Third Brake Light Not Working ( 5 Reasons + Solutions)

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When the third brake light not working on your vehicle, you may wonder what happened. It is essential for safe driving, and that’s why you must take care of it ASAP.

But how do you troubleshoot the third brake light not working properly?

The most common reason why the third brake stops working is either a burned-out bulb or a bad fuse box. It is not always necessary to replace the bulb. You need to remove the bulb with a screwdriver and reposition it to solve the issue.

What else can cause the third brake light in your vehicle not to work? What is the detailed process of troubleshooting the third bulb, and how much does it cost? Stay tuned with me till the end to find the answers.

Third Brake Light Not Working: 5 Reasons

third brake light not working

The third brake light on your car is not working means the light bulb is either out or not working properly. Let’s know the possible reasons why a third brake light is not working. 

1. Burned Out Bulb

I rarely give the third brake light much thought until it suddenly stops functioning. This happens because the bulb inside the light has burned out. 

It’s easy enough to replace the bulb yourself, but if you’re handy around the house, you could ask someone else to do it for you. 

Finally, check to make sure you’ve replaced the bulbs correctly. The bulb should be installed in the same direction as the arrow on the socket. 

If you are unsure what bulbs you should use, I recommend using third brake light bulb from KISLED. It’s long-lasting, uses less power, and is affordable.

2. Low Battery

When the battery dies, it can cause a number of issues. Possibly the alternator or charging system is malfunctioning.

If the battery drains, then it will make your brake lights off. Verify that your car’s battery is fully charged.

Also, there might be disconnection from the battery after replacing the Camshaft sensor, so keep that in mind as well.

3. Bad Fuse Box

The Fuse Box is located under your vehicle’s hood, usually near the engine block. It contains electrical wiring connecting all components inside your engine compartment. 

If any of these wires become damaged, it could prevent your third brake light from functioning correctly. It can also cause so many other significant issues. 

If you are planning to buy a new fuse for your third brake light. Check out this Nilight – 50016R. It is made from a copper alloy, and features like low resistance, long service, and easy installation make this product great.

4. Wires with Short Circuit

There might be an issue somewhere in the line if your third brake light doesn’t work. The most common cause of this issue is a faulty connection between the third brake light and the wiring harness.

To troubleshoot, remove the third brake light and inspect the wires connecting it to the vehicle’s electrical system. If you find a loose wire, tighten it securely.

If you still experience problems after inspecting the connections, replace the third brake light. I recommend using this third brake light from Bomusou. They provide a 1-year warranty with lifetime support.

5. One Brake Light Is Not Working, But the Bulb Is Good

If only one brake light isn’t working, but the bulbs appear fine, there may be a loose connection somewhere. Make sure the wiring harness is securely attached to the brake lights.

The brake light switch and its associated wiring harness should be inspected for continuity. Inspect the brake light bulbs, brake light switch, and brake light wires for any signs of fraying or corrosion.

Lastly, you should inspect each brake light bulb’s connection to its wire.

If none of these connections seems loose, the problem lies elsewhere, such as the brakes themselves.

How to Test the Third Brake Light?

test third brake light

When testing your third brake light, use the exact vehicle and set of tires you would typically use. This way, any differences between the two cars won’t affect your results.

To test your third brake light, apply the brakes and turn the wheel until the light comes on. The brake lights should stay lit for at least three seconds. 

If the light stays off longer than three seconds, then there may be a problem with your third brake light.

How to Fix and Replace the Third Brake Light? 

replacement 3rd brake light

If your car’s mechanical parts such as the Flexplate or third brake light don’t work, it’s a real pain. You can’t drive with a faulty cracked flexplate and similarly, it isn’t possible to drive with damaged third brake light.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for a third brake light. A new bulb can simply replace the old one in its socket. Just follow the below steps:

Step 1: Locate the Third Brake Light Bulb

First, you need to locate the third brake light on your vehicle for removal. You can get access to the bulb from the rear package shelf below the rear window.

In some cars, you may also find it in the upper rear lining near the top of the rear window.

You might want to remove any double sided tape from your car door in this time as well.

Step 2: Remove the Bulb with a Screwdriver

Use a screwdriver to remove the bulb from the socket. If you see any screws, turn the screw counterclockwise and pull the bulb out.

But if there is no screw holding the bulb, then use a flat screwdriver to pry up the bulb from the socket. 

Step 3: Reposition the Light Bulb and Install It

Reposition the light bulb and install it back into the socket. You might have to adjust the bulb’s position slightly if it’s too high or low.

Caution: Carefully replace the fuse box cover after replacing the bulb. You’ll want to wait about 30 minutes before turning on the ignition key, and doing so will allow time for the bulb to warm up and charge itself.

This process will help ensure that your third brake light works correctly.

If you want to protect your third brake light from scratches and dirt, I recommend using the Triple Chrome 3rd Third Brake Tail Light Lamp Cover

It’s made of high-quality plastic, which can be easily installed on your vehicle without any tools.

Step 4: Install a New Bulb

However, if the third brake light is still not working, that means it has been damaged. Now, you’ll need to replace the bulb with a new one. Set the new bulb in the same way you reinstalled the older one.

Depending on which vehicle you use, you need to purchase your bulb.

For instance, the KISLED 12-24V Extremely Bright Third Bulb LED Bulb is a great fit for Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Nissan, Toyota Trucks, and more.

Third brake light replacement cost

If you’re driving down the road and notice that your car’s third brake light isn’t working, it may be time to replace it.

There are many factors to consider when determining the cost of replacing a third brake light, including brand, type, age, and condition. 

The service cost for replacing the third brake light can vary from $50 to $150, depending on the size of the bulb. Besides, there will be an extra cost for the bulb price—for instance, the Led Third Brake Light Replacement costs around $60.

Note: Remember, if you’re planning to replace the third brake light yourself, you’ll want to use caution and take proper safety precautions. Don’t attempt this repair unless you’re confident you know what you’re doing.


Where Is the Third Brake Light Fuse Located?

The third brake light fuse location is at the bottom of the steering column near the steering wheel. Installing a light fuse can protect a car from short circuits, overload, etc. 

You can check out the Nilight – 50016R 120 pcs Standard Fuse Assortment kit for your automotive, trucks, or even boats. 

Why Is My Center High Mount Stop Light Not Working?

The center high mount stop lights are designed to be mounted at the top of the windshield and will only work if installed correctly. If they are not installed properly, the lights may not function correctly.

How Long Does It Take to Change Brake Lights?

Changing the brake light in a car is quite easy and only takes around 5 to 30 minutes max. If the light bulb is large, then you may need some extra time. 

Can I Go to the Roads Without a Brake Light?

Having a working brake light is essential for safe driving. That’s why you can not go onto the roads without a brake light. It is illegal to drive without brake lights.


Your brake lights are there for a reason. At least for your own safety, you should check your brake lights.

Hopefully, after reading this post, you can troubleshoot whenever you see the third brake light not working properly and maybe fix it yourself.

Robert Lozano

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