Brake Lights do not work

Tiny
JEEP001
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 124,000 MILES
I have a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2wd. I recently found out that my brake lights are not working. All of the running lights/parking lights work on the front and rear but nothing happens when I push the brake pedal. My turn signals also work. I have checked all the fuses and bulbs. They all seem to be okay. All other lights are in working order. What components could be at fault and is this something I can fix myself? The brakes themselves work fine. It's just the brake lights that aren't working.
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Saturday, December 13th, 2008 AT 3:40 PM

31 Replies

Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
This sounds like the fuse#12, 20, 23 and 19 or the brake light switch is out here is a guide to help you test for power through the switch and fuse with the wiring and fuse diagrams to help you with the test.

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

This brake light wiring diagrams will show you which ones to check

Check out the diagrams (Below). Please let us know what you find.

Cheers
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Saturday, December 13th, 2008 AT 3:45 PM
Tiny
JEEP001
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the guides I did some testing and It was the switch I got a new one for $43.00 and all set! I love this stie btw.
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Saturday, December 13th, 2008 AT 8:25 PM
Tiny
BMRFIXIT
  • EXPERT
Nice work, we are here to help, please use 2CarPros anytime.

Cheers
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Saturday, December 13th, 2008 AT 9:47 PM
Tiny
NJHA32
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 JEEP CHEROKEE
Please help!

I have a Grand Cherokee Laredo. My brake do not work when I turn on the headlights, but turn on when headlights are off.

The top brake light works. I have changed the brake switch and replaced all bulbs, to no avail.

Any suggestions or solution will be greatly appreciated.
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BVEGA
  • MEMBER
Hello,

I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee 2000 that had the same problem. I did not notice it until a kind soul shouted at an intersection that my brake lights were off! In New York City, it is illegal to have non-functional head-beams and brake lights. Luckily, searching Google, I found a fix that worked for me. Here is a copy of the procedure:

1. Remove the tail light assembly. Most of you know how to remove the light assembly if you have changed bulbs, so I will not cover that.

2. Disconnect the wiring harness by sliding the red locking clip to the side in order to press the side of the male connector and pull apart.

3. Once you have got the tail assembly away from the vehicle and on a bench, remove the light socket for the tail/brake light. You will see three silver contact points inside the black plastic ring. Two are grouped together and there is one that is opposite of the two. The one by itself is the ground; the other two are the contacts for the tail light and brake light. The problem lies with the ground connector. (By the way, I tested continuity with all lights and contacts including the turn signal and the reverse light to verify that the circuit board itself was good, and it was).

4. Clean all contacts with a Q-Tip and some sort of contact cleaner - rubbing alcohol will work.

5. You should notice that the ground contact is depressed into the plastic and the plastic itself is slightly warped down. I was able to use a small pair of needle nose pliers that have a forty five degree angle to press up on the contact from underneath using the opposite lip of the hole as leverage (very carefully). Once it had moved up a bit, I was able to wedge a mini-flat head screwdriver in between the metal contact and the plastic to force the contact up even further (again, very carefully). Once it looked even with the rest, gently reinsert the connector and test.

Good Luck!

Benny Vega
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0L
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
NJHA32
  • MEMBER
Thanks for all your help. I will try it this weekend. However, I have one question, why would a bad ground effect both side of the tail light?
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STINGRAYBOY
  • MEMBER
Thanks so much for the information on this page. I had this problem and instead of spending big bucks on a new assembly decided to try this fix. It almost worked. We cleaned the contacts and bent them up slightly but still had the problem. The solution was to first find the socket that was not working and line up the contacts. We did this by seating the lamp and turning it to its locked position and then slowly moving the lamp in the opposite unlocked direction until proper contact was made. So far so good.

Thanks!
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MIDNIGHTGURU
  • MEMBER
Benny, I joined the forum just to thank you so much for this answer! It resolved my problem on my 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo where the left brake light was not working. With the parking lights on, the left brake light started working and the right brake light went out.

Your description above was, point-for-point, exactly the same as my experience. I bent the ground tab up on the left brake bulb's socket and voila! They both work with the running lights on or off!

Thanks again!
-Mike
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
LARRY KEENUM
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 JEEP CHEROKEE
Electrical problem
2001 Jeep Cherokee V6 Four Wheel Drive Automatic 98000 miles

Driver side rear lights - when I turn on the lights, all tail lights are okay but when I press the brake pedal all lights go out on the rear driver side. Without lights on the brake light on the left side doesn't work. Turn signal, tail light, and backup lights work until you step on the brake. Every thing works on the passenger side. I changed the brake light bulb, no help. I switched the passenger side and the driver side taillight assembly and the driver's side unit will not work on the passenger side but the passenger side unit will work on the driver's side. Suggestions?
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
I switched the passenger side and the driver side taillight assembly and the driver's side unit will not work on the passenger side but the passenger side unit will work on the driver's side. Do a continuity test the left assembly-if its a wiring problem it will do it with the right side.
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HAVEANEPIPHANY
  • MEMBER
Thanks so much for posting this. We have a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, and the brake lights (left and right) were not working. The middle (top) brake light was working, so I knew the switch under the brake pedal was functioning.

After cleaning the contacts and adjusting them as described here, one of my two lights started working again (it happened to be the left one). I checked the bulb in the other one, and even though the filaments looked okay, I decided to replace the bulb. Everything is working beautifully now!

Thanks again!
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
If the unit works on the opposite side, you have to trace the wires.
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JONNBOY44
  • MEMBER
I have a 2000 cherokee and this worked for me.
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CHILLJR93
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
Both brake lights are not working, however the signals are working which are the same bulb. The brake light above the lift gate is also working. Could just part of the bulb burn out? (Brake light burnt out but not signal part)
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Check splice no.302 near the power amplifier
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WBS6903
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 121,000 MILES
My brake lights are not working. Blinkers work running lights work. No license plate light or brake light. Where should I start.
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MHPAUTOS
  • EXPERT
Hi there,

You may have two separate faults here. First check the license plate globe, as this is independent of the brake lights. With the brake lights check the globes, & fuse. If all OK check for power into & out of the brake light switch on top of the brake pedal. Start here.

Mark (mhpautos)
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PIRWIN86
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 JEEP CHEROKEE
  • 4.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
Everything was working until I hooked a trailer to my jeep Cherokee sport and now my brake lights are not working but all the other lights are working
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
Test all your fuses using a test light.
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PIRWIN86
  • MEMBER
I don't have one of those
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Saturday, July 21st, 2018 AT 3:13 PM (Merged)

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