When it comes to the brakes, there are numerous components to keep an eye on. You need to purchase the best brake pads when your old ones begin to wear down. However, you should not overlook the brake lights. These lights inform drivers behind you of when you are slowing down, so they help you avoid a lot of accidents. You may not even realize there is a problem for a long time because they are behind your car. This is why you want to give your vehicle a thorough examination every so often so that you can fix common brake light issues on your own.

Burnt Out Lightbulb

The first thing you should check when your brake lights go out is the bulb. This bulb lights up every time you put your foot on the brake, so it gets a lot of usage. If this causes your problems, then you simply need to install a new bulb. It is not like installing brake rotor replacement parts. You only need a basic set of tools to do this, but anyone with basic working knowledge of vehicles can accomplish this task.

Poor Brake Light Switch

The reason your brake lights illuminate is that a switch becomes triggered to send a signal to the lights. If your vehicle has analog switches, then they will get dirty and wear out over time. This interferes with the lights’ ability to turn on. You know this is likely the issue if all of your brake lights go out at the same time. It is highly unlikely the bulbs would burn out simultaneously, so you should have your mechanic check the switch.

Blown Out Fuse

After your mechanic confirms the brake light switch is still working, then you should next inspect the brake light fuse. You need to find your car’s fuse box, which is typically underneath the hood or in the kick panel. You can use the fuse diagram located on the box’s cover or in your driver’s manual. You can find the fuse for the brake light circuit. You may need to replace it with a fuse of the exact same resistance. You should have this work done by a mechanic because it is dangerous to work on wires on your own.

Poor Socket

After checking the fuses, then you need to turn your attention to the light socket. It is possible for the socket to develop a bad connection due to corrosion or dirt. It is also possible for the wiring to degrade to the point where it can only create an intermittent connection. When the socket no longer works, you need to replace it. Fortunately, sockets tend to be inexpensive.

A vast majority of the time, brake light issues are the result of one of these four problems. The good news is that you can check for all of these on your own. You can diagnose the issue in your garage and get the parts you need from your local auto parts store. While there, you can also use a free VIN decoder and other services to ensure your car is still working optimally.