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Brake Light Switch Replacement Cost Estimate

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

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

The average brake light switch replacement cost is $82. More specifically, you’ll pay about $19 for parts and $61 for the mechanic’s labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle and labor costs in your area.
How long does it take to replace a brake light switch? The average wait time is 0.5 hours for a brake light switch replacement. 
Here’s a look at how brake light switch replacement costs vary by model:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 24, 2024
Ford Bronco
$81
$34
$47
0.4 Hours
May 23, 2024
Smart Fortwo
$76
$34
$42
0.4 Hours
May 21, 2024
Audi A4
$78
$34
$44
0.4 Hours
May 20, 2024
Hummer H2
$86
$34
$52
0.4 Hours
May 12, 2024
Cadillac STS
$82
$34
$49
0.4 Hours
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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 switch replacement and how much do those parts cost?

Here are the key parts you’ll need for the average brake light switch replacement:
  • Brake Light Switch: Also known as a stop light switch, this is the main part required for the replacement. A new brake light switch typically costs around $10 to $30, depending on the car model and the brand of the switch. We recommend brands like Standard Motor Products, ACDelco, and Beck/Arnley.
  • Brake Light Switch Retainer Clip: In some cases, you may need a new retainer clip to secure the brake light switch properly. This clip can cost around $5 to $10. We recommend Dorman, ACDelco, and Genuine.
  • Brake Fluid (Optional): If your vehicle has a hydraulic brake light switch, you might need to bleed the brake system and top up brake fluid during the replacement process. The cost of brake fluid is generally around $5 to $15 per bottle. Recommend brands are ATE, Motul, and Castrol.
  • Electrical Grease (Optional): Applying electrical grease to the new brake light switch's connector can help protect it from moisture and corrosion. A small tube of electrical grease costs around $5 to $10. Recommended brands are Permatex, CRC Industries, and ACDelco.
You can buy brake light switch 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. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.Yesterday
A multimeter can be useful for testing and diagnosing the functionality of the brake light switch and other related electrical components. 
Before you begin, check your car's manual for the steps and the list of required parts with their part numbers. Steps can vary based on the car model.
OEM parts offer a guaranteed fit and quality, as they are made by the original manufacturer of your car. However, they can be more expensive. Aftermarket parts are generally more affordable and offer a wider range of options, but their quality can vary.
Consider your priorities, do some research on reputable aftermarket brands, and choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.
Local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts have a wide selection available right away. Online retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart let you shop from home with many choices. 
If you want the exact part recommended by your car's manufacturer, consult your service manual and go to the dealership's parts department. Specialty automotive stores may also have what you need.
Just make sure you get the right parts for your model and check the seller's reputation for a successful replacement.

Where can I get my brake light switch replaced?

Finding the perfect spot for your brake light switch replacement can be challenging, especially without a trusted mechanic. Thankfully, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
is here to help, offering a solution with its extensive network of over 2,500 reputable repair shops across the nation. 
The platform streamlines the process, allowing easy comparison of fair price estimates, factoring in real hourly labor rates. With Jerry's
GarageGuard™
, you gain the tools to assess potential diagnostic fees and access authentic reviews, ensuring you make the best service choice. 
Explore vetted shops below and utilize the app to review car repair quotes specific to your zip code.
154 Reviews
Milstead Service Center
address
2416 N Frazier St, Magnolia, TX
Brake Light Switch Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$158
(Parts - $19, Labor - $139)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$179
180 Reviews
Jumbo Automotive Inc
address
1205 N 21st Ave, Hollywood, FL
Brake Light Switch Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$140
(Parts - $19, Labor - $121)
155 Reviews
CT Auto and Towing LLC
address
42 Jansen Ct, Hartford, CT
Brake Light Switch Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$119
(Parts - $19, Labor - $100)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$120
140 Reviews
Stage Auto Center
address
8734 122nd Ave NE, Kirkland, WA
Brake Light Switch Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$164
(Parts - $19, Labor - $145)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$155
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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 switch?

Here are the typical steps in a brake light switch replacement:
  1. Locate the Old Switch: The mechanic will identify the current brake light switch's position, typically near the brake pedal or brake pedal lever.
  2. Disconnect Electrical Connector: Using appropriate tools, they will
    disconnect the electrical connector
    attached to the old switch. The wiring harness includes the wires that link the brake light switch to the vehicle's electrical system and brake lights. During the replacement process, the wiring harness may need to be disconnected from the old brake light switch and reconnected to the new one.
  3. Remove the Old Switch: Carefully remove the old switch from its mounting position, taking note of its orientation.
  4. Install the New Switch: Position the new brake light switch correctly, aligning it with the original orientation.
  5. Reconnect Electrical Connector: Attach the electrical connector to the new switch until it clicks into place securely.
  6. Adjust Switch Position (if needed): The mechanic may need to adjust the new switch's position to ensure proper activation when the brake pedal is pressed.
  7. Test Brake Lights: Before completing the process, they will test the brake lights to ensure they work correctly with the new switch.
  8. Reassemble Panels: Once the replacement is successful, they will reassemble any panels or covers that were removed during the process.
  9. Test Brake Light Switch Operation: The final step involves verifying the brake light switch's functionality by checking if the brake lights activate and deactivate appropriately.
Please note that this guide provides a general overview, and the actual steps may vary depending on the car model and specific brake light switch design. 
Finally, remember that your car battery may be disconnected during this service. Jot down your preset radio stations, just in case!

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

If you don't replace a faulty brake light switch, several consequences can occur. The most significant impact is that your brake lights may not function correctly, posing a safety hazard on the road. 
Non-functional brake lights can lead to rear-end collisions, as drivers behind you won't be aware of your braking intentions. Additionally, driving without operational brake lights may result in
traffic violations
and citations from law enforcement. 
Furthermore, in push-button start vehicles, you may be unable to start the engine with a faulty brake light switch.
To ensure your safety and that of other road users, it's crucial to promptly replace a faulty brake light switch to maintain proper brake light functionality and comply with traffic regulations.

What is a brake light switch?

A brake light switch is a crucial component in a vehicle's braking system that controls the illumination of the brake lights. Located near the brake pedal or brake pedal lever, it is designed to activate the brake lights when the driver presses the brake pedal. 
In a vehicle's braking system, the brake pad creates friction against the brake rotor when the brakes are applied, while the brake caliper houses the brake pads and applies pressure to slow down or stop the vehicle. 
The brake pedal assembly includes the brake pedal itself and components that convert the driver's input into braking force. When the driver presses the brake pedal, the master cylinder pressurizes the brake fluid, which then travels through the brake lines to apply force on the brake calipers or wheel cylinders. Then, the plunger (a small movable rod or button-like component) moves from its resting or extended position into its activated position.
The car’s brake light switch is responsible for activating the brake light bulbs when the brake pedal is pressed, alerting other drivers of braking actions. When you step on the brake pedal, the switch is engaged, completing an electrical circuit that allows current to flow to the brake lights. As a result, the brake lights are illuminated, signaling to other drivers that you are slowing down or coming to a stop.
The brake light switch operates on a simple principle. When the brake pedal is not pressed, the switch remains open, and the tail lights are off. Conversely, when the brake pedal is depressed, the switch is closed, and the brake lights turn on. This automatic activation ensures that other drivers can react promptly to your braking actions, reducing the risk of rear-end collisions.
The Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) control module monitors wheel speed sensors and modulates brake pressure to prevent wheel lockup during sudden braking.
In addition to signaling braking, the brake light switch also plays a role in other safety features. In some vehicles, it works in conjunction with the cruise control system to disengage the cruise control when the brakes are applied. This feature helps maintain safety and control during braking.

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

You should consider replacing the brake light switch on your car under the following circumstances:
  • Brake Lights Not Working: If your brake lights fail to illuminate when you press the brake pedal, it may indicate a faulty brake light switch and is a clear sign for replacement.
  • Brake Lights Staying On: Conversely, if the brake lights remain lit even when you are not pressing the brake pedal, it could be a sign that the brake light switch is stuck or malfunctioning, requiring replacement.
  • Inconsistent Brake Light Operation: If your brake lights are intermittent, working only sporadically or not consistently when you apply the brakes, it suggests that the brake light switch is not functioning correctly and might need replacement.
  • Cruise Control Malfunction: In some vehicles, a faulty brake light switch can affect the operation of the cruise control system. If you experience issues with your cruise control not disengaging when you apply the brakes, the brake light switch could be the culprit, warranting replacement.
It's crucial to address these issues promptly and replace the brake light switch if necessary. A malfunctioning switch can compromise road safety, as other drivers may not be aware of your braking actions.

How often should a brake light switch be replaced?

Brake light switches do not have a specific replacement interval and can last for many years. However, they can wear out over time due to regular use and exposure to elements. 
The need for replacement is typically determined by their functionality. If you experience issues with your brake lights not working correctly or staying on when not pressed, it might be time to consider replacing the brake light switch.

Can I replace my bad brake light switch myself?

You can DIY a brake light switch replacement if you have some mechanical knowledge and the necessary tools. However, keep in mind that working on the brake system is critical for safety, and any mistakes could affect brake performance.
The process involves locating the old switch near the brake pedal, disconnecting the electrical connector, and removing the switch. After that, install the new switch, reconnect the electrical connector, and adjust its position correctly.

FAQs

Replacing a brake light switch is relatively easy for people with basic car repair knowledge. It involves locating the switch near the brake pedal, disconnecting the electrical connector, and installing the new switch.
However, as the brake system is crucial for safety, any uncertainty should prompt seeking professional help from a qualified mechanic to ensure a successful and safe replacement.
In general, a skilled mechanic can complete the replacement in about 30 minutes to an hour. However, this is an estimated time, and it may take longer if there are any complications or if additional adjustments or repairs are needed. 
The time it takes to fix a brake light switch can vary depending on factors such as the car model, the location of the switch, and the mechanic's experience.
No, brake light switches are not typically expensive. On average, a basic brake light switch can cost anywhere from $10 to $30. However, some high-end or specialized switches may be more expensive.
The cost of a brake light switch can vary depending on the car make and model, as well as the brand and where it is purchased. If you need to replace your brake light switch, it's advisable to compare prices from different sources, such as auto parts stores or online retailers, to pick up the best deal.

Meet Our Experts

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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.
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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.
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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 Article-Writing.co 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.