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carterfarter 07-31-2010 03:58 PM

brake light/running lights not working.
I've dug around on the forum all day and can't seem to find a solid answer to my question. My third brake light wobbled and wobbled and finally broke of so instead of just letting it swing away I cut the jeep off and removed the keys then cut the wires leading to the light. I didnt cut each wire individually, but cut them all at once, but this shouldnt matter since the keys were in my pocket, right? Well I get in the jeep last night and the dash lights, running lights, and rear lights dont work. The rear tail lights don't work AT ALL. When I turn the headlights on the rear doesnt illuminate. The rear lights don't work when I press on the brake either. They do, however, work when the flashers are on. I've checked, double checked, and triple checked all the fuses and they seem to be fine. I've tried re-wiring the third brake light just to see if it would cure the problem, but it did not. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Dragon5 07-31-2010 07:01 PM

Ok, I had just about the same thing happen to me. I took my 3rd brake light off and didn't wrap the wire ends well enough. The wires shorted, but not bad enough to blow a fuse. Eventually (months later) I was at a stop light and a guy pulls up and tells me that I have no brake lights.

Turns out that my fuse was melted beyond recognition, and the white and black wires that went to the third light were melted together. After finding where they were melted together and separating and taping them, I replaced the fuse. It immediately blew. I found where it was melted together in 6 places before I eventually cut them off by the fuse box and taped them up. No issues since.

I actually pulled out all of my wires from the fusebox back to the tailgate, re-secured them and cleaned up the look all together. It took a couple of hours and about 2/3 of a 12 pack.

Good luck!

carterfarter 08-01-2010 10:06 AM

Well, I taped mine immediately after cutting them. I just realized that I even had the tailgate open which would leave all the wires with no power at all since the contact points on the tailgate hinge were not touching. Im stumped. It has all the symptoms of a bad headlight switch, but I cant figure out why the brake lights won't come on when the brake pedal is depressed. Man I hate electrical.

Edit: New headlight switch change whatsoever...

Dragon5 08-01-2010 01:47 PM

The fuse looks good? If so, then I have no idea. I kept blowing fuses because there was a short (well, many) in the wires. I hate electrical too.

Another symptom of mine was a drop in voltage and dim headlights when I hit the brakes. I had no idea what it was, and it just stopped one day. Im guessing thats when I blew (melted) the fuse.

If you don't plan on using a 3rd brake light ever again, trace the wires running by your drivers seat, and up by the dash cut the white and black wires and tape them. This makes sure that there are no shorts in the 10 feet of wire between your dash and the tailgate.

Just an idea. Once again, good luck.

carterfarter 08-01-2010 02:21 PM

ok I'll trace them and see if anything looks odd. Does anyone know if there might be a relay or something of that sort that might be the problem? If I dont have anyblown fuses then Im not sure what the issue could be.

dee0934 08-01-2010 09:51 PM

I dealt with the same thing just last week. My stereo quit working out of the blue and would randomly work. I took off all the pieces of my dash inlucding some of the gauges. Turns out they wrapped a different radio wire harness around the old one, which takes up twice the space. I cut the new one completely out and some of the old and started from scratch. However, this leads me to the drivers side. There was so much wire there, some that went to the back but werent connected to anything. I started cutting to take some out and to shorten others. My brake lights and running lights quit working in the rear. My fuse was good and so were my connections. I gave in and rewired everything with one solid wire from under the e-brake to the back and now they work perfectly.

carterfarter 08-02-2010 07:22 PM

Still not working. Today I replaced the bulbs just so I didnt have to shoot myself later if they turned out to be the cause. They still didnt work. I traced the wires all the way to the harness right by the emergency brake and they looked fine. No melting or bare wire or anything of that sort. I also removed the trailer harness connection by unsplicing it from the brake lights (I won't use it anyways). Still, I get nothing. I'm feeling like I might have to give in and let someone look at it for a very overpriced fee. :thumbdown:

carterfarter 08-04-2010 01:39 PM


carterfarter 08-09-2010 01:28 PM was a main fuse inside the engine compartment. It makes no sense to me, though, how I blew a main fuse without having blown a fuse inside the cab first. Oh well. If you are standing facing the grill it was the fuse third from left to right inside the fuse box just in case anyone else is having this problem. Thanks to everyone's input on what it could have been. Lesson learned, check the easiest things first :drool:

The time now is 01:54 AM.

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