Tip & How-To about Honda Civic

One Brake Light Not Working

Inspect Brake Light Bulb: The number one reason for a brake light operation failure is a failed brake light bulb. To check this condition access the bulb by removing the rear cover located in the trunk or rear compartment. Some cars allow you to remove the entire brake light lens to retrieve the brake light bulb. Once the bulb has been removed inspect the bulb filament. If it looks broken or if the bulb is smoked the bulb needs to be replaced. If you have replaced the bulb but it still doesn't work remove the bulb. With the key in the "on" position have someone hold their foot on the brake pedal and use a grounded test light to carful test the terminals inside the light socket. One of the terminals should illuminate the test light. (Note: Do not touch the outer metal ring that holds the bulb in place for it is grounded and can blow the system fuse if connected to the inner terminals.) If the test light illuminates reinstall the brake light bulb. While the brake pedal is depressed test the outer metal ring that holds the bulb, if power is present the ground lead from the light socket is bad. If the outer ring does not illuminate the bulb has failed and replacement is required.

Scan BCM for Trouble Codes: Some cars are equipped with a body control module or BCM this onboard computer controls and lighting signals and can malfunction not allowing the electrical current to continue to the brake light circuits. This condition is rare but it can happen. If you have performed all of the tests above and all results are positive scan the BCM for trouble codes if no codes are present try replacing the BCM.

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Why do side light come on when foot brake applied


Year/make/model??? If any other lights come on when brake is applied, it will normally be caused by a short circuit. It could be a short to ground or short to power. Inspect the brake lights for proper bulb application as well as the brake light bulb sockets for corrossion and bad electrical connections. I have seen the filaments in the brake light bulbs go bad and touch one another inside the bulb causing this condition.Try replacing both brake light bulbs and inspecting each socket. This is the easiest thing to try before any other diagnostics.

Aug 22, 2015 | 2006 Hyundai Sonata 2.4

3 Answers

brake lights do not work All bulbs have been replaced.


Troubleshooting Procedures - Read Completely Before Beginning
(American Car) All Brake Lights Not Working
  • Check System Fuse: A fuse is used to protect the brake light circuit from amperage overload. If the fuse has failed it will not allow the electrical current to continue to the brake lights. To check the fuse, first locate the brake light system fuse in the fuse panel which is either under the dash or under the hood in the power distribution center. Connect the test light to a ground like an engine or dash bracket and turn the ignition key to the "on" position. Using the test light probe both sides of the fuse. If the test light illuminates on both sides the fuse is ok continue onto the next step. If one side of the fuse illuminates the fuse has failed and needs to be replaced. If the fuse fails as soon as it is replaced or when you apply the brake pedal the brake light electrical circuit is shorted to ground. Rarely a system short can occur, a car repair manual is needed to find the wiring schematic for the brake light circuit. Once the brake light wiring has been located inspect and repair as needed.
  • Check Brake Light Bulbs: All cars have three brake light bulbs that create the brake light illumination affect. If all of these brake light bulbs fail no brake light operation will occur. I know what you're thinking, you might say all three brake lights at once? But in reality one brake light went out at a time and you did not notice. People only tend to notice something when they almost run into the back of your car to help persuade them to inform you the brake lights aren't working. Remove any of the brake light bulbs to confirm the bulb is ok or burned. After the bulb has been removed inspect the filament and replace if failed. If the brake light bulbs are ok continue to the next step.
  • Checking the Brake Light Switch: A control switch is used to connect the brake light electrical circuit. This switch is located near the brake pedal lever. Basic switches have just two wires, power in and power out to the turn signal switch. Use a test light that is grounded and with the key in the "on" position test for power at one side (wire) of the switch, then press the brake pedal while testing the opposite side (wire). It should illuminate the test light, if electrical power is connected through the switch go to the next step. If no power is detected through the switch the brake light switch has failed and replacement is required. If your car is equipped with more than two wires integrated into the brake light switch a car repair manual is needed to locate the proper brake light circuit wiring.

Jul 07, 2009 | 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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