There's nothing wrong with asking for people's attention when you're driving. As a matter of fact, it's important. See, going unnoticed is one way of getting hit by other vehicles. And this doesn't happen only when you're on the road; it can happen while you're in the midst of parking as well. So to avoid this from happening, you need to have your ride equipped with a parking light. The parking light plays an important role when you park your vehicle since it lets other drivers see you. Once alerted, they're able to get out of your way, allowing you to go about your business. Aside from helping you during parking, this lighting fixture can help make your ride more visible when you're on the road at night. Now to help these parking lights function properly, they're either hooked up with your headlights so they light up once the headlights are turned on or they're connected to a different system. They're also designed to match most vehicle makes and models enabling them to fit perfectly in place during set up. Remember, going unnoticed while you're parking should be avoided at all costs. And the best way to do that is by investing in a parking light. That way, oncoming drivers get to see you and are able to give you the room you need to park your ride without any mishaps.
Parking Light Buyer’s Guide
· Parking lights, also known as sidelights, are external automotive lights installed in the front and rear corners of a vehicle.
· Parking lights were originally meant to illuminate the outline of a vehicle while parked in the dark.
· It was only in 1968 when these lights were wired into the same circuit and used concurrently with the headlights.
· Today, these serve as an additional lighting component that can be useful as a backup in case of emergencies.
· There are three types of parking lights based on lens type and location: amber indicator-based parking lights, clear/white parking lights, and parking lights inside the headlight housing.
· The cost of a parking light will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement parts will typically cost you anywhere between $30 to $1,800. These lights are often sold individually, in sets of two, or as part of a kit.
· Signs of a bad parking light include failure to switch on, dim or flickering bulbs, cracked or damaged lenses, and moisture inside the lighting assembly.
· Replacing damaged parking lights is critical for your safety on the road, especially while driving in low-light conditions.
What is a parking light?
Parking lights, also known as sidelights, are external automotive lights installed in the front and rear corners of a vehicle. These typically have white or amber lenses in the front and red lenses in the rear.
Older vehicle models usually have parking lights installed in the front of the vehicle, separate from the headlight assembly. Modern vehicles typically have these lights integrated into the headlight and taillight assemblies.
How do parking lights work?
As its name suggests, the parking light is an automotive light that was meant to be activated while the vehicle is parked. Parking lights were originally wired on a different system from the headlights. Today, they are wired into the same circuit and used concurrently with the headlights. Today, they can be activated using the light switch on the lever protruding from the steering column or using a button or dial on the dashboard.
What are parking lights used for?
Parking lights were originally meant to illuminate the outline of a vehicle while parked in the dark. These were intended to be left on while parked in a narrow road where street lighting was poor. These lights made it possible for oncoming vehicles to see and avoid parked cars as they approached them.
As roads became wider and better illuminated, using parking lights on their own became less common. Today, these serve as additional lighting components that can be useful as a backup in case of emergencies.
Types of parking lights
There are three types of parking lights based on lens type and location: amber indicator-based parking lights, clear/white parking lights, and parking lights inside the headlight housing.
Amber indicator-based parking lights
The most common type of parking lights in the US are amber parking lights, which illuminate a steady orange glow in the front indicators and rear tail light assemblies.
White parking lights
While not as common, you may find vehicles that have parking lights that illuminate a white light instead of orange. Most European and Asian cars feature a separate parking light with a clear or white bulb and lens.
Inside the headlight housing
This is the least common type of parking light here in the US, which can usually be seen in older vehicle models. Volkswagen Beetles and Porsche 356s built before the late 60s featured small, clear parking lights in the same unit as the headlamps.
How much is a parking light replacement?
The cost of a parking light will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model. OE replacement parts will typically cost you anywhere between $30 to $1,800. These lights are often sold individually, in sets of two, or as part of a kit.
While it is possible to work on this part on your own, it is highly recommended to have a licensed mechanic install it for you. This is to help you ensure proper fitting and help you diagnose any electrical issues if necessary.
Signs of a failing parking light
Watch out for the following signs of a bad or failing parking light.
Parking lights won’t switch on
As most parking lights are connected to the headlight and taillight circuitry, problems with switching them on can be one of three things: there could either be an issue with the light switch mechanism, the wiring of the lights, or there could be a problem with the power source.
To accurately diagnose the problem, it is highly recommended to consult a trusted mechanic to check your vehicle’s lighting system. This will help you accurately determine which component requires replacement and ultimately prevent costly repairs down the road.
Parking lights are dim or flickering
Dim or flickering lights are often a sign of failing light bulbs. Halogen bulbs are more likely to burn out faster than their LED counterparts. Replacement parking lights are sold with or without included light bulbs.
Cracked and damaged lenses
Due to the location of these lights in the front and rear of your vehicle, theyare likely to get damaged in parking accidents or minor collisions. Cracked or damaged lenses may become a road hazard if parts suddenly fall off while driving at high speeds. At the same time, it exposes the bulb to the elements and makes it prone to damage.
Moisture inside the headlight or taillight assembly
As some parking lights are located inside the headlight and taillight assembly, any trapped moisture within the housing can cause premature wear on these lights. Condensation is often caused by a broken seal or a crack in the lens or housing. As soon as you notice water or moisture building up inside the light assembly, have it checked by a professional mechanic.
The importance of replacing a damaged parking light
External automotive lights are critical for your safety on the road, especially while driving in low-light conditions. While it is illegal to drive with only the parking lights on, these can help provide additional illumination in case of emergencies.
For example, one of your vehicle’s headlight bulbs may suddenly burn out while you’re driving at night. Having a functioning parking light helps prevent other drivers from mistaking your vehicle for a motorcycle, avoiding fatal collisions on the road.
Use our website’s search bar to find the right replacement parking light for your vehicle. Simply plug in your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model to filter your search and browse through our vast collection of parts.
Replacing Broken Parking Lights
Parking lights are safety indicators that make cars more visible during night, foggy, and rainy situations. It is important to immediately repair a broken set because it can be a hazard to other drivers. Here is a general instruction guide on how to remove and install parking lights on your car.
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Wrench set
- Parking light assembly
Step 1: Park your car and turn of the ignition. Disconnect the battery wires.
Step 2: Locate the broken parking light. Depending on where the repair is, open the hood or the trunk to access the back of the assembly. Remove the holding screws and keep them in a safe place. They will be used later.
Step 3: Disconnect the bulb, socket and other wires linked to the parking light. Some assemblies would require you to first remove the bulb from the outside by taking the lens off, then unscrewing the bulb before completely removing the unit.
Step 4: Once all attachments are off, take off and discard the assembly from the car. Next, fit in the molding the new parking light.
Step 5: With a new unit, there is no need to take off the lens anymore because the bulb will directly fit into the socket. Connect assembly to the socket and wires. Secure it by returning all the screws removed earlier.
Step 6: Connect the battery (if removed) and test the lights to see if they work properly.
This quick repair will take around 15 minutes per assembly.
- Wiring can be very tricky for novices. For a visual guide, take a digital picture of the original wiring connections with the old assembly before taking it apart.