How to Replace a Burned Out Brake Light

Honest Car Dealer wants you to know that changing a burnt out brake light, or any light in your vehicle for that matter, is almost as easy as changing a burnt out bulb in your house. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to solving this common automotive problem with no hassle and no trip to the mechanic.

  1. Head over to an automotive supply store and pick up some light bulbs for your vehicle. Your owner’s manual should be able to tell you exactly what size and kind of bulb you need and most auto supply stores can look it up for you.
  2. Find out how to access your light bulb. The bulb itself is covered by a lens of hard plastic, and some of them don’t come off. If there are screws on the outside of the light then it’s as simple as removing the screws to get at the bulb. If there aren’t screws you need to access the bulb through a panel on the inside of the vehicle. This panel may be secured with screws or may simply snap into place.
  3. Unscrew the light bulb by turning it counterclockwise.
  4. If there is any corrosion on the contact then you can clean it off with a wire brush and a clean rag.
  5. Make sure the connector isn’t melted — if it is you’ll need to replace that too, otherwise the new light bulb won’t work.
  6. Screw in your new light bulb gently.
  7. Make sure you test the new light bulb to make sure it is the correct size and correctly installed. You can do this by having a friend watch the light as you step on the brakes.
  8. Replace the lens or the panel in the same way that you removed it.

Remember, driving with a burnt out brake, tail, or headlight is illegal and can get you a ticket. If you have gotten a ticket that stipulates you must replace the burnt out bulb within a certain time period, you probably need to go prove that you have replaced the bulb in order to have the ticket waived. Hopefully this step-by-step guide made changing your light bulb quick and easy.

For more helpful automotive tips, visit Honest Car Dealer.

January 7, 2013 by Jamie Rettig