1994 Nissan Altima Brake lights dim tail lights on applicat

Tiny
VINWKIM
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 NISSAN ALTIMA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 100,000 MILES
Greetings,
I just returned from motor vehicle inspection and to my surprise I "flunked" because of my brake lights!

The inspector told me that there was "something' wrong with the brake lights.

When you applied the brake the lights are supposed to get brighter,
but my tail lights are actually getting dimmer.

he said its a common problem with nisson altima,
he said he has a nisson and has had it fixed three times.

my soultion?
I haven't tried anything yet. But searched online to no avail.

but I did come upon your website.

any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks
vince
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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 4:14 PM

2 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
With your initial observations, this sounds like a bad ground issue. If the same bulbs are used for the hazard flashers or signals, turn one of those on. If the brake lights are separate bulbs, you'll need a helper to press the brake pedal or you can prop a stick between the seat and pedal to keep the lights on. Then, wiggle the sockets and wires for the affected bulbs. If you see a change, look in that area for a corroded connection.

If the bulbs still use the round brass bases, use a cheap digital voltmeter to measure the voltage on the base. It should be 0 volts. If you find somewhere between 4 - 10 volts, there is a break or corroded spot in the ground wire. If both sides are affected, it's more common to find a rusted ground terminal where it's bolted to the body.

Caradiodoc
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Sunday, March 14th, 2010 AT 4:47 PM
Tiny
VINWKIM
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much for your answer.

I checked the tail lights cleaned them up with emery cloth
but one was still causing the problem, so I switched them and low and behold on more carefull inspection it looked like one bulb was bad, so I replaced it.
And this solved the problem of the brake lites application causing them to go dim.

They worked!

I put everything back together and returned to DMV where I now passed inspection!

Once again thank you for the feedback.

It was well worth the small cost!
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Thursday, May 13th, 2010 AT 3:51 PM

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