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By Kara Vanderbeek
Updated on Apr 4, 2022
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff, Staff Editor.
You can replace a broken tail light on your Cadillac for $20 to $165 per light and skip the spike in insurance rates by completing the repair yourself in a few easy steps.
Tail lights are an important safety feature on your vehicle, ensuring other drivers can see your vehicle in even the most inclement weather or low visibility conditions. It comes as no surprise that a broken tail light can result in a hefty ticket or worse, an avoidable accident.
To ensure you can navigate the process of a tail light repair, car insurance comparison, and broker app Jerry has created a guide with everything you need to know about Cadillac tail light replacement. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of replacing your tail lights and review your options for insurance coverage.
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How to replace a Cadillac tail light
Cost: $20 to $165
Time: 20 minutes
Tools needed: Phillips head screwdriver, safety gloves, trim tool
Whether you drive an Escalade, Eldorado Touring, or an XTS Luxury, the steps for replacing your tail lights are fairly similar.
You can start by first troubleshooting the cause of the problem. If you notice that both tail lights are out, the source of the problem could be a blown fuse, whereas if only one tail light is malfunctioning, the likely cause is a burnt-out bulb.
Once you’ve determined the cause of the problem, you can begin the process of replacing your tail light.
To replace a tail light on a Cadillac SRX, follow these steps:
- Open the trunk of your Cadillac. Remove the small clip from the trim piece next to the tail light and pull off the trim.
- Next, remove the two Phillips head screws and pull out the tail light.
- Remove the wires from the tail light by squeezing the connector locks and pulling at the base.
- Remove the light bulbs by twisting the bulbs to the left.
- You can now replace the bulbs and reinstall the lights by completing the steps in reverse order.
To replace a tail light on a Cadillac Escalade, follow these steps:
- Disconnect the electric connector that sits underneath the vehicle. You can find it in the area by the rear bumper.
- Remove the white safety clip using a trim tool or flathead screwdriver. Next, you can push down on the taps and pull down to remove the connector.
- Open the trunk of the car and locate the two mounting screws by the tail light.
- Remove the screws and pop out the tail light (hint: you may need to use a trim tool to complete this step!)
- You can now replace the bulbs or the bulb casing, depending on what your car needs replaced.
- Once the bulbs have been replaced, you canreattach the safety clip and remove the old grommets from the body panel.
- Finally, you can reinstall the lights by completing the steps in reverse order.
Remember to use safety gloves and avoid touching the glass bulb when completing a light replacement. This will protect you from breaking the glass or prematurely burning out the bulb.
If you’re unsure of the cause of the problem or feel uncomfortable completing the repair yourself, a mechanic can help you identify and address the issue.
Commons reasons for Cadillac tail light malfunctions
Tail light malfunctions, though a common incidence, can be detrimental to the safety of those on the road. While some tail lights are broken in obvious scenarios, such as a direct collision, other causes of malfunction are not so easy to pinpoint.
Common reasons for Cadillac tail light malfunctions include:
- A blown fuse: If your fuse is blown, your vehicle’s circuit can’t function properly, and your rear lights will be unable to illuminate. In some cases, moisture can enter a cracked tail light lens which can cause the circuit to blow.
- Burnt-out bulbs: If only one of your rear lights is out, you likely have a burnt-out bulb. This occurs when the filament inside the bulb is broken, preventing the gas from illuminating the bulb. Since the bulb cannot affect the entire rear light circuit, burnt-out bulbs typically present themselves in isolation.
- Bad relay: The relay system functions to transfer power from the battery to the tail lights. If the relay has failed, the power circuit cannot be completed, thus impacting the functioning of the lights.
- Broken brake light switch: Your brake light switch may be the culprit if your rear lights continue to function normally but don’t become brighter when braking. In this case, the brake light switch circuit may be disconnected or out of place.
Does car insurance cover broken tail lights?
If your policy includes collision or comprehensive coverage, your Cadillac’s broken tail light will likely be covered by your insurance.
Collision coverage can take care of the repairs if the problem occurred as the result of a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object while comprehensive coverage can cover your tail light from damages by vandalism or a natural disaster. However, it’s recommended that you don’t use insurance for this repair.
If you choose to go through insurance, you will have to pay your deductible before insurance kicks in. The average cost to pay for a tail light replacement, including parts and labor, is around $200, while the average car insurance deductible is $500.
Further, if you complete the repair yourself, it will be even cheaper. Thus, with the potential increase in your rate after you submit a claim, in conjunction with the hefty repair price, it's usually smarter to pay out of pocket for a repair rather than going through insurance.
How to find affordable Cadillac insurance
On average, Cadillac drivers pay $1,837 a year on car insurance. However, depending on the model you drive, that rate may be higher. Cadillacs are typically expensive to maintain and insure, so it’s important that you find the best deals whenever possible.
With car insurance expert and super app Jerry, insurance shopping has never been easier. In less than one minute, Jerry will compare rates from over 50 top providers to bring you customized quotes, with users saving an average of $887 per year on car insurance!
Jerry’s friendly insurance experts will provide end-to-end support, answer any questions you may have, and can even cancel your existing policy for you!
“I usually hate all the phone calls that come with getting car insurance quotes, but with Jerry I was able to do everything over text. I went from $224 with my previous provider to $193 with Nationwide. Such a relief!” —Gabby P.
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How much does it cost to replace a Cadillac tail light?
The total cost to replace Cadillac tail lights depends on your specific vehicle and whether or not you do the replacement yourself. On average, you can expect to pay between $20 and $165.
Can you replace tail lights yourself?
Yes! Replacing your Cadillac’s tail lights is one of the easiest car maintenance tasks and can be a great way to save money. Further, the stakes are fairly low, and any mistakes you make likely won’t impact the safety or functioning of your vehicle.