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Accident Prevention: Backup Alarms

Updated: Dec. 16, 2019

Simply replace the backup bulbs with alarm bulbs

FH12DJA_ALARMS_01-2Family Handyman
Replace your vehicle backup bulbs with alarm bulbs to alert folks nearby for safer backing. It's quick and easy. Or add a louder freestanding backup alarm under your vehicle.

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Add backup alarms to your vehicle

Install a beeper bulb

Remove the backup light socket and snap in the beeper bulb. Wipe off any fingerprints before you reinstall the socket.

We’re not telling you to install a backup alarm, throw your vehicle into reverse and “damn the torpedoes.” But a backup alarm can help avoid accidents by alerting others that you’re about to back up. Backup alarms come in two styles: as a replacement bulb for your existing backup lights and as a freestanding alarm to mount under your vehicle.

The bulb alarm isn’t as loud as a freestanding alarm because the bulb sits inside your light assembly. Choose from two bulb styles: The Hopkins No. 20100VA (about $20) replaces a No. 1156 bulb; the No. 20101VA (about $20) replaces a No. 3156 bulb. If you want a freestanding alarm, try the Wolo BA-52 (about $10). Want to sound like a garbage truck? Buy the heavy-duty, extra-loud BA-107 (about $24) for 107 dB of beep-beep.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Alarm bulb