Brake light conundrum? There are several common occurrences when it comes to diagnosing brake light issues. Here are four that may simply solve your brake light ordeal.
1. BURNT OUT BULB
First and foremost, a burnt-out bulb is one of the most common brake light problems is the most common. 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. It’s cheap and easy to do, most of the time, with a basic set of tools.
2. 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 it’s 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.
3. BAD BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH
If all three brake lights are out at the same time, it’s unlikely that the trio of bulbs died simultaneously. In this case, it’s more likely a bad brake light switch. When the brake pedal gets pushed, a switch is triggered to send a signal to the lights out back that it’s 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 it’s also straightforward for your mechanic to test brake light problems like this one.
4. BLOWN FUSE
If your lights don’t illuminate on either side and your brake light switch is good, then the next thing to check is the brake light fuse. Locate your vehicle’s fuse box, which is usually under the hood or on the kick panel inside the passenger compartment. Using the fuse diagram on the box’s cover (or in the manual), find the fuse for the brake circuit and make sure it hasn’t been blown. If it has, then it is time to replace it with a fuse of the same resistance.
If you keep these tips in mind, most brake light problems will be easy to diagnose and fix on your own.
For more information on diagnosing and repairing brake light problems, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local Performance NAPA store.
Reference: Hunting, B. (2020, November 25). 4 common brake Light problems and how to solve them. Retrieved March 02, 2021, from https://knowhow.napaonline.com/4-common-brake-light-problems-solve/