Brake Light Bulb Replacement Cost

Written by: Staff

The brake light bulbs, located at the back of the car inside of a protective lens, are responsible for letting other drivers know whenever you pressing the brake pedal, as you probably already know.

In the case this bulb fails, then other drivers may not know when you’re pressing the brake, which, as you can only imagine, will greatly increase your chances of an accident.

As a simple wiring circuit, it’s connected to the car’s body control module, in the case of a newer car, and the system is powered and protected by a fuse which is often located beneath your car’s dash.

Brake Light Bulb Replacement Cost
Rear with brake lights” (CC BY 2.0) by PixelPerfectPictures

The average brake light bulb replacement costs

The costs of replacing your brake light bulbs will depend on the vehicle you drive and the mechanic/dealership you choose.  As the number of brake lights can vary in some vehicles, the costs can be greater in some cases, but for the most part, be prepared to spend anywhere from $25 to $65 for a professional replace the bulb if this were the only repair that needed to be done.  Seeing the job will almost always take less than an hour to perform, all shops will charge the shop minimum for the job.

As for parts, a brake light bulb is relatively inexpensive, and the repair, even if you do not have much car repair experience, can be done by the average driver.  On, for example, the average brake light bulb can cost anywhere from $8 to $17, while at, you can find some bulbs for as little as $5.

To do it yourself, the costs can almost always be less than $20.

According to, the average bulb at your local repair shop can cost anywhere from $35 to $55.

At Pep Boys, via its official pricing sheet, they note the average small bulb, if you were to use their company for the job, can start at $9.99.

One member on this forum thread noted he was quoted $92.99 to replace both of his brake bulbs, but according to the responses, this price was very high, even for a dealership.

For some specific makes and models, the light bulb cannot be replaced as it is part of an entire assembly that needs to be replaced.  If this were the case, the average assembly replacement costs, if you were to use a mechanic/dealership, could cost close to $250 to $350 in total.

The repair process

Before the repair, the mechanic will first inspect the socket, wiring and fuses to make sure this isn’t the culprit.  In some cases, the sockets can often melt due to the high amount of current that flows through this part.  Another part that can also be responsible for a faulty brake light is the brake light switch, which is an electrical component situation on or comes in contact with the brake.

In most cars, the repair is pretty straightforward.  First, the trunk is opened and the entire taillamp assembly is removed in order to access the brake light bulb socket.

The brake light bulb socket, once exposed, will be removed from the housing and the burnt-out bulb will be removed and replaced with a new bulb.

The entire assembly is refitted and the mechanic will confirm the new bulb is working.

The whole process can take about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the vehicle’s setup.

Tips to know

In the case of an LED brake light bulb, the bulb cannot be replaced individually; instead, the entire assembly has to be replaced.

Brake lights, on average, last about 40,000 to 50,000 miles or about five years, whichever comes first.  Factors can greatly affect how long these bulbs last such as how often you press your brakes and the type of bulb installed.  As for the electrical components, these parts can often last as long as 100,000 miles or longer.

A burnt out bulb is not always the problem.  Other problems may be due to a blown out fuse, a broken wire inside of the harness, a poor connection, a shorted body control module or a faulty brake light switch.

How to change brake light

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