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 it?
It’s very easy to assume it’s the back glass or rust as the source of the leak, in a lot of other vehicles that is very likely the cause but, for those F150s, it is not. No, no my friend, the culprit is much more subtle. It’s your third brake light, my friend. It never was your back glass, that’s sealed properly, but your little cyclops light only has a cheap piece of garbage foam that’s supposed to keep water out. Clearly, it doesn’t work, and you might now have some minor water damage, but it is a solvable problem.
Some good news
This might not be miraculous right now, but the good news is you don’t have to pay for your back glass to be replaced only to find out you didn’t need to. Also, if you’re savvy, there are videos on YouTube that show you how to fix the leak. You might have to buy a new lamp, but they run anywhere from $40 to $90 dollars which is a lot cheaper than replacing the back glass, trust me. As for any headliner water damage, there are ways 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 too. They just might be able to make a new gasket for the lamp which may even be cheaper than a new lamp. 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.
Review on how we fixed this issue: https://www.customerlobby.com/reviews/25103/adventure-auto-glass/review/51312931
Author: Benjamin Delamater