Brake Lights & Braking Electrical
4 COMMON BRAKE LIGHT PROBLEMS & HOW TO SOLVE
Brake light problems donít have to be head-scratchers.
There are certain issues that crop up over and over again when diagnosing brake light issues, which makes it that much
easier to figure out whatís wrong with your brakes when you tap the pedal. Check out these four common brake light
conundrums and how you can solve them.
1. Burnt Out Bulb
By far, a burnt out bulb is one of the brake light problems that crops up the most, and itís easy to
understand why. Think of how much time you spend with your foot on the brake, and then consider that the bulb has to
be illuminated during that entire period. Newer models have switched to LED lights that last much longer, but older
vehicles still feature bulbs that need to be popped out and replaced. Itís cheap and easy to do, most of the time,
with a basic set of tools.
2. Bad Brake Light Switch
When the brake pedal gets pushed, a switch is triggered to send a signal to the lights out back that
itís time to turn on. Analog switches wear out over time, and they can get dirty, too, which interferes with their
ability to make positive contact and transmit the right signal. Replacing the switch is not a big job, and itís also
straightforward for your mechanic to test brake light problems like this one. If all three brake lights are out at the
same time, itís unlikely that the trio of bulbs died simultaneously. In this case, itís more likely a bad brake light
3. Blown FuseCar fuses
If your lights donít illuminate on either side and your brake light switch is good, then the next thing
to check is the brake light fuse. Locate your vehicleís fuse box, which is usually under the hood or on the kick panel
inside the passenger compartment. Using the fuse diagram on the boxís cover (or in the manual), find the fuse for the
brake circuit and make sure it hasnít been blown. If it has, replace it with a fuse of the same resistance.
4. Bad Socket
If you have a single brake light out and the bulb is good, then the next step is to check the light
socket itself. Brake light problems can include a socket whose connections are dirty or corroded, or one whose wiring
has become worn to the point where itís only making an intermittent connection. Replacing a socket is as simple as
snipping the old wires and splicing in the new unit, which is typically an inexpensive part to purchase.
If you keep these tips in mind, most brake light problems will be easy to diagnose and fix on
● Head Lights