What Is a Taillight Assembly?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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A taillight assembly is found in cars, motorcycles, trucks and other vehicles, because vehicles legally need this assembly to be driven on the road. This is the assembly that contains the brake and turn lights of a vehicle, and it is specifically made for the back of the vehicle. While there are some generic assemblies, most are made specifically for a certain make and model of vehicle. The taillight assembly typically is made from plastic, though there might be some metal around the edges. It normally is easy to add the assembly without assistance, though some vehicles may make this harder than others.

All vehicles need brake and turn lights so other drivers know when a vehicle is stopping or turning. These lights help prevent accidents and are the main part of the taillight assembly. If the taillights go out on a vehicle, then it is not always necessary to change the entire assembly; normally, just the bulb has to be changed. When the lights are broken, the covering is shattered or the lights do not work even after the addition of a fresh light bulb, they normally are changed.


The vast majority of taillight assembly kits are made for a specific make and model of vehicle, because each vehicle model typically has differently shaped taillights. If someone buys the wrong assembly, then there is a high chance that it will not fit in the person’s vehicle. Model year is sometimes important, because one year’s model may have different taillights than another year’s, though this isn't always the case.

Most taillight assembly kits are made primarily of plastic. This can keep someone from cutting himself if the covering shatters, and it typically is cheaper to make. There usually is a silver or black lining around the lights to help set them in the vehicle, and the lining can be made from shiny plastic or metal.

It usually is easy to replace a taillight assembly, but there are some vehicles in which this may be very difficult. To remove the old assembly, it either has to be pulled out or unscrewed from the back, normally from inside the trunk. The assembly sometimes will come right out, or several wires may have to be disconnected from the assembly before it can be removed. After the old assembly is out, the new assembly goes in the same way. Even though the assembly is new, it always should be checked before driving, because a faulty taillight assembly increases the chances of having an accident.


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