Question about 1987 Toyota Celica

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My son has a 1987 celica. The brake lights work but only when the headlights are off. If the headlights are on the brake lights do not work. He checked the fuses and they were fine, bulbs were checked as well. Is it the brake light switch? Why would the brake lights work only when the headlights are off?

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  • tomkat1 Nov 03, 2010

    Sorry that this post has been done for a while. My dad never really checked back on this like he should have. So now we changed the bulbs and the left-most brake light works fine (1 out of five: 2 on drivers side, one mounted inside in the middle and two on the passenger side). That one light works fine whether the headlights are on or not. With the headlight offs the remaining three dimly light up when the brake is pressed. When they headlights are on, they light up dimly when the headlights are on and go off completely when the brake is pushed. And the middle one doesn't work at all, despite changing the bulb. I hope you understand what i am trying to describe. Any more help would be appreciated. Sorry for a long period of inactivity. Once again my dad never checked it. Thanks so much for your help!


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The most common thing to look for is the ground to the tail light/brake light assembly.If the ground is bad then the brake light will ground through the filament in the tail light bulb,which can not happen when there is power in the bulb(headlights on).I would start by checking the ground wire in the harness to the light assembly in the rear,if need be run your own ground to the lamp assembly.If i am wrong let me know and i will dig deeper into your problem but i am confident that you will fin a bad ground wire.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010

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