Brake Light Bulb Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your brake light bulb replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your brake light bulb replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a brake light bulb?

The average brake light bulb replacement cost is $25-$40. The exact price will depend on your vehicle—and if you do it yourself.
How long does it take to replace a brake light bulb? It only takes about .50 hours to replace a brake light bulb. While some vehicles are a little trickier than others, you shouldn’t need to wait long.

How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my brake light bulb replacement and how much do those parts cost?

Here’s a general rundown of the parts you’ll need for this process. Remember to double-check your owner’s manual for a list of specific part numbers, as brake light bulbs can vary from one model to another.
  • Brake Light Bulb: You'll need a new brake light bulb, which typically costs around $5 to $10 per bulb, depending on the type and brand.
  • Owner's Manual or Online Guide: The owner's manual or an online guide is essential for identifying the correct bulb type for your specific car model, and it's usually free to access.
  • Gloves and Safety Glasses: To protect your hands and eyes during the replacement process, get a pair of gloves and safety glasses. The average cost is around $5 to $15.
  • Screwdriver or Socket Set: A basic screwdriver or socket set is necessary for accessing and removing the brake light housing. The price range is between $10 to $30, depending on the quality.
  • Replacement Gasket or Seal (if applicable): Some cars have gaskets or seals around the brake light housing that may need replacement. The cost for a replacement gasket can range from $5 to $15.
You can buy brake light bulb replacement parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three reliable brands we recommend are Philips, Sylvania, and Wagner. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.Yesterday
Local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts offer convenient and immediate access to automotive bulbs. Online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto provide a vast selection and the ability to compare prices and read reviews.
If you prefer OEM parts, car dealerships' parts departments offer the exact brake light bulbs recommended by the manufacturer. Ensure to select reputable sellers and have the correct bulb type for your car's make and model for a successful brake light bulb replacement.
OEM bulbs assure quality and an exact fit but may come at a higher cost. Aftermarket bulbs offer affordability and variety, but there could be concerns about their quality and compatibility. Weigh your budget and preferences to make the best decision for a successful and cost-effective brake light bulb replacement.

Where can I get my brake light bulb replaced?

The search for a suitable location to replace your brake light bulb can be challenging, especially without a trusted mechanic. Luckily, Jerry's
provides a solution through its extensive network of over 2,500 reputable repair shops across the country. 
This platform enables straightforward comparisons of fair price estimates, factoring in real hourly labor rates. With Jerry's GarageGuard™, you can also assess possible diagnostic fees and access authentic reviews to make the best service choice. 
Check out the vetted shops below and download the app to review car repair quotes from your zip code.
143 Reviews
Kerry's Car Care - Norterra
28211 N North Valley Pkwy, Peoria, AZ
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
185 Reviews
AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care - Anaheim
519 S Brookhurst St, Anaheim, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
148 Reviews
Mobileworks Auto Maintenance
7216 Whispering Pines Dr, Dallas, TX
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
170 Reviews
North American Motors
20531 Mission Blvd, Oakland, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)

How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my brake light bulb?

During a brake light bulb replacement, a mechanic will disassemble the housing and swap out your old brake light bulb for a new one. 
A mechanic will generally follow these steps:
  1. Gather Necessary Tools: The mechanic will gather the tools required for the replacement, such as a screwdriver or socket set, gloves, and safety glasses.
  2. Access Brake Light Housing: They will access the brake light housing, usually located on the rear of the car, by removing the housing cover or trim panel.
  3. Remove Old Bulb: Carefully remove the old brake light bulb from its socket by twisting it counterclockwise or pulling it out, depending on the bulb type.
  4. Inspect Socket and Wiring: While the bulb is out, the mechanic will inspect the socket and wiring for any signs of damage or corrosion.
  5. Install New Bulb: Insert the new brake light bulb into the bulb socket, ensuring it's securely seated.
  6. Test Brake Lights: Before reassembling, the mechanic will have someone press the brake pedal to test the new bulb's functionality.
  7. Reassemble Housing: If everything is working correctly, they will reassemble the brake light housing by securing the cover or trim panel back in place.
  8. Check All Lights: As a final step, the mechanic will check all other vehicle lights, including taillights and turn signals, to ensure they are functioning correctly.
It’s also possible that a
blown fuse
is contributing to your electrical issues. Make sure the mechanic confirms that the issue is actually the bulb.

What happens if I don’t replace my brake light bulb?

If you don't replace your brake light bulb, several consequences can occur:
  • Reduced Visibility: A burnt-out brake light means your car won't signal to other drivers when you're braking, reducing visibility and increasing the risk of rear-end collisions, especially in low-light conditions or bad weather.
  • Compromised Safety: Brake lights are crucial for communicating your braking intentions to other drivers, giving them time to react. Without functional brake lights, drivers behind you may not realize you're slowing down, leading to potential accidents.
  • Traffic Violations: Operating a vehicle with non-functional brake lights is illegal in many jurisdictions. You could receive a citation or ticket from law enforcement for not having working brake lights.
  • Failed Vehicle Inspection: In areas with mandatory
    vehicle inspections
    , a non-functional brake light can lead to a failed inspection, requiring you to replace the bulb before passing the inspection.
Get your brake light bulb replaced ASAP!

What are brake light bulbs?

Brake light bulbs are essential components in a vehicle's lighting system designed to alert other drivers when the brakes are applied. 
Located at the rear of the car, usually in the taillight housing, these bulbs illuminate with a bright red light whenever the driver presses the brake pedal. When braking, the brake light bulbs emit a signal to motorists behind, indicating that the vehicle is slowing down or coming to a stop. 
This crucial communication helps prevent rear-end collisions and ensures road safety. 
Brake light bulbs come in various types, including incandescent,
, and halogen, each offering different levels of brightness and efficiency due to their electrical components.
LED brake lights are a modern alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. Unlike incandescent bulbs that emit light by heating a filament, LED bulbs produce light when an electrical current passes through a semiconductor. LED brake lights and LED tail lights are known for their bright illumination, quick response time, and energy efficiency, and they are becoming increasingly popular in newer car models due to their durability and longevity. 
Regular maintenance and timely replacement of burnt-out bulbs are essential to ensure proper visibility and safe driving on the road.

When should I replace the brake light bulb on my car?

You should replace the brake light bulb on your car as soon as you notice the filament has burnt out or is not functioning correctly. Additionally, if you see signs of dimming or reduced brightness in the brake lights, it's a good idea to replace the bulb promptly.
Regularly inspecting your vehicle's brake lights is essential for maintaining
road safety
, as functional brake lights are critical for signaling your intentions to other drivers and ensuring safe braking distances. 
If you're unsure about the condition of your brake light bulbs, have a professional mechanic or someone else help you perform a brake safety inspection to ensure they are in proper working order.

How often should a brake light bulb be replaced?

There is no specific mileage-based interval for replacing brake light bulbs since their lifespan can vary based on usage and driving conditions.
Brake light bulbs should be replaced as soon as they burn out or show signs of dimming, or if the
brake warning light
indicates a need to replace the bulb. Regularly inspect your brake lights and promptly replace any faulty bulbs to maintain optimal visibility, ensure safe braking, and comply with traffic regulations.

Can I replace my brake light bulb myself?

Yes, you can
change your brake light bulb
(or broken tail light) all by yourself. Brake light bulb replacements are generally straightforward and can be done with basic tools. 
Refer to your car's owner's manual or consult online guides for the correct bulb type and replacement procedure. Ensure your car is turned off, wear safety gloves, and use caution when handling the bulb. 


No, fixing a brake light is generally
not expensive
. Brake light bulb replacements are affordable and can often be done easily by car owners themselves. 
If you need professional help from an auto shop, the labor cost is typically minimal, making it a relatively low-cost repair compared to other automotive issues. You could even call a
mobile mechanic
directly to your home, although the service cost is likely to exceed the repair cost at an auto repair shop.
Driving with a broken brake light is not recommended. A non-functional brake light reduces visibility to other drivers, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions and traffic violations. It's essential to replace the brake light bulb promptly to maintain road safety and ensure your vehicle is in compliance with traffic laws.
If your tail lights work, but your brake lights do not, it could be due to a few reasons. The most common causes include a burnt-out brake light bulb, a faulty brake light switch, or a blown fuse. 
Check and replace the brake light bulbs if needed, inspect the brake light switch and tail light assembly for any issues, and examine the fuse box for a blown brake light fuse. If troubleshooting these components doesn't resolve the problem, it's advisable to seek professional help from a qualified mechanic to diagnose and fix the issue accurately.

Meet Our Experts

John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.