Accident Prevention: Backup Alarms

Simply replace the backup bulbs with alarm bulbs

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.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Add backup alarms to your vehicle

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

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