How to Replace Volvo tail lights

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Elizabeth Sandberg
Updated on Apr 15, 2022 · 5 min read
The typical cost of replacing
Volvo
tail lights is between $65 and $140 per light, but some can cost as much as $280. You can keep costs as low as possible by replacing them yourself. 
Your Volvo’s tail lights allow other drivers to see you and see when you’re braking or backing up—so a bad bulb or shattered lens is a safety concern. Whether you drive a
V50
, an
S60
, or an
XC90
, knowing how to replace your tail lights can keep you safe and help you avoid a traffic violation.  
In this guide from
car insurance
comparison and broker app
Jerry
, we explain how you can replace your Volvo tail lights. Read on to learn the process—including the estimated cost—and how to check out your options for insurance coverage. 
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How to replace a Volvo tail light

Cost: $65 to $280
Time: 30 to 60 minutes depending on the model
Tools needed: Safety glasses, gloves, Philips head screwdriver, replacement parts 
Difficulty: Easy
To replace a bad tail light on your Volvo, begin by isolating the location and the cause of the problem
If you backed into a light pole, it’s easy enough to pinpoint why your tail light isn’t working. But if you were alerted to the issue by law enforcement or noticed a dark bulb on your own, you might need to take a few steps to identify the cause
If both tail lights are out, a bad fuse is the likely culprit. But if only one tail light is affected and the brake lights still work, you may only need to replace a faulty bulb. 
If you’re unsure what the problem is, go ahead and take your Volvo to a repair shop. Sometimes you need an expert mechanic to help you identify and repair more complex wiring issues. 
Once you’ve identified the part that needs to be replaced,
find the part number online
or in your owner’s manual. You will need to know your Volvo’s model, model year, trim level, and engine type to order the correct part. 
Once you have your replacement parts, proper tools, and safety equipment, follow these steps to replace your Volvo  tail light: 
  • Always disconnect the car battery first. You will be working with wires and you don’t want to get an electrical jolt. Remove the negative cable first, then the positive.  
  • Access the tail light assembly. For some models, like the XC40, this means first removing the insulation panels from the back cargo area. For a 240, just remove two plastic covers from inside the trunk. 
  • Remove the bulb. On newer models, press in and turn counterclockwise. For older vehicles, first, turn the bulb housing clockwise and remove it, then twist the bulb to the left and pull it straight out to remove it. 
  • Install the replacement bulb. Wear non-coated gloves to handle and replace bulbs. Handle only the metal part of the bulb, do not touch the glass part of the bulb, since it can shatter easily. 
If a replacement bulb was the only thing you needed, then you’re done! Just replace the assembly and any panels removed and reconnect your battery so you can test the new light
However, If the problem involves a shattered light assembly, there are a few more steps involved. Disconnect and remove the entire tail light assembly by removing all fasteners. Install the replacement assembly. Check whether or not the new assembly includes bulbs—if not, you’ll need to move the old bulbs to the new assembly, or purchase replacement bulbs separately. 
Key Takeaway Changing out a Volvo tail light is a fairly simple process—just make sure you order the right part for your particular model. 

Common causes for Volvo tail light malfunctions

In some cases, the underlying cause of a broken tail light is obvious—we know when someone hits us from behind or when we’ve backed into an immovable object. But if you’re not sure why a tail light isn’t working, explore these potential causes: 
  • Burned out bulb: If only one light is out, it’s most likely a bad bulb.  
  • Faulty wiring or fuses: Defective wiring or a blown fuse could cause tail lights to stop working. 
  • Defective socket: Moisture buildup can corrode tail light sockets. Look for discoloration or residue in the socket when replacing the bulb. 
  • Damaged brake light switch: The brake light switch controls the tail lights. This could be the culprit if you’ve eliminated other potential causes.

Does car insurance cover broken tail lights? 

Your car insurance might cover your Volvo’s broken tail light—but making an insurance claim for this type of repair is rarely advisable
Policies that include collision and/or comprehensive insurance could cover a damaged tail light.
Collision coverage
pays for repairs caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
Comprehensive coverage
would kick in if your tail light was damaged by vandalism or an act of God—an earthquake for example. 
But remember that you’ll be required to
meet your deductible
before insurance pays anything. Because tail light replacements do not cost a lot, it is probably not worth going through insurance. 
The average cost for a mechanic to replace a Volvo tail light is $117, including parts and labor. That is far less than the average car insurance deductible of $500—especially if you do the work yourself! 
Additionally, if you submit a claim to repair your broken tail light, your insurance rates may increase. Why risk paying more when the repair is so inexpensive? It’s usually better to pay for less expensive repairs out of pocket and use insurance only when the overall costs are more than your deductible. 

How to find affordable Volvo insurance

On average, Volvo drivers pay $1,518 a year for
car insurance
—but based on your particular vehicle, driving record, payment history, and more, you could pay even less. 
To find the lowest rates around, download the
Jerry
app. In less than one minute, Jerry will show you customized quotes from 50+ partner companies. If you find one you like, Jerry’s insurance specialists will take you through the sign-up process and help identify the right coverage and discounts. Jerry can even assist in canceling your old policy so you start saving money immediately! 
What kind of savings are we talking about? Jerry users save an average of $887 a year on car insurance—that’s more than half the average yearly cost of Volvo insurance! 
 “I usually don’t leave reviews, but this app was amazing! I’m young and wanted a nice car, so I thought insurance companies would charge me extra. But
Jerry
chopped my usual payments in half! Thanks, Jerry.” —Gabby E.
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FAQs

The total cost to replace Volvo tail lights depends on your specific vehicle and whether or not you do the replacement yourself. On average, though, the cost ranges from $65 to $280. Look up your
Volvo’s replacement parts
to estimate the cost of an at-home replacement.
Replacing your Volvo’s tail lights is easy enough for most do-it-yourselfers, with no special tools required. If you’re new to car maintenance, this is a good task to do, since you aren’t likely to cause serious damage or safety issues if you make a mistake.

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