care when pulling out tail light bulbs.
    • Simply pulling out the bulbs from the tail light assembly would only damage the socket and the assembly itself. To remove the bulbs from Chevrolet Malibu tail lights, rotate the socket 1/4 counter-clockwise and pull the socket out of the assembly. Once the socket is free, gently wiggle the bulb back and forth until it pops out.