Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Light Switch

The brake light switch is the electrical switch that is responsible for activating the brake lights. When the pedal is pressed, the brake light switch makes contact, and the the brake lights are illuminated. While the exact designs of brake switches can vary, they all serve the same purpose of activating the brake lights when the pedal is pressed. As the brake lights are what alerts the drivers behind you that you are slowing the vehicle, the brake lights and the switch that activates them become inherently important to vehicle safety. When the brake light switch does fail, usually the vehicle will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver that a problem has occurred.

Brake lights stay on

One of the symptoms commonly associated with a bad brake light switch are brake lights that stay on at all times. If the brake light switch shorts internally it may cause the brake lights to stay illuminated, even when the pedal is not being pressed. This will cause the brake lights to burn out sooner than they should, as well as create a parasitic drain on the battery.

Brake lights do not function

The other symptom commonly associated with a bad brake light switch are brake lights that do not function at all. If the switch fails, it will not be able to activate the lights when the pedal is pressed, and as a result the lights will not function.

Because brake lights are what alert the vehicle’s behind you that you are slowing, if there is any problem with the switch that activates them, the overall safety of the vehicle is compromised. For this reason, if you suspect that your vehicle’s brake light switch may be bad or failing, have the brake lights inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if you need a brake light switch replacement.


Next Step

Schedule Brake System Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Brake System Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Brake System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(253)

Rating Summary
237
8
2
1
5
237
8
2
1
5

Joel

21 years of experience
960 reviews
Joel
21 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Brake System Inspection - Jacksonville, Florida
Joel, did a very good job explained everything he was doing answered all my question and was straight forward what he is doing and going to do with fixing my truck
Infiniti G35 - Brake System Inspection - Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Joel was great. Honest fast and professional. He is the automobile maintenance version of the trusted family doctor, attorney etc. Good to have a QB to save time and $pin job at dealership etc!

Benji

22 years of experience
188 reviews
Benji
22 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake System Inspection - Phoenix, Arizona
Benji performed a detailed inspection on my 2007 Range Rover and completed the work very quickly. Highly recommend!!
Lincoln MKX - Brake System Inspection - Gilbert, Arizona
Very professional and knowledgeable. Very good business sense and cordial. Thank you for taking care of my car today! ☺

JOHNNY

33 years of experience
67 reviews
JOHNNY
33 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake System Inspection - Carmichael, California
Johnny was early, friendly, and thorough! He explained things to me about my car that I had no idea about before! I booked him for a diagnostic appointment and I’m definitely requesting him for a follow-up!

Dan

39 years of experience
856 reviews
Dan
39 years of experience
Nissan Murano - Brake System Inspection - Buford, Georgia
Very nice, professional, and knowledgeable! Felt at ease during the appointment and would recommend!

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

Related articles

How to Tell If Your Car Switches Are Dying
Since Since every part of your car is controlled or operated by a switch in some fashion, it is to be expected that the switch will eventually fail. Some of the most commonly used switches in your car are: ...
How to Make Car Switches Last Longer
Every Every feature in your car is controlled by a switch or button. Most are actively controlled, such as the power windows and power door locks, by means of pressing a button. Systems that are actively controlled include: The...
How to Replace a Front Axle Engagement Switch on Most Cars
The switch that engages the front axle fails when it gets stuck, does not activate the four-wheel drive, or is difficult to engage.

Related questions

Radio light goes out with the light switch turned on.

Hello and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. If the radio is a stock radio and not an aftermarket radio, then the lights should be tied into the dimmer switch. Turn the dimmer switch to adjust the lights and see if...

Steering not working

Hello. It sounds like your engine drive belt may have broke. If this occurs your engine accessories will no longer spin causing the steering to be hard and the voltage light to come on due to no charging from the...

Headlights won't go off.

It sounds like you have a short in the wiring harness that goes to the headlight switch that is allowing the electricity to bypass the switch. I would recommend enlisting the assistance of a qualified technician who is experienced in...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com