brake lamp bulb fault

Brake Lamp Bulb Fault: Causes And Solutions

It is very important to have your car’s brake light shine when you match the brake pedal. If your brake lamp bulb is faulty, it is very bad for you and your car as the light will fail to indicate when you’re slowing down or halting to other rear cars.

By the brake lamp bulb shining only, you let the cars following you know your next intention and react accordingly by applying their brakes or swerving off your rear.

A brake lamp bulb is there to signal a warning to your rear drivers and prevent collisions and accidents. A Brake lamp bulb fault warning is displayed if your braking system is faulty and won’t let the brake lamp bulb shine, maybe flickering or not shining at all.

It is not a repetitive fault in cars, but if you’re trying to know the cause and how to fix your brake lamp bulb, then read on.

READ: Chrysler Check Engine Light – Causes & Fix

What Does Brake Lamp Bulb Fault Mean?

The brake lamp bulb fault warning light indicates that there is a problem with your braking system. When this light appears, it indicates a fault but you have to examine your car to know the reason for the indication.

So, any fault that causes your car to indicate “brake lamp bulb fault” is an issue with the braking system. Your car’s brake light is dependent on the electrical wiring of your car and runs through many fuses and switches that regulate the brake light.

So, if your brake light is faulty. That means there is an essential fuse problem, your brake  light bulb is faulty, or there is an electrical connection problem.

Brake Lamp Bulb Fault: Causes and Solutions

1. Faulty Brake Light Bulb

As your drive your car steadily and the car bulb gets old. It will start to lose its brightness and start malfunctioning till it finally dies out. So, when your brake light bulb has passed its useful life span, it starts to develop faults now and then and may even die automatically.

When there’s a fault with the brake light bulb, a notice is shown on your dashboard with the warning message “Brake lamp bulb faulty” This notification is there for safety purposes and you shouldn’t ignore it to avoid accidents or collisions with other road users.


With the steps below, you can replace a faulty bulb rather than repair it.

  • First, get a screw to loosen the faulty bulb’s case bolt.
  • Now unplug the bulb gently and inspect its filament. (a dark smoke or dark brown smoke indication there means the bulb is dead.)
  • Remove it and get a compatible and bright bulb to replace it.
  • Carefully tighten the brake light case again. And that’s it.

READ: What Does No Engine Brake Mean?

2. Bad Brake Switch

Your car’s brake is expected to shine only when you match the brake pedal. The switch regulating the brake light is seen close to the brake pedal. When you match the pedal, the switch activates the rear right. Your car ABS will turn ON if there is a fault with this switch.


You might some technical knowledge to properly fix this issue. Or you can hire a technician to fix it as it’s an essential part of your car’s braking system. We can’t advise you to go ahead and replace the brake switch if you don’t know. It’s proper to have a mechanic fix it.

3. Blown Fuse

A blown fuse in your car could trigger the “Brake Lamp Bulb Fault” message.

The fuse is there to regulate the brake light’s shining and when you’re not matching the brake pedal. Hence, on such occasions, there’s no fault with your brake lamp bulb or the switch. The fuse might need replacement and the light will be back to normal.

With a faulty fuse, your lamp bulb might flicker and go off or keep flickering or can’t emit enough light. You can find your car’s brake fuse in the power distribution center that is located underneath the dashboard or under the hood.

If you haven’t come across the name ‘power distribution center,’ It’s just the fuse box’s technical name.


Before you proceed, you should understand that repairing this fuse will only fix this fault temporarily. Therefore, we recommend you replace the damaged fuse with a new one. To change a fuse, follow the steps below:

  • First, switch your car OFF to turn off all electric flow.
  • Next, get your car’s owner’s manual to locate the brake lamp’s fuse.
  • Identify the faulty fuse. It usually has a dark brown color, and you need just to cut its wire out.
  • Now remove the faulty fuse and replace it with a compatible one.
  • Once replaced, your car’s brake light should shine again when you match the brake pedal. After changing this and the fault persists, they get an auto mechanic to check the car’s wiring.

4. Wiring Problems

As mentioned earlier, the brake lamp bulb is the work of the car’s electrical system. An electrical wiring fault could trigger the warning message. So, when the wires connecting your brake lamp bulb to the buttons, brake pedal, and the fuse is faulty, the message will appear.

Also, a short circuit in your car’s wiring can trigger this warning as well.

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You can fix this error in three ways which are:

  • By replacing the damaged wires or rewiring them with the same cable if it’s still manageable.
  • Use tape to cover the naked wiring.
  • Clean all wiring terminals and tighten every connection properly.

5. Faulty Relay Or Module

It’s the brake module or relay that sends the information to your car’s braking system. This happens when you match the brake pedal. The process relays data to the central system which activates the car system to stop your car. Also, the brake lamp receives signals from this module.

So, when this relay mode is faulty, it as well affects your car’s brake lamp bulb fault message to appear. Furthermore, it can brake failure or cause your brake lights to not shine properly or shine at all. And when the system is damaged to an extent, it can affect your car’s engine and force it to shut down if the car has the push start feature.


You can’t fix this yourself if you’re not an auto expert. Therefore, if you’re not one, don’t try fixing it as you might cause more damage to your car. However, if you have insight into it, you can get a multimeter to troubleshoot the module and check if it’s still functioning. When it fails, you can go ahead to replace it with a spare or a new one.

6. Reduced Brake Fluid Level in the Brake Master Cylinder

The Master Cylinder is very important to your car’s hydraulic system. It must hold an amount of fluid that supports the possibility of braking.

When you match the brake pedal, the master cylinder will push an incompressible fluid in the hydraulic brake line, which will trigger the car’s module to halt the car.

When the fluid runs low, it cant be enough for the pedals to send signals, thus, your car’s brake lamp won’t shine. What could cause loss of fluid on the cylinder can be leakage, and may as well reduce after an extensive use without refill.

READ: What Is A Safe Speed To Drive Your Car? (Guide)


To fix this issue, you can add more brake fluid to the reservoir, so the level will be automatically increased when it’s about to run low. Also, as general advice, you might replace your brake pads because they might have worn out and this will reduce the brake fluid level.

Final Words

We’ve thrown significant light on the Brake Lamp Bulb fault, its causes, and the solutions that can be applied to solve the problem temporarily and maybe permanently. Regardless, we will always advise you to hire the service of a seasoned auto mechanic to get your car problems sorted out properly.

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