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Re: No tail lights.
Not posotive with your exact make and model, but their should be a switch directly above where the brake pedal rests normally. It will be a small switch. When you hit the brakes, the switch pops out, and then when it retracts, the pedal itself pushes the button down thus turning the lights off. It shouldn't be but $10 to $15 at the parts store, and installation shouldn't be more than a few screws, and the a small wiring harness clip.
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there must be a short circuit which powers tail lights and brake lights. probably you have a dual filament bulbs which have both brake and tail light together. check for bulb, socket/or bulb housing and harness of that light.
what you are seeing is the bright filament on the bulb working, the tail light bulbs have two filaments in each bulb,one is dim and one is bright,the bright one is to the brake and turn signals,that way when you step on the brake with the tail lights on the same lens light up brighter to warn drivers behind you.. you need to check the fuses in the car for tail lights first,see if your plate light is on that will tell you the bulbs are just blown
get a 12 volt tested and take the lens off and test with the lights on and the bulb remove to see if you have power in the socket also test the wire behind the socket check for ground wire, loose wires, and also checkout the light switch.