Chevy Silverado Trailer Brake Lights Not Working: How to Fix

Your Chevy Silverado trailer brake lights are more important than you can imagine. Driving with bad trailer brake lights at night is not just dangerous for you but also for other road users. Most times, you may not know that your brake lights are not working until someone else tells you.

Now that you know that your trailer brake lights are not working, you have two questions on your mind. How did they stop working? What can you do to fix them?

We will be answering both questions in this post to help you out. Without further ado, let’s get started.

chevy silverado trailer brake lights not working

Chevy Silverado Trailer Brake Lights Not Working: Causes and How to Fix

Most times, when the trailer brake lights stop working, the other tail lights remain functional. This may seem peculiar but it is pretty common. What is more peculiar is when the tail lights go off when you step on the brakes. Either way, you have a problem that you should fix as soon as possible on your hands.

The truth is that there are so many reasons why the trailer brake lights are not functioning. In this section, we will look at the most common reasons for the lot. We will also proffer solutions to the problem.

Blown light bulbs

This is about the most common reason why your trailer brake lights will stop working when the tail lights are. An easy way to detect this problem is when one or both brake lights alone stop working. But to be sure, you need to remove the bulbs and carry out a simple visual evaluation.

Take out the screws holding the bulb lens. You can access these screws through the trunk of your Silverado. If you are not sure how to, check the owner’s manual or see a professional. After taking out the screws, tug the bulbs and then turn them in an anticlockwise direction. This will get them out of their sockets.

Now check the filaments if they are blown or not. Also, check if the bulb has a dark discoloration. If any of this is the case, you have to replace these bulbs. Ensure that the new bulbs that you use are of the same wattage and type. After doing this, the trailer brake lights should be working, else, try the next option.


It is impossible to discuss the electronic components of your car without mentioning fuses. Fuses perform a very important function in every electrical circuit in your vehicle. Without them, most of your electronic components will get blown by power surges and bad connections. The fuse always takes the fall while protecting the electronic components.

In this case, you need to check the fuse associated with your Silverado trailer brake lights. Is it still in good condition? Was it dislodged? If the latter is the case, then you don’t have so much of a problem.

All you need to do is open the fuse box beneath the dash on the driver’s side to access the fuses. Now, check beneath the lid of the box so that you can use the fuse map to locate the associated fuse. Once you find the fuse, check to see if it is dislodged. If this is the case, placing it properly should get the lights working again.

On the other hand, if the lights are still not working, you need to check if the fuse is working or not. To do this, you need to run a quick visual evaluation or make use of a voltmeter. By looking at the fuse, you can tell if it is bad or not. First, you will notice discoloration and the fuse wire will also be cut.

When this occurs, there is only one line of action to take. Change the fuse. After doing this, the trailer brake lights should start working normally.

Broken light switch

This is another very common reason why the brake lights wouldn’t come on. Just like it is for the lights in your home, the brake lights have a “light switch.” If this switch is broken, then the lights will not come on.

The light switch controlling the brake lights usually sits beneath the dashboard. This means that you have to open up this area to access the switch. If you don’t have any prior experience, you may need some professional help. Most times, the reason why the switch is not working is that the plunger isn’t touching the brake pedal arm.

Once this is sorted, the light switch should be up and running. If it isn’t, then you need to change it. After doing this, the lights should start working again, otherwise, try the next option.

Wiring problems

As we mentioned above, your brake lights are controlled by an electrical circuit. This circuit is connected by wires. If these wires are bad or damaged, then the lights will not work, no matter how hard you try.

We always suggest that you take the car to your mechanic in this case. Tracing the wires is a difficult task for a novice but it is less cumbersome and time-consuming for a professional. Most times, the wires are just disconnected or worn out at some points. The mechanic can figure out the problem and proffer the necessary solution.

Bad sockets

If every other thing is perfect and the lights don’t work, then you could have bad sockets. The bulbs are lodged in the sockets which are connected to the rest of the circuit. Sockets rarely get bad. However, they are easily clogged by dirt and debris from moving around very often. Also, they may be corroded.

The advice here is to first clean out the sockets then try the bulbs again. If they work this time, then you are good. Otherwise, you have to change the sockets. Changing these components is pretty cheap but you need the help of a professional.


The trailer brake lights of your Chevy Silverado may fail to work due to any of the reasons explained in this article. However, if you’re unable to figure out the problem or fix things on your own, your best bet is to involve an auto expert.