Re: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee; taillights go out w/ brake...
Try checking one of 2 things, Check the fuses. I had a 94 cavalier do the same thing after i put a 30amp fuse in to a 25amp slot for the courtsy fuse. Also check the bulbs in the tail of the vehical to make sure they are the right ones. If this dose not do it get a test light & wire diagrham, you may have a bad short to ground some where in the brake light wires.
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The taillights should turn off when the headlight switch is turned off, not when the key is turned off.
The brakes lights should turn off when the brake pedal isn't being pressed. If the brake lights remain on, replace the brake light switch.
The 1999 Jeep Gran Cherokee has standard all-wheel antilock brakes. The new braking system has electronic brake distribution capability, which makes for a quieter, less pulsing and more balanced braking experience. Possessing the largest brake rotors in the sport-utility segment, the Grand Cherokee meets or exceeds requirements for passenger vehicles, which are stricter than those for light trucks. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Original Launch X431 Master
My first guess would be a ground problem. The headlights and tail lights are controlled by the same headlight switch, but the brake lights are on a totally different circuit. You may have to get a shop manual to get the wiring diagrams needed to troubleshoot the circuits if the ground connections are ok. The lights involve the body computer and other components.
If one side is going out, then chances are that the prongs inside the light housing are not making contact. It's a well-known problem. It's an esay temporary fix. Just remove the taillights, unplug the wire. Take out the top bulb (brake light) and you'll see three contacts on the inside of the ring of the bilb housing. Take a flathead screwdriver and pry them up just a light bit and then put the bulb back in and plug it back in and give it a try. There is a little bit of trial and error, but it's not the $173 that you'll spend for a new taillight at the dealership.
These Jeeps are notorious for the retainers breaking that hold the circuit board type wiring against the bulb contacts. With my 2000 Grand Cherokee, the brake lights would work when the headlight/tail lights were off. If the lights were on, the rear lights would go out altogether when I pressed the brakes. The easist fix would be replacing the tail light assemblies, but these are not cheap. My fix was to open up the inside cover of the tail light housing and use machine screws in each of the locations that the plastic tabs hold the retainer against the light housing.
I have a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I purchased only three months ago. It has already been in the shop three times in a month so I fee like I can help you with your problem. My rear brake light did the same thing and I just had to purchase the whole light socket. It only cost $13.00 from Jeep. I know your jeep is a 99' but the mechanic said that all Grand Cherokees from the last six years or so had the same problem. Changing the light bulb won't work. It will simply burn your bulb out. Simply buy the plastic socket that the bulb snaps in and that should fix your problem. It did for me.