Brake light bulb replacement from $34

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Average rating for Brake light bulb replacement


4.9 • based on 114 reviews of 100 businesses

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Average rating for Brake light bulb replacement


4.9 • based on 114 reviews of 100 businesses

Brake light bulb replacement

How much does a brake light bulb replacement cost?

Every car is equipped with brakes as the primary safety system, and the brake lights indicate to other motorists that you intend to slow down or stop.

When you use your brakes in the normal course of operation, the brake lights illuminate then go dim or off instantly, and sometimes, it can be dozens of times every minute.

Eventually, incandescent brake light bulbs will burn out from use. Brake light bulb replacement can be required once a year on some cars and on others, it can be several years, depending on the style of bulb and the usage.

It’s almost always a minimal cost for brake light bulb replacement as a bulb is $5 to $10 and the labour charge is between $10 and $20, although some designs are slightly more.

Cars driven in stop-and-go urban traffic are likely to experience brake light bulb outages two or three times as frequently vehicles used mainly for highway driving. 

What is a brake light bulb?

Most cars on the road today still use an incandescent bulb for brake lights. It’s an automotive bulb similar in design to a household lightbulb with a filament that glows white-hot, shining light all around.

A brake light bulb is mounted inside the taillight assembly and is fed 12-volt electricity through a wired socket.

The brake light bulb circuit is powered up from a relay when the brake pedal is pushed, either lightly or firmly.

When the brake pedal is released completely, the brake lights turn off. Brake light bulbs put off a lot of heat – so much so that you’ll burn yourself if you try to touch an illuminated bulb.

This heat, as well as frequent operation, can cause the filament inside the bulb to burn through.

Power can no longer transmit through the filament, and the bulb will not light up and needs to be replaced.

Symptoms that you require brake light bulb replacement

  • The cruise control will not set
  • One or more brake light bulbs will not illuminate
  • On some high end vehicles, a brake warning light or message will appear on the instrument cluster
Brake light bulb replacement cost

How are brake light bulbs replaced?

  • The boot is opened and the taillamp assembly is removed
  • The brake light bulb socket is removed from the housing
  • The burnt-out bulb is removed from the socket and a new bulb is fitted
  • The taillamp assembly is refitted and the technician confirms the bulb’s operation

Tips to remember

  • The centre high mount stop lamp should always be operating as well
  • LED brake lights are not serviceable individually; the complete assembly must be replaced
  • To prevent burns, do not test brake light bulb operation while touching the bulb

How important is brake light bulb replacement?

Brake light bulbs are installed for safety sake, both for you and other motorists. A burnt-out brake light doesn’t allow the proper warning for cars behind you and can result in frustration, close calls, and potentially an accident.

While all of your car’s lights are important, the brake lights are perhaps the most important indicators to keep you, your passengers, and others around you out of harm’s way.

If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit

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