Brake Lights Turn Off When Braking: 5 Reasons Your Brake Lights Are Acting Up

If your brake lights turn off when braking, you should know about the various situations which cause that. We will help you with this and list out the reasons for the same in the article below.

Brake lights are instrumental in letting the vehicle behind you know about the fractions of your car. The brake lights blink when you press the brake pedal. It alerts the person driving behind you when you are stopping to avoid accidents.

They have an important role in keeping you safe. It is the subconscious mind of your car. You may notice your brake lights turning off when you press the brake pedal. If that happens,  you should work on war-footing to get it checked. 

Your brake lights should not work when your car is parked. If your brake lights are on when your car is parked with the parking brake, you need to get it checked then as well. We will walk you through the reasons for the problem and try to produce solutions as well.


Brake Lights Turn Off When Braking


What is a Brake Light Switch?

A brake light switch works as an electrical switch that switches on the brake light of your car. This is when you press the brake pedal. It is near the brake pedal. 

The brake light then lets the driver behind you know that you intend to slow down. The brake light switch has direct control on the ABS and the Cruise Control.

What Is The Difference Between A Brake Light And A Tail Light? 

The brake system of your car is instrumental in triggering the brake lights. A pair of working brake lights are a primary need for driving and highway safety. 

For example, imagine driving behind a vehicle with non-functioning brake lights. You would not know the fluctuations in speed the car will undergo resulting in fatal accidents. 

The taillights of a car are triggered by the front headlights. When you keep your headlights off during the day, the tail lights do not blink. They are less bright and are used in hazy, dim-lighted circumstances. Their function is to put forth the presence of your car to other drivers.


You might like to read: Why Does My Emergency Brake Light Stay On? 5 Reasons This Might Be Happening


How Do Brake Lights Work?

When the driver presses down on the brake pedal, the brake light switch turns on the brake light at the rear end of the vehicle. In more modern cars, the brake light switch also controls the Anti-Brake Lock System. It also influences the Vehicle Stability Control System.


Brake Lights Turn Off When Braking


Brake Lights Turn Off Then You Hit The Brakes

Brake lights may stop working if the pressure switch above the pedal linkage is broken or ajar. When the pedals are incorrect order, the contacts are broken apart from each other. When the pedal is depressed they are in contact. 

They can be broken, dirty, or wet. They will work against you in this condition. A few common reasons that are causing your brake light to fail can be :

  • Failed brake switch
  • Bulb socket fault
  • Faulty brake light housing
  • Wiring harness fault


You might like to read: 5 Reasons Why Brake Light Comes On While Driving


Symptoms Of A Faulty Brake Light

#1. Bad Light bulbs 

The brake light and the tail light share the same bulb but different circuits. If one circuit is functional and the other is burnt, that bulb won’t work. It is very cheap to replace a light bulb. It would cost you around $5 to $10.

#2. Bad brake light switch

A bad brake light switch is quite instrumental in a faulty brake light. The small switch installed in your brake pedal informs the control unit about the pressure on the brake pedal. This switches on the brake light. 

Indications of a bad brake light switch:

  • Your brake light does not switch on.
  • Your brake lights switch on.
  • Your car is suffering from bad cruise control.
  • Your car won’t turn on.
  • Your ABS warning light comes on.

  It will cost you around $30 to $75 to replace your brake light switch. 


Brake Lights Turn Off When Braking


#3. Broken fuse or fuse box

 All cars have one or two fuse boxes that maintain all the electricity flows in them. One fuse box is below the dashboard. One is under the hood. The brake light fuse can blow up due to an electric surge. You would need to find the correct fuse and replace it. It can cost you anything around $50 to $150 to replace it.

#4. Bad sockets and connectors:

Your car can have corrosion in the pins of the connectors. You can check the connector plug between the brake light switch and tail light. If you notice rusting or corrosion you should get it replaced immediately. It will cost you around $15 to $35.

#5. Broken wire

One of the rarest cases of the malfunction is a broken wire. It may be strenuous to find. Yet, your mechanic can check the voltage and repair it. It can cost you around $5 to $15 excluding the labour charges.


You might like to read: Brake Lights Wont Work When Headlights Are On


Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Should brake lights come on when the car is off?

Your brake light can come on due to a faulty brake fluid sensor or a parking brake sensor. Your technician will be able to pinpoint the issue and solve it.

#2. Why do my trailer lights go off when I hit the brakes?

When your trailer does not have enough grounding the tail lights go out when brakes are applied. This is because of the high level of amperage. All the lights must be grounded for good functioning.


Brake Lights Turn Off When Braking


#3. How do I make my brake lights stay on?

The most common cause will be a faulty brake light switch. Yet, a faulty brake pedal can also be the cause. So can be a malfunction in the electrical system.

#4. Do brake lights come on automatically? 

The brake lights come on whenever pressure is applied to the brake pedal. Thus, anytime you break the lights will come on.

A Few Final Words

Brake lights serve an important function even though they are a very small part of the car mechanism. Faulty brake lights can be fatal to you and others on the road. It is advisable to keep a close check on them. 

Also to get them fixed as soon as possible. The repair costs are not hefty and won’t burn a hole in your pocket. This will enable a breezy drive on the highway.

Thank you for reading the article, we hope we answered all your questions. If you still have doubts, you can write to us in the comments section below. We will try to get back to you as soon as we can.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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