Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Light Switch

brake light switch

Bad or Failing Brake Light Switch Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: Brake light issue

The rear brake light on the right uses the same power as the one on the left. If you are getting brake lights on the left side but not on the right, then you will need to test the right...

Q: My speakers keep cutting out and the window stopped working. The switch may have popped off the door.

Hi and thanks for your question. Check the wires in the door between the door and the cab. Sometimes the wires get pinched and short to ground with the door shut. If the wires are okay, then remove the door...

Q: My brake lights and head lights won't come on. It's not a blown fuse.

Hello, thanks for writing in. If all of these lights stopped working at the same time then you either have a main switch problem or a voltage issue from the fuse box. From my experience with this vehicle it is...