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Why don't brake lights work, rear window brake light works? Where do wires run? What are possible causes?

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The high mount third brake light is on a different circuit then the regular low mount lights. Chances are the problem lies at the brake light switch, the switch connector may be defective or the switch may be defective. Use a 12 volt test light (about $5.00 at auto parts store) to test the switch (above the brake pedal arm), you should light the test light on one side of the switch and both sides when the brake is pressed.

Posted on May 03, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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5 Answers

98 chevy lumina Rear window break light works, but rear break lights don't, also right turn don't work?


I can almost 100% guaranty the turn signal switch is the problem. Power for the brake lights starts at the brake switch. power then splits from there and the third brake light gets power directly from the brake switch. Since the turn signal and the brake lights are on the same bulb power for the brake lights is routed through the turn signal switch. the switch depending on what position it is in will allow brake power or turn signal power to there respective left or right brake/turn bulbs.

If you hold your foot on the brake pedal and wiggle the turn signal and or play with the hazard switch the brake lights will almost always intermittently start to work. this will confirm a bad turn signal switch which is pretty common on GM vehicle with this style setup.

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This is a common GM specific problem. Your turn signal switch contains an elaborate networking device that has to cancel brakelights while running a turn light. Often times the ground within the turn signal switch is lost causing your situation. After investigating such other possibilities as fuses and loose grounds it may become necessary to replace the turn signal switch. Thank you, Dana

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check fuse under hood, batery terminals coroded wire at harness if everything fails run a hot wire to rear brake line with an interuptor.
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1 Answer

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most likely cause is that the multifunction switch is defective on the steering column. MOTORCRAFT Part # SW5599 Price $96.00

here is a photo.
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1 Answer

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Yes , The wiring in question does effect the brake lights because they all run on the same circuit.
I would repiar or repalce all the wiring and then replace the brake light switch. The switch could have shorted out from the fire.

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try taking a wire brush to all the ground wire ports on your vehicule specialy the ones in the rear of the vehicule sometimes rusty ground wires make very bad connections. if so when you are done put some grease on them to avoid future rust. hope this coul help you.

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