Brake Light Bulb Replacement

Step by step guide on how to replace a brake light bulb, though appearances may differ the process is the same for most vehicles.

Difficulty Scale: 3 of 10

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Replacement brake light bulb
  • Screw driver set
  • Socket set
  • Protective gloves and eyewear
Before you begin, park the car on level ground , in park with the emergency brake on.

Step 1 - Locate and remove the brake light lens mounting nuts. Sometimes you must remove some plastic trim pieces before these nuts are accessible.

Removing Brake Light Lens Mounting Nuts

Step 2 - Once the lens mounting nuts are lose, remove them to loosen the lens from the car.

Brake Light Lens Mounting Nut

Step 3 - Next, grasp the lens firmly and remove the unit from the car body.

Removing Brake Light Lens

Step 4 - After the lens has been removed and the wiring connector disconnected, turn the bulb socket counterclockwise.

Turning Socket Counterclockwise

Step 5 - Once the socket has been released simply remove the bulb from the lens.

Brake Light Bulb Removed

Step 6 - Next, remove the brake light bulb from the socket by firmly grasping the bulb and pulling it away from the socket.

Brake Light Bulb

Step 7 - Compare the failed bulb to the replacement bulb to unsure proper operation.

Bulb Comparison

Step 8 - If the bulbs are a match, install the new bulb into the socket.

Installing New Bulb

Step 9 - Once the new brake light bulb has been installed into the socket, install the socket into the lens.

Installing Socket Into Lens

Step 10 - After the bulb socket is installed, replace the lens onto the car body. Be sure to hold the lens in place while mounting is in progress. Reinstall mounting nuts and tighten.

Installing Lens

Step 11 - Check the brake light bulb's operations once the job is complete.

Brake Light Bulb Working

Helpful Information

When replacing a brake light bulb use OEM bulbs and sockets to ensure proper operation with an expected lifespan. Cheaper made bulbs tend to burn out more rapidly which requires a repeat replacement.

Best Practices

  • Inspect bulb socket and replace if signs of heat is present.
  • Check socket connections and clean as necessary
  • Wiring connectors can become old and brittle, use care when handling these brittle wires.


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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