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How to Replace a Brake Light

Sheetal Mandora
If the tail, or brake light is out, it is best to get it replaced as soon as possible. Read the story on how you replace a brake light, without having to take it to a garage.

Replacing the Light Switch Yourself

First of all, you need to shop for a new light before replacing brake light. Depending on your car's make, model, and year, you need to find the correct replacement at your local auto parts shop. Apart from the light, you'll also require these items.
  • Rubber gloves
  • New light bulb(s)
  • Red tape
  • Screwdriver set
  • Clean cloths
Step #1: First, you need to check how the bulb can be accessed easily. The lens over the light (the red and white plastic part) will have to be loosened from the outside (or maybe your car model has the light accessible from the inside). If you can't find any screws over the lens, then the light has to be replaced from the inside.
There might be a plastic cover over the bulb that needs to be removed, so that you can easily replace the light.
Step #2: If you'll be replacing the lights from the outside, loosen the lens first. Take the plastic cover off that is on top of the light and expose the bulb.
Step #3: Loosen the bulb with a screwdriver. You might have to push in the bulb and then turn it around at the same time. If you don't know which would be the right bulb for your car, take the bulb that you just took out to any auto supply store. They will help you find the right brake bulb for you.
Step #4: Take some cleaning cloths and wipe near the connection of the bulb. Be aware that you don't apply too much pressure, as that area is very delicate.
Step #5: Place the new bulb in the empty connection (socket) and push it in gently. Simultaneously, turn the bulb around and screw it in properly. You will need to line up the tiny lifted bumps which are on the base of the new bulb, so that it will fit entirely.
Step #6: Replace the plastic cover back on the new light.
Step #7: Once the new light is replaced, get inside your car, and step on the brakes. Ask a family member or a friend to check whether it actually works or not.
Many times, people use the red tap as a temporary fix. So, if you are driving your car with a broken light with a red tape on it, you will only get a "fix-it" ticket. This will give you sometime to replace the light and still get out of getting a huge fine.
Once you replace the light, go to the police station and prove it that you have fixed the light. All you have to do is pay the processing fee (the amount may vary from state to state), and your citation is gone. Although, I do advice you to replace brake light, and fix it immediately.