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Old 04-25-2006, 08:12 PM
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brake lights

hi; i have a 95 grand am and the problem is i have no brake lights. i have the third brake light but no others. the blinkers and parking lights work good. i replaced all bulbs for the sake of it, pulled brake switch out and ohm it out which seemed to be working fine. any other suggestions or thoughts? thanks everyone.

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Old 04-25-2006, 10:15 PM
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Doc here,

Assuming you have already checked the fuse marked "Brake Lights" and it's good, I have a few items you could try...

Go back to the brake lamp switch, Get out your DVOM, Set it for DCV , V X 50 or autorange scale, and measure both sides of the switch to ground. One side only will have power..

Next if good, move your probe to the other side..Depress the brake pedal (tell it how high gas prices are ..sorry..couldn't resist.. ), With it fully down it should read 12 volts.

Jumper across the brake light switch.

Isolate the brake light wires going in/out of the steering column and turnsignal the steering column harness plug..inspect the pins and clean any if needed, look for burned or loose wires..You should have 12 volts on those .. If so, you have power to the rear harness.

Remove the jumper.

Go to the tail lamps, Inspect the sockets themself..Be sure the right bulbs are in there, and the sockets are not corroded.

If so spray with a good Electrical cleaner and burnish the contacts and bayonet areas with an acid or similar brush. you can push the socket through the front (usually on most) to gain access.

Install your brakelight switch jumper or have someone sit and hold the pedal down.

Check the sockets to see if you have 12 volts at the sockets. If you do not, you have an open harness between the column and the rear you'll need to back track the harness to find the cut wires.

If you do have power, measure the ground at the lamp sockets.

Set your meter for Ohms scale, R X 1, calibrated to 000, and measure the resistance from the socket body or bayonet to a good body ground. It should read 000. If it is open, try a jumper to ground and test the brake lamps if it works, repair the ground. Lost ground is usually the problem.

If you have a trailer plug..look there also, those can short out the rest of the system.

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