Drivers side both bulbs for brake light are not working

Tiny
JOHNNA ROBERTS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 98,000 MILES
Having issues with the two bulbs on my drivers side rear brake light. Do not work. Bought new bulbs. Did not work. Any ideas on what to try besides a tester light?
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Friday, May 4th, 2018 AT 2:48 PM

25 Replies

Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
Hello,

Does the center light work? Here are is a wiring diagrams of the brake light system you can see it is straight forward. Fuse check the stop light fuse then test through the brake light switch. Here are two guides I think will help you:

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

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/brake-lights-not-working

You are losing power somewhere. You can fix it with our help.

Check out the diagrams (below).

Please let us know what you find. We are interested to see what it is.

Cheers, Ken
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Sunday, May 6th, 2018 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
JRDRAPS
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 95,000 MILES
My brake light does not come on when I brake. The light works when light are on but not when I brake. Changed bulbs, two brands checked wires and fuse in panel. Right side works, left does not. Is it cheaper to go buy the whole housing at a junk yard? I am trying to chase down the problem.
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN L
  • ADMIN
No problem, lets use a test light to see where you are losing the power for the light.

Here is a guide to help us get started.

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

I would test the outgoing from the hazard satich this is where a lot of failures occur.

Please let us know what you find. I'm interested to see what it is.

Cheers, Ken
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MILLY13502
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
I have been having problems with the passenger brake light burning out now both lights don't work fuses are all good the third eye had the wires pulled out from a plug under the dash somewhere and I don't know where they go
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
If you replace the bulbs, will the light work?
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MILLY13502
  • MEMBER
No I tried this already
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
If the fuse is good, chances are the brake light switch is bad. Check it to see if there is power to it. Also, tell me this, if you start the engine, can you shift from park?
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
IRIS QUINONES
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • TURBO
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 9,800 MILES
I lost the manual to the car and now I do not know what color or number I change for my brake fuse that does not work.
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MILLY13502
  • MEMBER
Yes I can shift from park and drive fine but where could I find the break light switch
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Free owners manual download straight from GM.

https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam/gmownercenter/gmna/dynamic/manuals/1999/chevrolet/malibu/1999_chevrolet_malibu_owners.pdf

The fuse is labeled Stop and is a 15 amp in the drivers side fuse panel.
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOE F
  • EXPERT
It is at the top of the brake pedal (under the dash).
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCRIPNICK
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET MALIBU
  • 200,000 MILES
I have checked all the fuses and checked all the bulbs. All of the rear lighting works except for the 2 rear brake lights. Even the third brake light in the rear window works. All turn signals, reverse lights and normal rear lights work. I have read that this problem can be because of a bad circuit board by the light sockets but since all the other lights work is this the case? I have already read that the brake line wires come from the brake switch and go through the turn signal switch and to replace that and since the rear window brake bypasses the turn signal switch it still works. Is this the likely cause?

Thanks for your help,

Josh
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RANDY B
  • EXPERT
Yup. The center high-mount light doesn't go through the signal switch but the two rear lights do. Before you replace the multifunction switch, check the connections and be sure the terminals aren't stretched or overheated. Overheating isn't common on those because the circuit is never turned on for long periods of time like a head light circuits, but to have both sides fail at the same time, a loose connection would be suspect.
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
If the high mount stop lights are working, it would be a straight forward problem. They are linked together and since both lights are not working, it can only mean you have an open circuit somewhere between the splice pack (under right front seat) to the light bulb sockets or a fault with the bulb or socket.

Do you have any test light or DVOM to test power source?
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Sorry, I don't see the circuit going through light switches, am I getting the wrong information from our database?
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCRIPNICK
  • MEMBER
So I see the connection running from the front left fuse panel into the brake switch and then from there into the splice pack. From there it goes to the high mount light and that one works which confirms that the brake switch and connections leading up to the splice pack are fine correct?

From there I see it running into the front and left rear light assemblies. I also see connections that run from the turn headlamp and wiper switch that also connect into the right wiring junction block which ultimatly ends up connecting to the right and left rear light assemblies. I think there may be a problem somewhere between there?

Also, since I will be buying a new car sometime next year and do not want to put money into this one. Is there a way to mickey mouse this situation? I don't care if the stop light works at the same time as my turn signal. Do you think it is possible to run wire from the splice pack directly to the rear light circuit? Or what would be the best option?

Thank you guys so much I appreciate this.

Josh
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SCRIPNICK
  • MEMBER
And yes I have a test light so where would be the best place to connect it to help me solve this issue?

Josh
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MICMACCIS
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CHEVROLET MALIBU
Just purchased a used 1998 malibu ls from a dealership in Dec. Of '05. When I took it off the lot the right side brake light was not working. Took it back and they "fixed" it for free. Its now one month later and just recently the ligth stopped working again. Rather than take it to the dealer and have them charge me an arm and a leg this time, I was hoping maybe I could get some suggestions to solve this problem. I realize that it might be a fuse gone out, or even an electrical problem. However, I do not have any diagrams so that I might track the problem myself. Any help that I might be able to get would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DOCOLDS
  • MEMBER
GM has big problems with the circuit boards for the rear lighting on the Malibus. They are attached to the rear sockets, and tend to have contact problems.
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
The brake switch definitely is not bad if the high mount light works.

At the brake bulb, probe the Light Blue wire and ground the other end of test light to ground, get someone to depress the brake pedal and if test light lights up, it means the power supply is good.

If you have power supply, probe the Black wire and if test light does not light up, you have a faulty buld or socket or the bulb is not seated correctly.
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Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 AT 3:16 PM (Merged)

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