How Brake Light Wiring Works

By: Ed Grabianowski  | 

Tools for Brake Light Wiring

The brake light socket with the bulb.
Photo courtesy Ed Grabianowski

Brake repair isn't very difficult as long as you have the proper tools for brake light wiring jobs. Brake work is always easier if you have a test light or a multi-meter, the right size replacement bulbs and a set of wire disconnectors. Wire disconnectors are small metal picks or hooks that pop the wire out of the bulb socket. If you need to do some rewiring as part of your brake work, you may need a wire stripper and some electrical tape, too. If you have access to a diagnostic scan tool, this can make fixing brakes (or at least diagnosing the problem) even easier. In some cars, the brake wires go through the body controller, an electronic control unit separate from the engine controller. A scan tool might give you a better idea of where the problem may be.

You can usually splice wires just by twisting them together, then covering the splice securely with electrical tape. However, if you want a stronger splice, you could use a soldering iron.


For many, seeing is believing. In order to give you a clear picture of where the wires go, visit the next page and see a basic brake light wiring diagram.