As we all are aware of, all car models 1986 and newer have a third brake light or “cyclops” light. This was a safety measure enacted by the Reagan administration to reduce the number of low-speed rear accidents. Whether it works to prevent accidents or not, all cars have them. Some are on trunk doors while others just above the tailgates of trucks. Some are even on the inside of the car behind the rear windshield. But who cares right? This isn’t the most interesting topic out there, but alas, I have a point. If you own a 2004-2014 Ford F150 truck you might want to stick around, the rest of you are dismissed.
What’s the matter?
Do you want the bad news or good news first? Bad news, alright. The back glass of your truck may or may not be leaking. It isn’t like a leaky ship pouring in during a rain, but enough is likely coming through to cause water damage maybe a few drips running down. Overall, not the worst news since it is fixable, but you probably want to know why before you jump to conclusions.
What’s actually causing the leak?
It’s easy to assume the back glass or rust is the source of the leak, in many vehicles that may be the case, but for those F150s, it is not. No, my friend, the culprit is far more discreet. Your third brake light. The back glass is sealed properly, but your cyclops light was originally installed with a cheap piece-of-garbage foam to keep water out. Evidently, that foam doesn’t work and you now have minor water damage.
Some good news
This might not be miraculous now, but the good news is you don’t have to pay for your back glass to be replaced for no reason. Further, if you’re savvy, there are videos on YouTube that explain how to fix the third break light leak. You may have to buy a new break light, but they run anywhere from $40 to $90 dollars which is far cheaper than replacing the back glass. As for any headliner water damage, there are simple tricks to chemically repair it without having to replace it.
More good news
If you did happen to take it to an auto glass shop, like ours, the technicians might be able to fix the light without having to buy a new one. At their discretion they could even make a new gasket for the lamp themselves. They might also clean any damaged headliner or offer advice on how to do so if they are unable.
Just some advice
Word of advice though, local in-network shops are typically more accommodating than large chain shops or out-of-network shops. We have a lot riding on customer satisfaction and do our best to fix things correctly the first time. With any shop you choose though, it’s important to be courteous, understanding, and patient though. A positive, optimistic attitude goes a long way for everyone.
A real customer review on how we fixed this issue: https://www.customerlobby.com/reviews/25103/adventure-auto-glass/review/51312931
Author: Benjamin Delamater
We provide windshield repair and replacement service to most of Yavapai County including the great Prescott & Prescott Valley area as well as the Verde Valley, Sedona, and much more! More questions? Give us a call, we’re happy to help!