Frequently Asked Questions Ask APW
Does the Ford Focus' third tail light provide a significant advantage in terms of safety over only a pair of tail lights? Is it just for aesthetic purposes?
Answer: Although it may seem an accessory, the third tail light on the Ford Focus actually aids the driver more in avoiding possible rear-end collisions. In fact, an experiment in the 1970s showed that taxis with a third tail light suffered 60.6% less rear-end collisions than those with only two tail lights. This suggests that the third tail light helps in increasing the trailing driver's reaction time to prevent miscalculated stops that may lead to collisions.
If there is no time or budget to visit a mechanic, is there an easy DIY alternative in detecting a third tail light leak on the Ford Focus?
Answer: Unlike most cars, the Ford Focus has a third tail light on its rear end. Aside from damages such as cracks and fogging, there is a possibility for the third tail light to leak. To detect leaks without having to visit a mechanic is pretty easy and trouble-free as it only requires the driver's observation. Usually, when there is a leak on the third tail light, there is a noticeable condensation or appearance of large bubbles on the tail light housing. This is made observable by spraying soapy water on the housing and by setting the Ford Focus' interior fan to high. If there are no signs of bubbles or condensation, then the tail lights are fine.
Instead of buying new Ford Focus tail lights, are there cheap alternatives in making the stock lights look shiny and new?
Answer: Since the ultraviolet light coming from the sun can fog up the plastic tail lights on the Ford Focus, it is important to constantly maintain the surface quality of the lamps to make them look new. Replacements are costly, but luckily, tools that help polish the stock tail lights are readily available at home or at the local hardware store. Polishing the tail lights to look new require only materials like sand papers and 100% cotton rags. A good tip would be to use acrylic buffing compounds that help remove scratches on the tail lights.