No Brake Lights

Tiny
DASTINE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
  • V8
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 115,000 MILES
Having a problem with the brake lights on my Explorer. I have no regular brake lights when the pedal is pressed, but the third brake light (LED) works fine. The weird part is that even when the brake pedal is not pressed the third brake light continually flashes at a very high rate, almost like a strobe. As a sided note I also noticed that the door locks stopped auto locking when you put the vehicle in gear at about, or the exact same time the brake light problem started.

What I have tried so far:

1 Checked bulbs and fuses
2. Checked brake light switch (LED third brake light still flash even when brake switch is disconnected)
3. Checked turn signal switch (LED third brake light still flashes when disconnected completely)
4. Checked wiring in steering column and under dash and could find no visible shorts or damage to wiring.

Any ideas? I don't know what to look at next.

Thanks!
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Sunday, August 24th, 2008 AT 1:43 PM

66 Replies

Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Most common is the combination switch on the steering column

This guide can help

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

put 4 way hazards on off on and then check if they work
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Monday, August 25th, 2008 AT 5:48 AM
Tiny
DASTINE
  • MEMBER
Thanks, but no good. No matter what I do with the emergencies. As mentioned, the third brake light continues to flash even when I completely disconnect all the wiring from the turn signal switch.

Thanks again for your help.
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Monday, August 25th, 2008 AT 8:07 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
3RD brake light u said its working
and again combo switch has no control over the 3rd brake light
but the power to the side brake lights run through the multifunction switch
very very common for the switch to go bad
good luck
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Monday, August 25th, 2008 AT 11:56 AM
Tiny
MOEVINGER
  • MEMBER
I have exactily this same issue. I have a 1998 Explorer, AWD, about the same milage and the problem is the same.

Did anyone come up with a fix for this?
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Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 AT 10:53 AM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
If signals are working and 3rd brake light is working
multifunction switch no good
have it checked
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Tuesday, December 16th, 2008 AT 8:19 PM
Tiny
SKIPPERDAN
  • MEMBER
Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem. I have a 98 Ford Explorer with the same problem. I've checked all the wiring, it's ok. The only thing I haven't done is check out the multifunction switch. I do have a book that shows how to do that so that will be my next step. Any input or info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks SkipperDan
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Thursday, September 10th, 2009 AT 12:59 PM
Tiny
SKIPPERDAN
  • MEMBER
I checked out the multifunction switch and it is ok. I did find on my stop light switch that has five wires in the plug that two of wires on the plug are hot. I don't believe that this is incorrect. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Saturday, September 12th, 2009 AT 12:46 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Step on the brakes does the 3rd light work
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Saturday, September 12th, 2009 AT 4:41 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/99387_Graphic1_503.jpg

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Saturday, September 12th, 2009 AT 4:52 PM
Tiny
SKIPPERDAN
  • MEMBER
Yes, third light does comes on when brakes are applied. The strange part is when everything is off the top mounted third brake light flickers light a strobe light! What's up with that? SkipperDan
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Saturday, September 12th, 2009 AT 5:57 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Have a helper watch the lights for you as you go under the steering by the brake, twist and move the brake light switch looking for a short
also hold the switch
trying to make the flickering stop
and if it does try to get it going again finding the reason
hope I m not confusing you

also does the 4 way flasher work?
Push the 4 way and step on the brakes does that make any difference

also one more question
how did you determine that the multifunction switch is good?
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Saturday, September 12th, 2009 AT 8:02 PM
Tiny
SKIPPERDAN
  • MEMBER
Praise God I found the problem! :-) I removed the top mounted brake light and found a faulty connection which stopped the strobe light effect. Note: The top mounted brake light still was on very dim but not strobing. Then I rechecked the left stop light socket and found that the female prongs were not really that clean so I cleaned them up and also did the right side. I also installed new bulbs, fiqured I might as well as I was in there. And all is great and back to normal. I have brake lights. So, if any one else is having this problem I strongly suggest to start with the fuses and then go directly to the brake bulbs and sockets before thinking it is in the multifunction switch! And running all those test. Thanks for all the input and suggestions! SkipperDan is ready to take on another task! :-)
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Sunday, September 13th, 2009 AT 12:01 AM
Tiny
JPDIPMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
My brake lights on my 1998 Explorer are not working. I have replaced the bulbs with new ones and I have checked the fuse box to see if there are any bad fuses. What else could I do to fix my problem?
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Suspect faulty stop light switch, located on top of brake pedal arm. This guide can help

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

Thanks for using 2CarPros.com!
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
OUT OF THE BOX
  • MEMBER
Problem Solved:
My 98 Explorer had the same problem, all brake lights were intermittent. This forum really helped me, but in my case the problem was not necessarily the (stop light switch) on the brake pedal, but it was the electrical contact pins male and female in the plug and switch socket. It turned out that there was some type of insulating coating on two of the pins and some in the socket's pins. The fix was to use a narrow diameter pipe cleaner and Q-tips with some contact cleaner on them, (brake cleaner or alcohol might have worked ok also.) The pipe cleaner fit inside the female pins and the Q-tips for the male pins. Let dry before re-assembly. This worked great but I also noticed that the male plug on the wiring harness fit pretty loosely into the (stop light switch's) socket, so I put to small dabs of silicone on the outside of the socket & plug to help hold it steady. Tested it again today many times and no failures. Side note: If I had opted to replace the stop light switch, there is a good chance that it too would have failed intermittently if there was still something dirtying up the pins on the wiring harness's plug.
I hope this help someone.
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Great addition to this thread! Please feel free to help out whenever you are on the site :)

Cheers, Ken
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
FLOYDWWHITE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
Brakes problem
1998 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Automatic

my right and left brake light stopped working but the 3rd top light is still working I have checked the bulbs and its not that and have replace all the 7.5 fuses and my turn signals still work what could be the problem
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DOCFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Hi
Is vehicle equiped with burnt out lamp alert feature?
Let me know
Thanks for donate
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
FLOYDWWHITE
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD EXPLORER
Brakes problem
1998 Ford Explorer 6 cyl Automatic

my right and left brake light stopped working but the 3rd top light is still working I have checked the bulbs and its not that and have replace all the 7.5 fuses what could be the problem
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
If the 3rd light is working
that would indicate that the fuse and brake light switch is OK and in working order
and to suspect multifunction combination switch on the steering column
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Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 AT 10:09 AM (Merged)

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