Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Light Bulb

brake light bulb

Bad or Failing Brake Light Bulb Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

While newer vehicles are increasingly being built with LED lighting technology, regular light bulbs are still commonly found on the vast majority of vehicles for all of the vehicle’s lighting needs. Some of the most important bulbs found on any vehicle are the brake light bulbs. Just as their name implies, the brake light bulbs are the bulbs that light up when the brakes are applied to alert the vehicles behind you that you are slowing down. Just as with any other bulb, over time with repeated use, they also will eventually burn out and need to be replaced. When the brake light bulbs are starting to go out, they will usually display a few symptoms that can alert the driver that a problem has occurred.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

1. Dimmer or brighter than normal

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with bad or failing brake light bulbs is a change in the brightness. When a bulb is about to to burn out it may begin to shine more dimly than it once did; or the opposite, it may glow even brighter than normal. These are both symptoms that the filament inside the bulb has begun to wear out to the point that it has changed how the bulb lights up. This is usually a sign that the bulb is near the end of its service life and may need to be replaced soon.

2. Slow responding bulb

Another symptom commonly associated with a bad or failing brake light bulb is a bulb that is slow to respond and light up when the brakes are applied. A slowly responding brake light is a sign that the bulb is worn or damaged and cannot light up correctly anymore. If the bulb is not functioning correctly it should be replaced before it fails completely.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

3. Brake Warning Light

Another more direct symptom of a failed brake light bulb is a Brake Warning Light. Some newer vehicles will come equipped with a visual indicator that will directly tell the driver that a bulb has burned out. Some vehicles will have a warning light on the dash, others as an on-screen notification that will let the driver know that attention is required.

Since the brake light bulbs allow the drivers behind you to know you are braking, they are very important to the vehicle’s overall safety. For this reason, if you suspect that your brake light bulb may be failing or is about to burn out, have the the brake lights inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if your car needs a brake light bulb replacement.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...


Related questions

Q: I have a Nissan Rogue rental. All of a sudden the security light is blinking. Car is off and unlocked. Is this normal

Hello, and thank you for writing in. The security light blinks when the vehicle is off to let potential thieves know that there is a system in place to disrupt their intentions. This is totally normal, and if there was...

Q: Have to replace my brakes really frequently

The rear brake pads should last you over 30,000 miles if everything is working normally. In your case the rear pads are not lasting more than 10,000 miles, this is an indication of a problem in your brake system. If...

Q: One brake light is not working

This should be a double filament bulb, which has two filaments inside. One works for the main tail light and the other is activated when the brake light switch is activated. Many times, one or both of these filaments will...