If your brake lights aren’t working you are putting both yourself and anyone driving behind you in danger. Some vehicles have a warning light for when your brake lights aren’t working, but others don’t. If your car doesn’t have a warning light, be sure to check your brake lights periodically.
Common reasons for this to happen:
- Blown fuse: A fuse is a low resistance resistor that provides overcurrent protection. It is responsible for limiting excessive currents so as to power an electrical system without damaging it. Brake lights rely on a fuse for their electrical input, so when the fuse blows, the lights stop working.
- Bad brake light switch: A brake light switch works just like a house light switch. It sends a signal to the brake lights to turn on and off depending on whether or not you are depressing the brake pedal. When the brake light switch goes bad, there no is connection between the brake pedal and the brake lights.
- Burnt out bulb: Just like household light bulbs, vehicle bulbs can burn out over time. If you have your car for a long time, it’s likely that at some point a brake light or two will burn out and need to be replaced.
- Dirty contact in bulb socket: Brake light bulb sockets can collect debris and residue over time. This dirtiness can impact the contacts and keep the socket and the bulb from making a good connection, which can be enough to keep the light from turning on.
How important is this service?
You won’t be likely to damage your vehicle further by driving it with a malfunctioning brake light. However, it is unsafe to drive without properly functioning brake lights, as the drivers behind you won’t be alerted when you’re braking.