Will Brake Light Drain Battery?Find Out

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The battery of any vehicle serves multiple functions. First and foremost, it fires the engine to life, it also activates or energizes every electrical fitting in the car such as the interior and exterior lights, the radio, air conditioner, and down to practically everything that needs electricity to function. How do these gadgets or accessories impact these batteries? 

Without any shred of doubt, your battery can be drained if you leave your brake light on for too long. This happens commonly in cases where the brake light switch is closed. If this happens and the brake light refuses to go off, you can always disconnect the brake switch in order to turn it off.

Can a low battery affect brakes?

Heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses are commonly known to have air brakes. If their engines are working perfectly, the batteries will not have any effect on their brakes. In essence, low batteries hardly affect the batteries.

Why does my brake light stay on when driving?

There are several reasons why your brake light may come on while you are still driving. One of such reasons is low brake fluid in particularly the master cylinder, either because you failed to top it up for some time or because there is a leak in the brake line through an opening somewhere.

Worn out or bad brake pads which require urgent replacement can also cause your brake light to come on.

Is it okay to drive with brake lights on?

Of course, it is. This is because brake lights are part of the tail lights which illuminate whenever you press the brake pedal. Should the brake lights stay on even when the vehicle is off, the commonest cause for this is either a broken brake light switch or brake light switch stopper.

Can worn-out brake pads cause brake lights to come on?

Certainly, it can, and commonly does too. Most vehicles are provided with a kind of sensor that alerts drivers whenever their brake pads are worn out, by either activating the brake light or by producing a screeching sound. If you should observe any of these, do not wait before you replace your brake pads.

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What does it mean when the red brake light comes on?

One of the commonest causes for the brake lights to come on is either you have pressed the brake pedal or your brake light switch is broken.  However, when the brake light comes on and stays on, it is very possible that your brake light switch is closed. Luckily though, you can easily undo this by simply disconnecting the brake light switch from the brake pedal.

Can I change a brake light myself?

One of the routine maintenance you can carry out on your vehicle is changing the bulbs of its tail lights, which you can easily carry out unaided.

The wires to these tail lights can always be located at the back of the bulbs. In cases where you are changing a bulb in a vehicle that may not require you to remove its assembly, these wires are what you will likely see from either inside the trunk or the hatch. (Read Also: Are brake pads supposed to touch rotors? Find Out)

How long does it take to change a brake light?

It is highly imperative that you acquaint yourself with the knowledge of what to expect with any car maintenance or repair job, and also how to fix them where possible.

Luckily, tail light bulb replacements are very easy to undertake, so it shouldn’t take even a novice more than 45 minutes to one hour to complete. However, with experienced hands, it can take much shorter than that.

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How do you check a brake light switch for damage?

Since the objective of this article is primarily to guide you on common car brake light complaints, it should also acquaint you with how to check for these faults easily as well as how you can resolve them too. The following steps will come in handy with regard to their identification and solutions:

(1). First, disconnect the car battery before starting any work on the electrical system in your vehicle. This will ensure that you prevent any shock as you work.

To do this, you need either a hand or socket wrench to loosen the nut and secure the ground cable to the negative terminal of the battery. Slip the cable off and tuck it beside the battery. The negative terminal of the battery may bear the letters ‘NEG’ or (-) symbol on it. Disconnect the positive terminal too, which may have the ‘POS’ or (+) symbol on it as well.(Read Also: Do I need  brake disc retaining screw? Find Out Now)

(2). Wear eyes protective gear such as goggles, though you may not need to wear gloves for this operation just yet, if you wish to prevent poking yourself with any loose wire, then you may wear gloves too.

(3). After this, proceed to locate your brake pedal switch, which is a button located along the shaft of the brake pedal but above the footpad. If you are not sure where it is, refer to your user manual.

(4). Disconnect the wiring pigtail from the switch, which is likely to be held in place by a plastic housing. Press on the release clip on the plastic housing in order to disconnect the pigtail from the switch, before you pull on the plastic portion of the pigtail to disconnect it too.

(5).  Inspect the wires for any signs of burning or melting. Any sign of damage may indicate a problem with your lights. (Read Also:Do You Have To Shift Down When Braking On A Motorcycle?)

(6). Test the return of the switch. While you are still beneath the dashboard, press on the pedal with your foot and observe whether it pops after releasing it.

If it does not, it means that the button is sticking in the ‘on’ position, which will leave the light on always. Get someone behind to check whether the brake lights respond when you push the switch. If it does not, you may have either a blown fuse or even a bad switch too.

How do you install a new brake light switch?

To install a new brake light switch, execute the steps below diligently.

(1). Make sure that the wiring harness is disconnected before you remove the brake light switch. Also, be sure that the pigtail is disconnected too, and if it is, then inspect it for any damage while you leave it to hang as you remove the switch. If it is not disconnected, do so by pressing the plastic release and pulling on the plastic housing. (Read Also: Should Brake Rotors Be Replaced In Pairs?)

(2). Then, remove the switch from the brake pedal linkage. Different manufacturers mount the brake light switch differently to the pedal linkage. In case of any confusion on this, refer to the user manual again.

(3). You should now slide the new switch into place securely at exactly where the old one was. Use any mounting hardware that held the previous switch in place to also secure it in the same fashion. Then replace the bolts that secure the switch.

(4). Finally, reconnect the switch to the linkage and the harness. Now, plug the brake light switch pigtail into the new switch before you reattach any connection you might have removed.  Reconnect the battery and start the vehicle. Have someone stay behind the car and assess your work for confirmation.

How do you locate and replace a  blown brake light fuse?

In order to replace a blown fuse, follow the following steps in the sequence they are treated.

Step 1. Locate the fuse box before anything. Most cars have at least two fuse boxes, with one under the hood and the second on the driver’s side of the cabin. If need be, you may have to refer to your user manual on this issue too. (Read Also: How Hot Should Brake Rotors Get?)

Step 2. Next, identify the fuse for the brake lights with the aid of the diagram in your user manual or on the inside of the fuse box cover,  in order to determine which fuse powers the brake lights.

Step 3. Remove the fuse and inspect it for any signs of damage and also identify the amperage required for your brake light fuse by checking the chart in the user manual.

Insert replacement fuses exactly into where you removed the previous ones. Once done, you can now replace the lid to the fuse box and all other things you might have removed too. Then, reconnect the battery and start the vehicle. Have someone stand behind the car and inspect your work and report whether the lights are now working. All things being equal, they should work just fine.

Frequently asked questions(FAQ)

Is brake light and tail light the same?

No, they are not the same even though they appear almost the same. Whenever you turn on your headlights or when your parking brake is on, the taillights are engaged, whereas the brake lights will come on only when you apply pressure to the brake pedal.

The taillights are red on most vehicles, while the brake lights are mostly a more luminous red.(Read Also:Can You Come To A Stop In Any Gear?)

How much does it cost to fix brake light wiring?

From the Best in Auto Repair, a household name in anything to do with automobile lights, the average cost for all brake light switch replacements is between seventy-seven and eighty-seven dollars.

The cost of labor for this job is between forty to fifty dollars, while the required parts are priced at around thirty-seven dollars.

However, this range of prices does not include taxes and other sundry fees, not to mention your type of vehicle or its location. Regardless of all these, you have a general idea of what to expect from the job.

How can you tell if a brake light fuse is bad?

If your brake light fuse or the switch is bad, the brake lights won’t operate and the transmission shifter may refuse to come out of the ‘park’ position too.

However, in cars that are equipped with a push-button start system, a faulty brake light fuse can cause the vehicle not to start entirely. In addition, it can cause the Check Engine or ABS system warning light to come on, if you check the dashboard.

How do I know if my brake light relay is bad?

If you have a bad or malfunctioning brake light switch, the brake lights may not work at all and the transmission shifter may not come out of the ‘park’ position too. In cases of cars with a push-button start, a faulty brake light switch may not allow the car to even start at all.

Most of the time, a brake light switch might be sticking out and maybe working only intermittently. So, you see, the problems with a faulty brake light relay present themselves almost like that with a bad brake light fuse discussed above. (Read Also: Are Brake Caliper Bolts Reverse Threaded?)

Are brake lights and blinker lights the same?

This depends on the vehicle type because in some cars both the emergency and turn signal bulbs are the same as those used for the brake lights. 

If the bulbs do not light up after turning on your emergency flashers or turn signals, there is a pretty good chance that your bulb isn’t working.

If it were at night, back up close to a wall and hit the brakes. This way, you are bound to find out whether they are working or not.

Will Brake Light Drain Battery – Conclusion

Of course, you need a strong battery to run almost everything in your car from the lights to the radio, your AC and in fact, pretty much everything. That being said, it means you must avoid whatever will drain it unnecessarily.

Where the battery is very okay but certain lights in or out of the car are not working, you should be able to know with certainty what the cause may be. Not just that, you should be able to do something to get your lights back on without any delay. Luckily, all the processes are both easy and quick to accomplish. So, have at it.

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