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.
Chevrolet Malibu Tail Light Buyer’s Guide
- One part that will likely need to be replaced in an accident is your Chevrolet Malibu tail light.
- Your Chevy Malibu tail lights allow other vehicles behind you to estimate the size of your vehicle and clearly see your movements in low-light conditions.
- Some of the reasons why you’ll need to replace this component include dimming or flickering, malfunctioning bulbs, and loose-fitting tail light housings
- The cost of a Chevy Malibu tail light will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific model year. OE replacement tail lights will generally cost you anywhere between $35 and $480.
What started as a subseries of the Chevrolet Chevelle has outlived its predecessor to become one of the most successful mid-size sedans of its time. The Chevrolet Malibu has been beloved by American families for more than half a century thanks to its efficiency, clean design, and focus on safety.
But no matter how careful you are with driving, and despite the reliability of these sedans, accidents cannot be completely avoided. When these things happen, the one part that will likely need to be replaced is your Chevrolet Malibu tail light.
When is a Chevrolet Malibu tail light replacement necessary?
Your Chevy Malibu tail lights allow other vehicles behind you to estimate the size of your vehicle and clearly see your movements in low-light conditions. Your tail light assembly also comes with other warning lights such as the brake lights and turn signal lights.
Here are some of the reasons why you’ll need to replace your tail lights.
Dim or flickering tail lights
When your tail lights are dim or flickering, other vehicles may not be able to see that you are driving in front of them. You’ll also have trouble communicating with other drivers as you prepare to slow down, switch lanes, or make a turn.
Busted tail lights
Busted tail lights can be caused by a problem with the switch, relay, or the tail light bulb. To accurately diagnose an electrical problem like this, it is best to consult a licensed mechanic.
Loose tail light housing
Because of their location on top of the rear bumper, your tail lights are prone to cracks and damage after a rear-end collision. These accidents may also cause the tail light housing to come loose. Even if the tail light is still operational, your vehicle may be unsafe to drive because the assembly may suddenly fall off and become a road hazard.
How much are Chevy Malibu tail lights?
The cost of a Chevy Malibu tail light will vary depending on your vehicle’s specific model year. OE replacement tail lights will generally cost you anywhere between $35 and $480. These are sold individually, in sets of two, or as part of a kit.
Finding the right fit
Each of the Chevy Malibu’s nine generations carries parts of different styles and fit. To find the right tail lights for your specific vehicle, you may use our website’s search filter. You may also shop for related components such as a Chevy Malibu replacement bulb. Simply type in the correct model year of your vehicle to browse through all compatible parts.
Tips on Caring for a Chevrolet Malibu Tail Light Assembly
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.