All You Need To Know About The Bulb Failure Position Light

The bulb failure position light seems no stranger to numerous drivers, but are you clear about its underlying culprits, coupled with feasible solutions to this common issue?

If not, my post will help solve your confusion. Stay tuned!

What Is The Position Light?

bulb failure position light
The Position Light

The position light, or navigation light, is a source of illumination, usually equipped on tall buildings and vehicles, such as automobiles, aircraft, or spacecraft.

As its name suggests, its primary function is to highlight the vehicle’s outer extremities and inform other parties about its current presence.

As regards the motor lighting, you may hear several devices, like the fog lamp bulb, the follow and ghost light, the side marker, the repeater, or the daytime running illuminator.

Generally speaking, they are all position lights.

This safety feature is added to your automobile with the purpose of protecting your safety by enhancing visibility and facilitating a smooth driving experience.

Why Does A Bulb Failure Position Light Mean?

Suppose the bulb position failure message pops up on the instrument cluster; there could be one or more running lights on the exterior of your vehicle that get damaged.

The reasons are multiple, including a defective bulb, a hatch wiring problem, a bulb connection issue, or something wrong with the powertrain control module.

To explain why the above problems are responsible for the faulty navigation lights, you need to comprehend their operation.

When you activate the lights, electrical currents will be delivered to the device (bulb in this context) through a wiring network before reaching the ground.

And this flow is under the control of a powertrain control module.

In other words, if the PCM is on the fritz or your car detects a disruption in the current flow, the faulty bulb position light warning will appear as a result.

How To Find Out The Bulb Light Failure?

volvo bulb failure position light
Discover The Bulb Light Failure

Before knuckling down on the examination procedure, you have to meet all of these requirements:

  • Prepare the necessary equipment and tools, such as the socket, the wrench, and the flashlight. Don’t forget protective glasses and gloves to secure your health.
  • You should start checking when you park your car in a safe place with an unobstructed view. It is advisable for you to do it outdoors instead of in a low-light garage.
  • If you lack automotive knowledge and don’t know how to execute it at home, surf for the bulb reference guide on the Internet or call the nearest motor center, and the qualified mechanic will help you out.
  • Many modern cars follow a symmetrical design, so the lights are usually located at the same position on both sides of the framework. So if you noticed only one light on one side, it would be best to return to the other.

I also share with you two methods that you should pay close attention to.

  1. Make an Exterior Inspection 

Presented below are detailed instructions for you:

  • Step 1: Pull your car up and shut down all the engines.
  • Step 2: Make sure your vehicle is in accessory mode. If it has a smart key feature, coupled with the push-button start, you need to insert the key into the center console yet avoid pressing the brake pedal. Given the physical key, try to push the ignition position 2.
  • Step 3: Walk around your automobile and keep an eye on its framework and related devices. You should particularly take notice of the beam headlights, license plate bulbs, fog lights, bumper corners, tail lights, and daytime running illuminators.
  1. The Hand-held OBD2 Scanner 

It offers a helping hand. When plugged into the car’s port, it could easily detect the broken position light’s location. You can pinpoint the port on the driver’s footwell side.

How To Solve The Problem Of A Light Bulb Failure?

Here is the all-inclusive guidance on getting a failed navigation light fixed:

  • Step 1: Park your car carefully. Don’t forget to switch off the illumination and switch the ignition key to position zero.
  • Step 2: Locate your car’s trunk, especially its inner side.
  • Step 3: Open the flap and take the cover layer out. From this view, you can see the socket, and on top of it is the bad bulb.
  • Step 4: Remove the lamp socket from its original installation and have a closer inspection on it and the faulty wiring if needed.
  • Step 5: Replace the old light bulb with a new one. Remember that you should purchase it from a reliable motor store because fake products are notorious for their bad quality.

Some must-read warnings:

  • Instead of sliding down the framework to remove the socket, you could pull out the red pin and assembly bolts and press the black clip down before taking the speaker cover out. You can see the bulb more clearly this way.
  • If you are an amateur and get confused about bulb installation, you could have an automotive mechanic solve the exterior light fault.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of The Volvo S60 Daytime Running Light?

bulb failure position light volvo
Pros And Cons Of The Volvo S60 Daytime Running Light


The S60 daytime running illuminator, one of the Volvo S60 position lights, makes the car more visible to pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users, which helps reduce the accident rate.

Indeed, the Canadian government has implemented the policy, forcing every car to be equipped with DRLs since December 1st, 1989.

The result was quite positive in that year, shown by a 5.3% reduction in opposing collisions and a 2.5% drop in the angle collisions.

Besides, the lights are also utilized by many brands and automobile manufacturers as distinct signatures of their cars.

An outstanding example of this is the Volvo Thor model’s design, creating a big buzz one time.

Most daytime illuminators operate on an LED source, so it is quite economical to consume less gasoline.


The biggest drawback lies in its brightness. Many vehicles have Volvo daytime running lights, which are bright enough to potentially blind others.

This could render more accidents, in contrast to its original function.

Many people complain that DRLs are unnecessary in some countries with longer daylight hours, such as the United Kingdom or Sweden.

The cost of their bulb replacements is pretty expensive, dismaying many middle-class households.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Drive With A Bulb Failure Light?

The answer is yes.

If you receive the position bulb failure message, your car is still safe to drive. However, it is not recommended in the long run.

Although their breakage does not wreak great havoc on your car, unlike other problems, such as the electrical system’s shutdown or the broken wheel stud, your safety is still jeopardized to some extent.

The reason is that some kinds of navigation lights, including the daytime running light or fog light, are pretty important.

They help enhance your vehicle’s visibility, especially in dark and harsh conditions, such as snow or heavy downpour.

Is The Position Light Mandatory?


In most cases, the position light of the car is not compulsory. But it must be activated on the aircraft from sunset to sunrise.

There are also some exceptions. For instance, in the UK, all manufactured cars must be installed with the daytime running according to the 2011 transportation policies.

The Bottom Line

My article has provided helpful knowledge about the bulb failure position light, from its definition and causes to the examination procedure and viable remedies to this matter.

Besides, I also introduce the benefits together with the limitations of equipping your car with a daytime running light. Hope you find these information sources useful.

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