Can a burnt out light bulb effect the electrical system of a car?

The dashboard lights, brake, and tail lights all died at the same time on my '96 Chevy Corsica. One of my brake light bulbs has been burnt out for some time and I've just been too lazy to fix it. Could a burnt out bulb do that to the electrical system of a car?

I have gone through the fuses for each of those areas and all are intact. So now I'm trying to find out if the electrical problems and the bulb are related or not.

8 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    yes and no. if its a stock electrical system then a burnt out light will not cause any major problems.

    if you did it your self then there is a whole other story.

    the only problem you might get is a flashing light on your dash or your drive lights will flash for a few seconds if you got a head light out, then you get a message on your dash. ( thats what my sunfire dose. )

    looking at a fuse may not do any good, a blow fuse may not look blown. best way is to use a fuse tester or to take the fuse out and put a new one in you know that works. just like Christmas lights, you take on bulb out and put a good one in, if it lights up you found the bad bulb, if not you take that new bulb back out and put the old one back in and go on down the line ) ( keeping in mind to use a same rated fuse for each socket )

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    No. A single burnt brake light should never do this.

    The dashboard lights are on a different circuit than the brake lights. If they actually did all go out at the same time (no idea how you could possibly know this), the problem is much larger. Sounds like a problem in the main wiring harness or some heavy water or rain ingress.

    Source(s): Mechanic.
  • Duke50
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    If the bulb filament happened to burn off and a piece landed just right, it could short across the two bulb terminals and blow a fuse that could take out all the lights you mentioned, if they were on the same fuse. There may be another fuse block that you missed.....there is usually one in the engine compartment, one under or around the steering wheel and one behind the glove box.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Nothing....even using all of the above suggestions (even all the ones from the first answer)....even if all of the humans on earth did this and all of the big companies would shut down....it would change nothing. Humans have been around for a relatively short period of time, in relation to the age of the Earth and the age of the Universe. Temperature fluxations on Earth and on other planets have occurred numerous times (Ice ages followed by global warmings) long before humans ever came around. It is egotistical to think that we have anything to do with this process. It is natural, and we should quit trying to "save the world" when it can save itself, and focus on people dying in the streets, and terrorists blowing up anyone representing freedom. What is something you can do? Support the troops!

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  • 10 years ago

    No. Having only a burnt out bulb would not cause other problems.

  • 10 years ago

    All lights on a car are on a parallel circuit. The only thing it would effect is itself.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Not in your case and thinking so makes me feel that you have little chance of tracing the problem.

  • Bud
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    The alternator may be over charging, get it to a G.M, dealer asap

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