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Brake lights won't come on changed switch and checked fuses under dash are there more fuses

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If you've checked/replaced the fuse and stop light switch and still no brake lights, usually it's the bulb failure relay, a red can relay found behind the fuses.

The bulb failure relay is the component that cuts the little light on the dash to warn you of a bulb being out. When they fail they can kill the signal to the brake light bulbs. The solder joints break in that relay very easily, especially when the vehicle is older and the relay comes on to alert you of a bulb out.

The internet is awash with the same complaint.....brake lights go out for no reason other than you replaced a burnt out bulb. You can do what I did...replace brake light switch, bulbs, clean the brake light sockets....and spend time and $$ on improper solutions. Or you can just go buy a new relay and fix the problem the first time.

And about buying only Hella bulbs....kinda right, kinda wrong. While buying only Hella bulbs will assure you don't have problems with that blasted relay (mismatched bulbs will also cause that relay to die), just ensuring that you replace all the bulbs with bulbs from the same manufacturer, such as Sylvania, etc., will also work. Been there, done that. And that's what killed my relay....I replaced one burnt out bulb and set off the relay, killing it and my brake lights.

Good luck.

Posted on Nov 02, 2013

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Remove the brakelight bulb holder, If you pop out the entire assembly it will save your knucles some skin. Then you want to take some fine sandpaper and clean the contacts "on the housing" well, and coat the with a thin film of dielctric grease or vaseline. I'm sure this will resolve your problem. I've had to do this to numerous Volvo vehicles over the years. Also once you're finished, the dash indicator may "not" go out unless you purchase the bulbs from Hella because of their candlepower exclusivity.

Posted on Sep 08, 2009

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