Oct 24 2007

When the brake lights go out


On several occasions, I’ve seen cars driving down the road with absolutely no brake lights. Sometimes, I’ll follow them a bit and if we come to a red light, I’ll honk, do the “roll down your window” motion and holler “Both of your brake lights are out!”

Of course, they’re surprised, but grateful. No brake lights = easy target for being rear-ended.

Here’s some ideas for checking your brake lights once in awhile:

  • If you park your car in a garage, before opening the door or turning on the engine, step on your brakes and look in your mirrors. You should see the lights reflecting on your garage door. Are they lit on each side?
  • Sometimes, I’ll find myself backing out of a parking space, and the rear of my car will be reflected in a store window. Take a half-second to see both brake lights when that happens.
  • If you have a passenger who can tell you, ask him or her to look for you.
  • When you get your oil changed, ask your mechanic to look for you while you’re sitting in your car. If they’re out, you can get it fixed right then.

If you discover a light is out, replace it right away. You just never know when the second light will follow suit–and you don’t want to be without both. But, don’t replace an operating bulb just because you replaced the burnt-out other bulb. They’ll get equal amounts of usage, and will be more likely to go out at the same time.

For other Works for Me Wednesday tips, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

Posted under Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “When the brake lights go out”

  1. I used to drive a very old Volvo (older than me) that occasionally had electrical problems, so I have totally been in this situation. Driving down a highway at night I’d keep an eye out for things that would reflect my brake lights. Not a fun feeling if you aren’t sure!

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  2. Good reminder.

  3. GREAT tip! I used to have a taillight that was perpetually out…

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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