No brake lights

Tiny
TOOLX09
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
Brakes problem
1996 Chevy Silverado

We have tested fuses and they are good! But we still don't have any brake lights! Have tail lights and back up lights. Is there a brake light switch somewhere?

Husband thinks it could be this plug in with 6 wires that goes on the brake rod to the master cylinder. (Hope that's what he told me)
Is there anyway to test that part?

Please help me
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Monday, May 18th, 2009 AT 4:49 PM

83 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
The brake light switch is on the top of the brake pedal. Use a test light to see if you have power on both sides once the pedal is depressed (orange wire)

Here is a guide to help you get the job done.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

There is a tail lamp relay as well

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-an-electrical-relay-and-wiring-control-circuit

Here is a wiring diagram to help (below)

Please let us know what you find.

Cheers
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Saturday, October 27th, 2018 AT 11:03 AM
Tiny
TOOLX09
  • MEMBER
Yes, my husband said there is a rear tail light circuit board and he will check that.

Will this test tell of the brake light switch is bad?

Thanks for your help I appreciate it.
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Saturday, October 27th, 2018 AT 11:03 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Yes it will, you can check for power in to the switch (which is hot all the time) and when you hit the brakes, there should be power coming out from the other wire. If I had to guess.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Saturday, October 27th, 2018 AT 11:03 AM
Tiny
TOOLX09
  • MEMBER
Hey guys, finally gave up on trying to solve this mystery. Took it to the pros and found there is a fuse under the hood. Changed the fuse and now it works.

Hope this helps others!

Husband says he didn't know they could be under the hood. Sigh.
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Saturday, October 27th, 2018 AT 11:03 AM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Good to hear, please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help.

Cheers, Ken
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Saturday, October 27th, 2018 AT 11:03 AM
Tiny
CJOSEPHJOHNSON
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 188,000 MILES
Running Lights, blinkers, 4-ways all work however the brake lights do not work. White brake wire hanging loose need to know where it attaches. Blows fuse when tied in with right and left turn signal. Can you advise where it is to be attached in order to have brake lights
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Welcome to the forum, where is the white wire located? Did you check the circuit at the stop lamp switch? Orange wire is voltage to switch, hot all the time. When the switch is activated, the white wire goes hot, for the brake lights. For the lower brake lites, the white wire goes to multiwire connector, under dash close to steering column. The lower brake lites are wired through the multifunction switch/turn signal. Your high-mount brake lite is wired differently.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MOYA76
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • AUTOMATIC
One of my brake lights doesnt work and I keep changing the bulb but it keeps going out
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check the ground on frame it's on lh side for rear frame rail. Check for wires that have rubbed the insulation off as it may be shorting out.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WEBWATCHER
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 5.7L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 185,000 MILES
Brake lights on 1996 C1500 stopped working, to include the above cab light as well. Checked and I have no power to the lights (removed left brake light housing and checked continuity). I've checked all the fuses. The #1 location 20amp fuse for aux/haz keeps blowing. If I put in a new fuze and turn on the hazard lights it blows. First guess is a ground wire but its just my guess. It doesn't seem to sound like the brake switch or the turn signal switch. But I don't know so that's why I'm asking you experts. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
It's not a ground wire problem. Those wires already go to ground so if one is bare and touching the body, that's what it's already going to. If it's broken, there is no short so the fuse wouldn't blow.

A simple trick to finding a short is to replace the blown fuse with a pair of spade terminals, then use small jumper wires to connect them to a 12 volt light bulb. A brake light bulb works well. When the circuit is live and the short is present, the bulb will be full brightness and hot so be sure it's not laying on the carpet or against a plastic door panel. Now you can unplug electrical connectors and move things around to see what makes the short go away. When it does, the bulb will get dim or go out.

You can place a stick between the seat and the brake pedal to keep the brake light switch turned on for the tests. Also, try activating the turn signals each way. If turning on the left signals, for example, makes the test bulb light up bright, but it's just dim for the right signal, you'll know to look on the left side for the short. The place to start looking for a grounded wire is at a trailer wiring harness.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WEBWATCHER
  • MEMBER
Great info and thanks for the reply.

So from the problems I identified, you do not believe it would be the brake light switch or the turn signal switch? Friend of mine thinks it might be one of those two.

I just rechecked and: the taillights work, the turn signals work, the brake lights do not work, the high position brake light does not work.

If I install a fuse, the emergency blinkers and engine compartment light will work for just a moment before the fuse is blown.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I don't have all trucks memorized so you'll have to tell me, ... Does yours use separate bulbs in back, one for the signal and another one for the brake light? Most manufacturers have gone to that. It greatly simplifies the turn signal switch but it makes it miserable for connecting the two independent circuits to one circuit on a trailer.

My guess is you have two separate bulbs because you said the turn signals work. If that is correct, the signal switch is not part of the system so we can forget that. Switches won't cause a blowing fuse anyway because there isn't anything in them going to ground, therefore, no matter what would become shorted, it would just make the wrong lights turn on or at the wrong time.

Do my light bulb trick so you don't have to keep wasting fuses. Once the brake pedal is held down and the test bulb is bright, move harnesses around, particularly in back, and remove the rear lamp assemblies to see if disturbing any of those things makes the bulb go dim. When it does, you'll also see the brake lights turn on dimly.

If you have a four-pin trailer connector from U-Haul with three red LEDs on it, those often shorted leading to blowing fuses.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RICKY ROGERS
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 4.3L
  • V6
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 100,000 MILES
I replaced the switch and the light bulbs I checked the wiring harness under the truck bed and put brake fluid in it still no brake lights. When I started working on it I checked a few things and they started working for a little while then they quite is their a relay because when they were working when I mashed I heard a click under the dash. Can you please help me? I am sorry but something went wrong it is a 1996 s 10 pickup.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Not sure what you heard clicking, but the brake light switch would have been the best suspect. Start by measuring the voltage on the orange wire on the brake light switch. If you have that, verify you have twelve volts on the white wire when you press the brake pedal.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:21 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JROBB
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
Brake lights do not work - blinkers do and rear tail lights - anyone know whatup - fuse is ok too!
Thanks
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
Brake lights are a seaparate filiment, did you try changing the bulbs?
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JROBB
  • MEMBER
Did the eye to the sky - looked good but replaced them anyhow to be sure.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SERVICE WRITER
  • EXPERT
If you can check to see if power is getting to the sockets, that would be best, it may be socket problem. If no power to them may be brake light switch on the brake pedal roughly.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:23 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SVMEJIA
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 220,000 MILES
When you press the brake the brake does not come on the left side, I already replaced the bulb, the signal light works and the right side works. Do you know what the problem might be?
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 2:23 PM (Merged)

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