Melted Tail Light Housing - Ford Focus Wagon 2007

Recently the turn signal light burned out on my Ford Focus wagon. I bought a new bulb and unscrewed the taillight housing.

When I got in there, I discovered that the tail light assembly is melted, presumably from the heat of the bulb. The socket also is darked from heat. It was a b*tch to get the socket out, as the plastic is misshapen. But I eventually got it out, changed the bulb, and jimmied the socket back in to the housing.

So, the light works again, but I’m worried about the safety of the whole thing. I checked the other side of the car - melted on the other side, too.

I called two dealerships. One said, “normal, no big deal.” The other said, “sounds bad, bring it for us to look.”

Thoughts??? Is this normal or do I need to have it looked at?

Have it looked at.

If it isn’t under warranty you don’t need a dealer. You can take it to any local, independent place with a decent reputation.

Heat developes in an electrical connector when there is poor contact between pins and sockets, or bulb base and socket. Use an electrical heat conductive paste in the connections and sockets. See how that works. It’s available at auto parts stores, Radio Shack, and dealer’s parts department.

Not normal.
1 ) Get your left foot off the brake.
Under normal use there’s not too much heat with the running lamps using the dim filament.
But if the bright filament is burning too often or too long, heat builds up. A turn signal alone will not do this.

2 )Perhaps you drive a lot at night or have the headlights on while driving and if the running lamps are acually building up too much heat ( again, not normal ) , try the hellokit idea. ( many bulb replacers tend to wipe away the OE bulb grease yet that, and moisture displacement, is why it’s there. )

I would not be surprised if your brake light switch is sticking or maladjusted. Driving with the brake lights on all the time will overheat the sockets just as you describe.