Brake lights not working

Tiny
CARRBCARR12
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 235,000 MILES
Checked fuse, bulbs, installed new brake light switch with no luck. Recently changed front brake pads and installed new radio (which has since been removed when troubleshooting this).

Any ideas?

Many Thanks.
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Friday, May 24th, 2013 AT 5:40 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If the center high mount light isn't working either, start by measuring the voltage on the pink / dark blue wire on the brake light switch. You should find 12 volts there. If you find 0 volts check fuse16, a 20 amp under the hood.
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Friday, May 24th, 2013 AT 7:28 PM
Tiny
CARRBCARR12
  • MEMBER
Mine does not have a center high mount light
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Saturday, May 25th, 2013 AT 8:20 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
All '96s have center brake lights. They're either all burned out or they also are not working, (or you have a non-U.S. Model). Regardless, did you measure the voltage at the brake light switch?
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Saturday, May 25th, 2013 AT 10:37 AM
Tiny
CARRBCARR12
  • MEMBER
Learn something new every day. Did some checking and there is no center brake light but the manufacture date is May 95. Regarding the voltage, all I have now is a light probe and the brake switch was activating the light. Sorry for any confusion.
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Saturday, May 25th, 2013 AT 2:01 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sure; change the story on me. So are you saying you have an early production '96 or a '95 model? They're totally different. I have a '95 Grand Caravan and it has three or four center brake lights that are always burning out. I have a service manual for that but for a '96 the closest I have is a manual for a '97 which should be the same.

If your test light turns on when you press the brake pedal, that would have to be on the white / tan wire. On the '96 the brake and turn signals use different bulbs and circuits so the turn signal switch is not part of the brake light system. That leaves a break in the wire but it could be in the wire going to the bulbs or a corroded common ground wire. This is where the center lights would provide the clue. They use one ground wire and both of the corner brake lights share a common ground connection along with the backup lights.

Check if the backup lights work. If they do not, we have to find that ground connection. If they do, we know the ground is okay and we have to diagnose the brake supply wire.

Another valuable test is to have a helper push the brake pedal, or place a stick between it and the seat, then measure the voltage at one of the brake light sockets. That will be the white / tan wire at either socket.
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Saturday, May 25th, 2013 AT 6:36 PM
Tiny
CARRBCARR12
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your time and help.
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Sunday, May 26th, 2013 AT 10:24 AM

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