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A brake light is a light. That turns on when you use your brakes. Are we seriously having this discussion?
Brake lights are located at the back of your car, near your rear tail lights, and sometimes around your rear windshield as well. Whenever you press on the brakes, the lights turn on, flashing a bright red color behind your car. This serves to let people behind you know that you’re braking, so that they can slow down. Instead of, you know, running into you, which wouldn’t be great.
So, how do brake lights work? It’s pretty simple. Like house lights, there’s a switch that turns the lights on and off. Your brake pedal, when resting naturally, presses on the switch to keep it in the off position. Any time your foot presses on the brake pedal, the pressure on the switch is removed, and the switch is no longer held in the off position. This allows the lights to turn on, until you let go of the brake pedal again. And that’s kind of it.
As for the light itself, it’s just a basic small light bulb, with standard wiring. But there is a tiny catch. When your brake lights are on, they shine red. Many people mistakenly think this is because the lights themselves are red.
Fun fact: The lights are white, like normal lights. The covers are just red, to help project a color that symbolizes stopping.
Like all light bulbs, brake lights will burn out and die eventually. When they do, they need to be replaced. It’s pretty easy to replace brake lights, so if you’re bored on a Saturday and want to feel productive, be my guest.
Here’s a news flash: When your brake lights die or burn out, they won’t emit light when you press on the brake pedal. It’s that simple. Now, you won’t really be able to see them, unless you’re hanging out behind your car. So, it’s a good idea to make a habit of checking your lights occasionally by having someone stand around your car while you try them all: headlights, high beams, blinkers, tail lights, and yes, brake lights. Furthermore, when you get your oil changed, the mechanic will usually check your lights to make sure they’re all in working order.
Warning lights exist for a reason. And not that reason isn’t to annoy us. Most modern cars have warning lights to let you know when the various lights are no longer working. If your car is flashing the symbol that looks like a light bulb, then you may have a brake light that needs to be fixed. So, fix it.Get a Quote 1-Year | 12,000-Mile Warranty
Let me tell you two things about cars that don’t have operational brake lights. First, they don’t provide a brake warning for the cars behind you, meaning you’re way more likely to get rear-ended. And second, cops absolutely love handing out fix-it tickets for brake lights. I mean, they love it.
So, if you like getting rear ended and fix-it tickets, then by all means, leave that brake light unattended. If you’re normal like the rest of us, get it fixed asap.
1-Year | 12,000-Mile Warranty