Jeep Grand Cherokee Brake Lights not Working When Headlights are On – 2024 Guide

Jeep Grand Cherokee brake lights not working when headlights are on is very common but crucial query. While driving at night, brake lights must be properly functional to avoid any type of mishap.

Brake lights are the indication for the other drivers to be aware of your actions that you are applying brakes. If the brake lights are not on, the vehicle on your back may not be aware of the situation and things can get messy.

Many Jeep Grand Cherokee users face the issue where Jeep Grand Cherokee brake lights not working when headlights are on.

In normal condition, the switching is meant to turn on the brake lights as the driver depresses the brakes.

Faulty switching contributes the most to the issue while there are many other reasons too where the same issues are experienced in Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Even in the recent models of different cars, the switching of the brake system is still the same.

Visiting the dealership may not resolve the issue if this problem keep happening again and again?

Here are things that owners need to know regarding the Jeep Grand Cherokee brake light issue.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Brake Light Malfunctioning when Headlights are On

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Before discussing the solution to the problem, the owners need to understand the working and purpose of brake lights and the switching.

The information about the functioning of the brake light function will also help out to diagnose and resolve the problem in a better way.

In general cars, brake lights follow the hydraulic switches or mechanical switches. The brake pedal determines the status of the brake light depending upon the pressure.

If the pressure is applied on the brake pedal, it will complete the circuit, and the tail light will turn on.

The same process is applicable for the hydraulic switch where the brake-line pressure turns on the switch for the tail light.

In the whole process, there are some other switches too that impact the working of the taillights. The dimmer switch is the most critical component of the circuitry and it fails more often.

In case the brake light issues occur, again and again, consider replacing the dimmer switch with the OEM switch.

Why Brake Lights are Essential?

Brake Lights are Essential

Even if the brake lights are not directly associated with the performance of the car, brake lights are critical for a safe driving experience.

Not having functional brake lights is not only important for your safety but the police officer can also pull you over if the lights are not working.

Brake lights offer better visibility on the road and other drivers can easily detect your car.

Brake lights also add a lot to the beauty and presence of the car. Since 1948, it is compulsory for all passenger cars to have working rear lights.

If Jeep lights are not working with headlights on, get these fixed as soon as possible. Delaying these little service tasks might get you in real trouble.

Reasons why Brake Lights are not on

When the headlights are on, the brake lights should be more luminous than the taillights.

Corrosion or any other fault in the circuit can lead to brake light failure. The corrosion in the circuitry prevents circuit completion.

The metal used in the sockets starts depleting with time so when the headlights are turned on, the brake lights don’t turn on. The quality of the bulb is also a significant role player in the complete process.

Headlights require significant energy and the constant flow of current emits heat that may melt the wiring for the rear lights.

The construction of the wiring within the lamps needs to be secure and precise to avoid this issue. Electrical connections in the Jeep Grand Cherokee pose serious issues for the working of different gadgets.

Here are some possible reasons why Grand Cherokee brake lamps not turning on with headlights on:

1. Malfunctioning the Brake Light Bulbs

Malfunctioning the Brake Light Bulbs

In case of malfunctioning brake light bulbs, the brake light will not work whether the headlights are turned on or not.

Drivers usually don’t realize the issue in daylight so they tend to consider that the brake light issue has something to do with the headlight status.

Older models of Jeep Grand Cherokee generally experience this issue due to worn-out bulbs. If the brake lights are not working, the faulty bulb diagnosis should be on top of the checklist.

The process of checking the broken or faulty bulb is pretty simple and can be done without using any professional tools.

Open the trunk and remove the light cover with care. If the bulb is burned or broken, a new brake light bulb replacement will solve the problem.

There are some other reasons that might cause the relevant issues.

2. Light Switch and Fuse Box

The fuse box is the main control room for all wiring in Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Every wire that transmits current to any component must pass through the fuse box. Car manual can help you to identify the fuse for the Jeep Grand Cherokee lights.

Burned fuse will break the circuit and replacement of the fuse will resolve the issue.

3. Electrical Ground

Electrical Ground brake light

In some cases, the tail light keeps running without any issue while the brake lights don’t. The electrical ground issue can easily impact the flow of the current.

Damaged wires need immediate replacement when bulbs are in perfect condition but still don’t turn on.

These fixes are inexpensive and don’t require any long procedure. The main issue is the right diagnosis of the issue.

4. Damaged Wiring

This 3rd reason is more complicated to detect. If the fuse box, electrical ground, and bulbs are in perfect condition, damaged wiring might be the reason why the brake lights are out.

Follow the wiring from the fuse panel to the bulbs of the lights.

If there is any fragment with burned insulation or touches any other wire, you have detected the possible issue.

Check all the connections and if any connection is loose, tighten it. Use chemicals to clean the sockets because corrosion in the grips can also stop the current flow.

5. Indicator Switch

Indicator Switch

In some Jeep Grand Cherokee models, the brake lights are powered from the same panel as the turn signal switch.

A faulty indicator switch will create issues for the brake lights too. These issues must be checked by a professional electrician.

Owners need to be extremely careful with these complicated tasks because a simple wrong move can cause a short circuit.

6. Brake Pedal Pressure

Brake lights are turned on when the system detects a certain amount of pressure on the pedals.

As the brake pedal starts reducing pressure in the brake lines, the depressor will not complete the circuit. Try to apply more pressure on the pedals.

If the increased pressure turns on the light, visit your trusted mechanic for the solution.

Apart from these mentioned reasons, there are several other reasons why light not working. Instead of ignoring the issues, try to diagnose the issue as per the instructions.

Right detection of the problem is the key to an effective solution. Generally, these solutions don’t cost much.

The rough use of the Jeep Grand Cherokee can loosen the connections so always go for the solutions that require no replacement of the parts.

How to Resolve Jeep Grand Cherokee Brake Lights not Working When Headlights are on

How to Resolve Jeep Grand Cherokee Brake Lights not Working When Headlights are on

As you are done with the diagnosis of the problem with the brake lights, the next step is to solve the problem.

Follow these steps to resolve any type of problem with brake lights:

Step 1: Check the Switch

The quality of switches used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee is quite impressive but there are chances of malfunctions.

Harsh weather conditions can expose the connections to corrosion.

Using OEM switches and regular service can reduce the chances of electrical problems and malfunctions.

Instead of repairing the same switch, again and again, consider replacing the switches. High-quality switches ensure that the same problem does not occur again.

Step 2: Check Dimmer Switch

The connections of different components with brake lights increase the probability of failure.

Inexperienced electricians don’t understand the configuration of the dimmer switch.

If the problem with the brake lights appeared after visiting the electrician, it is most probably due to the wrong configuration. These types of issues must be checked and solved by professionals.

Visit the nearest dealership for effective repairing for Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Step 3: Burned Bulbs

Burned Bulbs

If the bulbs are burned, you need to replace the bulbs immediately.

The process of replacing the bulb is pretty simple and the owner can do it without any professional assistance. Not only should the brake lights, but all other lights also be checked for malfunctioning bulbs and lights.

To get rid of the unnecessary reoccurrence of the problem, always choose quality bulbs for Jeep Grand Cherokee. Worn-out bulbs will start dimming the light.

Step 4: Faulty Parts

Using low-quality components and parts will cause problems sooner or later.

Always use the parts as per the maker’s guidelines and recommendations. Instead of saving a few bucks, prefer OEM parts and avoid facing these problems in the future.

Step 5: Consult with the Professional

DIY hacks for Jeep Grand Cherokee don’t always work. If things feel complicated, consider visiting the trusted mechanic.

A short circuit or an electric malfunction can pose threats to your health too. Never take risks with these things.

You can also gain more knowledge about Jeep Grand Cherokee from YouTube videos. Knowledge gained from online sites and tutorials can help you to understand the situation but never solely rely on these videos.

Step 6: Check the Sockets

The working of the brake light system depends upon the proper transmission of the current. Loose or broken sockets will keep creating issues.

Cleaning the sockets and grips with cleaning agents can solve the issue.

In case the cleaning agents fail to get the job done, ask the electrician to replace the sockets.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Brake Lights not Working When Headlights are on

How to Avoid Facing this Problem on Jeep Grand Cherokee

Electrical issues keep happening in different vehicles.

The use of quality parts and products can reduce the chances of hardware failure but there is no way to prevent these issues.

Timely service of the electrical and mechanical components can keep Jeep Grand Cherokee in perfect condition for a long time.

Manufacturers provide user manual regarding the timely maintenance and care of Jeep Grand Cherokee. Go for the professional checkup after a few months and let the experts inspect the car.

The driving habits of the owner also control the chances of malfunctions. If driven with care, Jeep Grand Cherokee is a pretty reliable ride.

Never compromise on the quality of the bulb and wires if you want peace of mind and reliability.


This guide was about solving the issue Jeep Grand Cherokee brake lights not working when headlights are on” faced by most of the Jeep Grand Cherokee owners.

Not only the reasons behind the brake light issue but the possible solutions are also offered in this article. The exact reason and solution might be different.

The aim of this guide is to reduce the maintenance cost and help the owners to solve the issues at home. Electrical issues and their solutions can be tricky sometimes.

Dealing with these issues without proper knowledge can lead to further damage. As soon as things start getting out of your hand, consider getting professional help.

The brake light issue is not supposed to be an expensive deal.

Having the basic knowledge will help you to determine if the mechanic is asking for a fair price or not.

Being totally blank about basic Jeep Grand Cherokee can make it easier for the mechanics to trick you into paying more money. There are several factors in Jeep Grand Cherokee that need your attention.

While replacing any component in your vehicle, always go for quality and premium parts.