Silverado Third Brake Light Not Working

Fixing Common Issues: Silverado Third Brake Light Not Working

A broken third brake light can cause a risk to other drivers behind you as they won’t be able to tell when you are braking. This can lead to a rear-end collision.

So, what should you do if your Silverado 3rd brake light not working? You should take the following steps in that case,

  1. Inspect the brake light switch to see if it is damaged.
  2. Check the bulb to see if it is burnt out and replace it if needed.
  3. Check for any frayed wires or loose connections.
  4. Inspect the fuse box to see if any fuses have blown.

In this article, we will explore the different causes and the common signs of a defective brake light and how to fix this problem. So, let’s start!

Potential Reasons for Silverado 3rd Brake Light Not Working

Potential Reasons for Silverado 3rd Brake Light Not Working

Check out the table below to learn about the potential causes that may lead to a malfunctioning third brake light in your Silverado.

IssueDescriptionWhy This May OccurWhat to Do
Damaged Third Brake Light BulbThe bulb has burned out.Over time, bulbs naturally wear out due to frequent usageReplace the bulb with a new one
Faulty Brake Light SwitchThe switch is unable to send the signal to illuminate the third brake lightThe switch might get damaged due to poor maintenance and extensive useReplace the faulty brake light switch
Blown FuseA blown fuse can interrupt current flow to the brake light switchShort circuits can cause the fuse to blowCheck the fuse box for a blown fuse. Replace the old fuse with a new one
Defective Body Control ModuleA defective BCM might not send the command to light up the brake lightThe BCM can malfunction due to electrical issues, software problems, and damaged wiringGet your automobile checked by a good mechanic
Water ExposureIf water enters the brake light assembly, it can damage the electrical components and cause them to malfunctionIt occurs due to a poorly sealed light assembly or exposure to heavy rainUse a silicon-based sealant to seal the cracks on the third brake light housing
Faulty WiringThe wires that connect to the third brake light might get damaged or corrodedThe wires can get damaged due to a short circuit, corrosion, and excessive useCheck the wires for cuts or corrosion and get them replaced
Corroded Bulb SocketThe socket connecting the bulb may get corrodedThe bulb socket can get corroded due to poor maintenance and exposure to moistureClean the corroded bulb socket with dielectric grease

How To Change A Faulty Brake Light Switch?

How To Change A Faulty Brake Light Switch

If you want to know how to change a faulty brake light switch, check out the guidelines we have added below.

  • Step 1: First, park your car and disconnect the car’s battery.
  • Step 2: Use a flashlight and locate the broken brake light switch near the brake pedal.
  • Step 3: Carefully unplug the wires connected to the brake light switch.
  • Step 4: Take a wrench, remove the screws, and disconnect the old switch from the brake pedal.
  • Step 5: Gently position the new brake light switch on the brake pedal.
  • Step 6: Put the screws back on and tighten them with a screwdriver.
  • Step 7: Reconnect the wires.
  • Step 8: Once you have installed the new switch, reconnect the battery and check if the third brake light works properly.
Read:  Ford Ranger Third Brake Light Not Working: Possible Reasons and Solutions

How Can You Fix A Blown Fuse That Is Causing Your Third Brake Light To Malfunction?

How Can You Fix A Blown Fuse That Is Causing Your Third Brake Light To Malfunction

If you have noticed that your third brake light does not work due to a blown fuse, you should replace it. To replace a damaged fuse, follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: Before you begin, make sure your car is turned off and the key is out of the ignition.
  • Step 2: Look for the fuse box under the dashboard on the driver’s side or in the engine compartment.
  • Step 3: Check the diagram on the fuse box cover to find the brake light fuse. It might be labeled as a “ Brake Light”.
  • Step 4: Take a pair of tweezers to gently take out the damaged fuse.
  • Step 5: Now, take out the new fuse and check that it is the same size as the old fuse.
  • Step 6: Carefully install the 15-ampere new fuse into the empty slot.
  • Step 7: At last, turn your car on and see if the brake lights illuminate normally.

What Are The Signs Of A Defective Third Brake Light In A Silverado?

Below, we have listed some signs that you may notice if your car has a defective third brake light.

  • When you apply the brakes, the third brake light does not light up
  • Sometimes, the third brake light flickers or only lights up when you hit a speed breaker
  • The third brake light glows less brightly than the other brake lights
  • When you press the brake pedal, you might see that the third brake light blinks rapidly instead of staying steady
  • A warning sign may appear on your vehicle’s dashboard which may indicate an issue with the brake lights.
What Are The Signs Of A Defective Third Brake Light In A Silverado

Silverado Third Brake Light Not Working: How To Replace the Bulb?

Below, we have provided a detailed guide on repairing a faulty third brake light to make it easier for you to understand.

  • Step 1: Park your Silverado in your garage.
  • Step 2: Open the tailgate of your Silverado.
  • Step 3: Take a flathead screwdriver and  carefully remove the screws holding the light cover.
  • Step 4: Now, inspect the third brake light bulb to check if it is burned out. If you see a discolored filament inside the bulb, it must be replaced. 
  • Step 5: Go to the auto parts store nearby and get a new brake light bulb.
  • Step 6: You need to twist the old bulb and try to take it out of the socket. If it is stuck, you can gently wiggle it while twisting it. Once it is out, set it aside.
  • Step 7: Now, insert the new bulb by gently pushing it into the socket.
  • Step 8: Place a piece of wood on your brake pedal and check if the third brake light is illuminating.
  • Step 9: Now, gently place the light cover back and use a screwdriver to tighten the screws on both sides of the light cover.
  • Step 10: At last, close the tailgate of your Silverado and then remove the piece of wood from the brake pedal.
Read:  Turn Signal And Brake Light Not Working On One Side

You can watch this YouTube video for a visual representation of this process.

Prevent Your Third Brake Light From Malfunctioning In The Future

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of repairing your third brake light, you can take some measures to avoid this problem. Below, we have provided a list of preventive actions you can take.

  • When you open or close your trunk, be careful not to use too much force as it can cause damage to the brake light or its housing.
  • When you have to replace the third brake light bulb, make sure to use a high-quality bulb to ensure that it lasts a long time.
  • You should park your vehicle in shaded areas. This will prevent the brake lights from deteriorating due to prolonged exposure to sunlight.
  • To prevent moisture from damaging the electrical components of your brake light, you should check that the housing is sealed properly and has no cracks.
  • When you are loading or unloading things from the back of your vehicle, try to be careful so that you don’t accidentally harm the third brake light.
  • You should visit a mechanic twice yearly to inspect your brake and tail lights.
Prevent Your Third Brake Light From Malfunctioning In The Future
Silverado owners aren’t alone when facing challenges with their 3rd brake lights. For those keen on comparing and understanding issues across different brands, it’s worth noting that there have been reported problems with the Dodge Ram third brake light as well. Similarly, Chevrolet has had its share of concerns with other models too, like the reported cases of the Tahoe third brake light malfunctioning. By delving into these diverse cases, one can glean insights into common issues and their potential solutions across different vehicles.


Take a look at the FAQs we have given below to learn more about a third brake light that isn’t working properly in your vehicle.

Q: Can a faulty 3rd brake light affect my Silverado’s battery life?

If your Silverado’s brake light is left on for a long time, it can drain your car battery. 

Q: Can the placement of my vehicle’s 3rd brake light affect its effectiveness? 

Yes, the placement of the third brake light can impact how well it works. You should position it in the center of the vehicle, at least 12 inches higher than the other brake lights, so that it can be easily seen from a distance of 500 feet.

Q: Can my vehicle’s third brake light be affected by extreme temperatures?

Yes. The third brake light can be affected by changes in the temperature. If it gets too hot, the lens could become damaged. If it gets too cold, the LED bulb might stop working effectively.

Q: Can I use LED lights for my vehicle’s third brake light?

Yes, you can use LED bulbs for your third brake light. LED bulbs are a great choice because they are brighter than regular bulbs and will last a long time.

Q: Can the color of my vehicle’s third brake light affect its effectiveness? 

Yes, the color of the third brake light can impact how well it works. Generally, the brake light should be red. This is because the red color makes it easy for other drivers to see the light even from far away.

Final Words

In conclusion, a third brake light is an essential safety feature that should not be ignored. If you notice that your third brake light is not working, you should check the physical condition of the wires, fuse, and brake switch. 

If you find these components in good condition, inspect the brake light bulb for any signs of burn-out or corrosion. Furthermore, you should also check the third brake light socket for any cracks, loose fitting, or moisture build-up. Replacing or repairing these parts can often solve the issue. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *