The Two Simple Reasons Your Brake Lights May Be Out

29 April 2015
 Categories: Automotive, Blog


If your brake lights are not working, you need to figure out what is going on right away. Here are three things you can check in order to repair your brake lights.

1. The Bulbs Have Burned Out

The first thing you need to do is check your brake light bulbs. If the light bulbs have burned out, your brakes will not work.

In order to check your brake lights, you'll need a screwdriver. You'll need to remove the lens that protects your brake lights. Be sure to set aside the screws somewhere safe. Check each light bulb to see if it has burned out. The filament, or little wires inside of the light bulb, will look burned. If you gently shake the light bulb, it will make a rattling sound if the light bulb is burned out.

Write down the light bulb information and purchase some new light bulbs at your local auto parts store. They should carry the right type of bulbs for your brakes.

2. The Socket Is Corroded

While checking the light bulb, you should also check each socket. The socket is where you screw the light bulb into place. In vehicles, water can easily seep into the sockets. Make sure that the sockets are not rusted out or damaged. If the sockets are rusted out or damaged in anyway, this will prevent the light bulb from working correctly.

Remove The Corrosion

You have two options if the sockets are damaged. First, you can try your best to remove the corrosion from the socket. This is the best option if there is only a little bit of corrosion. Apply some white vinegar to a damp rag, and place the damp rag inside of the socket. Let the rag sit there for about an hour. The white vinegar will break down the rust. After an hour, use a rag or a scrub brush to remove the rust.

If there is still some rust, you can give the socket a deep cleaning using some baking soda. Mix about a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water. Then, put the paste that you created inside of the socket. Use a brush or sponge to scrub away the remaining corrosion.

Replace The Socket

If the rust has eaten holes through the socket that holds your brake lights in place, you will need to replace your sockets. Luckily, this is a relatively quick job. Your mechanic should be able to remove your light sockets and install new ones in under an hour.

If your brake lights are out, you need to first check and see if the lights have burned out. If the lights are okay, make sure the sockets are not corroded. If changing the light or cleaning the socket don't work, take your vehicle into your mechanic for further diagnoses. (For more information on auto repair, you can contact Integrity Auto and Truck)