Brake lights stopped working

Tiny
ANGELACOLE
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 150,000 MILES
I was told this morning that I had no brake lights so I changed the bulb. Thinking how did they go out at the same time. I then changed the fuse, still nothing. I changed the stop light switch and nothing. Not sure what else to check. Please advise.
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Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 AT 1:30 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Hello and welcome to 2CarPros.

Do the lights come on with the turn signals or if you turn on the hazard lights?
Do the marker/running lights work?
How about the top brake light, does it come on?
I ask because the upper light and the lower units do not share any components other than the TIPM and the front control module. Unfortunately those have a bad habit of failing and are expensive to replace.
There is one fuse you can check, fuse 26 powers the brake light system but it does so through the front control module.
Do you know if it has the trailer tow option? If so it is possible it is causing an issue if it was grounded out and damaged the system.
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Thursday, July 12th, 2018 AT 12:37 AM
Tiny
ANGELACOLE
  • MEMBER
All three lights are out. The turn signals and four ways work. Just not the brake lights, all three of them. I did change the fuse.
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Thursday, July 12th, 2018 AT 6:00 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Well there is only one input for all three brake lights and that is the switch. However, as the top light is out the problem is probably not the TIPM as the CHMSL light (top one) does not run through it other than the fuse. Also, the turn signals also run through the TIPM on the same wires so it seems you only need to find the problem in the brake switch circuit.

For testing you only need a simple test light and a piece of wire. With the test light connected to ground touch both of the tabs on top of fuse 26. That fuse should have power all the time. If the light comes on with both tabs you can then move to the brake light switch. There you can unplug the wiring connector and check the contact on pin 1 (gray wire/red stripe) for power. If you have power there the next step is to be sure the switch is working. Plug it back in and find the white/tan stripe wire. This is the brake output wire. Use the test light (you can strip off a tiny sliver of insulation and probe it then apply some liquid electrical tape to seal it again). With the brake down so the switch is on there should be battery voltage on that wire. If you find nothing it is probably a broken wire in the connector or in the wire itself. The way the system works that wire is a direct feed to the CHMSL light and tells the TIPM that you are on the brakes. It goes to a splice and splits there to go to those items. I believe that between that splice and the switch is where the problem is. The voltage is not getting to the splice or the splice itself has failed and you lose the brake lights.

A way to verify that is the case would be to remove the CHMSL lens like you were changing the bulb. The bulb just pulls out, there are two connections, one goes directly to ground on a black/tan stripe wire, the other is the white/tan stripe brake feed from the switch. If you use a jumper wire and feed battery voltage to the white/tan stripe wire with the key on you should see the other brake lights come on as that simulates the power from the switch.
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Thursday, July 12th, 2018 AT 1:18 PM
Tiny
ANGELACOLE
  • MEMBER
Thank you. I checked the switch and it has power the (not sure what to call it) wire harness in the light casing has power so I believe you are right. I found the wires that go to the light and will be checking them today.
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Friday, July 13th, 2018 AT 11:22 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Steve W is one of our best! Please let us know what you find. We are interested to see what it is.

Cheers, Ken
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 12:01 PM
Tiny
ANGELACOLE
  • MEMBER
I ended up taking it to someone and they told me it was the front module and that I needed to take it to the dealership. So I found someone else and should know tomorrow will let you know then. Thanks for all the help.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 12:20 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
I was hoping that you only lost the splice but not a surprise it is the front module. Although you should still have the upper lamp in that case if you had power at the switch. Unless it failed from a blown bulb, broken wire or ground and just didn't get noticed until now.

Dealer is not needed to do that swap, just a decent shop that knows a few tricks (most of which can be found on YouTube) to deal with the system.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
ANGELACOLE
  • MEMBER
Thank you for all your help. I was looking at the diagram and it looks like it is attached to the fuse box. I am assuming they have to program it after installing it. Because it does look fairly easy.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 4:19 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Yeah, it has to be flashed with the correct information for your vehicles options and trim level. It is a computer that is programmed to turn on certain circuits, otherwise you may lose things like fog lights or DRL's. When they tell you it is done be sure to test every item before you sign the paperwork. You do not want to get home and discover that your power windows no longer work, or that the high beams are stuck on.
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Monday, July 16th, 2018 AT 7:06 PM

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