Brake lights not working

Tiny
GREIGHN1
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 1.6L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 180,000 MILES
The rear lights work, but when I press the brakes, they don't illuminate. They don't get brighter to signal that I'm slowing down. So far, I've replaced all the bulbs, the brake light switch for the petal, and I have gone through and checked all grounds, while also cleaning them. I've run out of ideas at this point and came to a conclusion that I have a loose wire or something. Does anyone know anything about this?
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Saturday, April 6th, 2019 AT 5:04 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Imports have always been known for weird wiring diagrams, but this one is really complicated unnecessarily. The turn signal switch is not involved with your brakes lights. That means you have separate brake lights and signal lights. That makes it real complicated for connecting a trailer, but it makes it easier to diagnose.

The logical suspect is the 15-amp fuse is blown. It sounds like you know how to check that, but if not, here's a link to the appropriate article:

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

Instead of drawing a half dozen different diagrams, one for each model variation, they tried to note all the differences on this one diagram. Head down to the brake light switch with a voltmeter or test light, and check for 12 volts on the red / white wire. My red arrow is pointing to that one. The diagram doesn't specify if the ignition switch has to be on for this test. It does on a lot of imports. If you find 12 volts there, check on the green / white, (or gray / white) wire. That one should have 12 volts when you press the brake pedal. If you have that, we'll have to go further through the circuit.

If you don't have 12 volts on the red / white wire, suspect the fuse is blown. I finally found it listed in the fuse panel behind the left kick panel. '92 models have a fuse box behind the driver's kick panel and one by the battery. '91 models have a third fuse box behind the right kick panel. If you can't read it, my nifty blue arrow is pointing to it. There's two tiny test points on top of the fuse. Check for 12 volts on those. That's easier and faster than pulling the fuse out. If you find 12 volts on just one side, that fuse is blown. If you find 0 volts on both sides, I'll have to search some more to see where it comes from.
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Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 AT 6:06 PM
Tiny
GREIGHN1
  • MEMBER
Thank you, I forgot to include that when I was driving, my friend was behind me and said that it would sometimes work and sometimes it would not.
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Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 AT 6:06 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Do the tests I described, but those have to be done while the problem is occurring.
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Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 AT 6:06 PM

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