Mechanics

BRAKE LIGHTS DON'T WORK, EITHER SIDE

1999 Jeep Wrangler

Electrical problem
1999 Jeep Wrangler 6 cyl Four Wheel Drive Automatic 82,100 miles

brake lights on either side do not work. Running lights do work on both sides.

middle high position brake lamp (above spare tire) does work.

examined fuse (20 amp) in glove box area, and although fuse appeared OK, did change out, but no results.

removed both tail light lense covers and cleaned and inspected both bulbs. Both appear OK. Cleaned contacts and replaced. No one to assist, so didn't get a visual if brake lamps might work.

checked back-up lamps and running tail lights. Both work OK.

checked fuse box under hood, but did not bother any of these fuses or inspect them. All seemed to be properly posistioned and making good contact.

This jeep is very clean and do not think any off-road water or dirt, etc. Has been confronted. I'm a new owner of less than 2000 miles.

any advice as to why these brake lamps don't work?
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Billo14
June 8, 2008.



Turn on your hazard light switch. Are your tail lights flashing?

The reason I ask - they use the same light filament inside the bulb. If they work, then the bulbs are okay. Another way to check each bulb is to take one out and see if the other starts to work. If one miraculously starts to work when the other is subtracted from the equation - then your problem could be that bulb in your hand, or the socket it goes into. My guess is neither, but could be something that simple.

How's the seal on the front windshield? These are notorious for leaking. And when they do, water drips into the driver's feet. Do you get wet when it rains really hard? If so - I might start looking there. The water leak is from the windshield frame seal - typical design flaw of the vehicle and common problem to the vehicle. If it's leaking, a quick fix is to take some silicon and run it along the inside of the rubber seal to prevent water from getting in. (Many people would generally change out the seal at the same time but if it's in good shape and you have a steady enough hand to keep the silicone only where you want it - then I wouldn't bother - it's cosmetic more than anything else)

Water leaking at the feet is a bad thing though, as it messes up all the contacts of the various electrical components under the dash, particularly for the stereo, fuel gauge, temp gauge, oil pressure gauge, voltage meter, and oh yeah - brake light sensor on the pedal. Take a look at the very top of your foot pedal for the sensor. If the contacts are rusty - could be the answer you were looking for. Just remember - don't do anything silly like unscrewing bolts / components on that brake pedal - we wouldn't want you doing anything that could result in you not having brakes now! Lights are one thing, the brakes themselves. Completely another topic! Lol!

Happy electrical hunting!
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Tiny
Brewer
Jun 8, 2008.
New to this forum, but hoping this reply is related to your fine response, Brewer.

Actually prior to finding your response, my brother related a story how he found both bulbs faulty. Thus, I bought two new bulbs (the old ones under close examination looked OK) and the brakes are working fine NOW.

I say NOW, as looking back, I did wash the car and leave for about two weeks prior to getting back to the car. There was a rapid flash on the right turn signal, which corrected itself after several tests of the lights and directionals. (It might have dried out through time.)

I think my situation is all is fine now, but I'll continue to keep an eye on the situation as there may be more to come. Your tip could actually be what is happening.

I might also look closer at the sockets. They might need a more though cleaning.

Tiny
Billo14
Jun 9, 2008.
Glad to hear you got everything sorted out : D

I myself have found another place to watch for water getting in is at the taillight assembly itself. As time goes on, the seal at the top wears, and as it wears water finds a way in. As a result, water gets splashed onto the contacts from time to time, and ultimately long term you find the sockets rusting out, or shorting out.

Bottom line, water and electrical really don't like each other, and it's very well worth the investment to pick up a tube of silicone dielectric grease from your local auto parts source - to insert into the little plug ends. It helps to keep water out of the connection itself, and thus. Adds that extra little touch.

Tiny
Brewer
Jun 9, 2008.

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