Driver side brake light will not work. No power. - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-12-2021, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
Techlight
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Angry Driver side brake light will not work. No power.

Hi All,

So my driver side brake light will not work. Running lights work fine. It's been an intermittent problem for some time. Usually I just tap the housing and it would fix it self. It finally stopped working altogether.

As with all electrical issues here's where it gets weird. The passenger side works, even though "technically" it travels through the drivers side plug. At first I thought maybe the plug was bad. Used tester leads to check through the wires behind the plug and nothing. I swapped over my passenger tail light to test and nothing. I then plugged in my driver side tail light on the passenger side and it works. I've done this with known working bulbs. I'm stumped. I suppose I could jump a wire over from the passenger side but that doesn't really fix what's wrong with it.

Where's the John Strenk bat light? He really needs his own emoji lol.


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post #2 of 15 Old 06-12-2021, 06:38 PM
jeep_boy02
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May have to do with the bulb socket inside the housing. The wires tie together on the vehicle side of plug so the current can split to the other side without that one working.

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Ehhh... well that wouldn't explain it working on other side. Duh...

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-13-2021, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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I couldn't figure it out so I ended up jumping a wire across and it works. Really strange but I'll have to hunt it down after I get more advice... or have my mechanic find the problem.

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post #4 of 15 Old 06-13-2021, 03:09 PM
mudbfun
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Sounds to me like a classical case of the bad ground gremlins. Especially when you said you would tap on the housing and get it working again. Try running a jumper wire from a known good ground to see if it helps.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-13-2021, 03:15 PM
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My go to is pretty much ground but with the parks working is doesn't sound like it. Doesn't the whole housing use a common ground, which iirc is one of the mounting bolts?

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post #6 of 15 Old 06-13-2021, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeep_boy02 View Post
My go to is pretty much ground but with the parks working is doesn't sound like it. Doesn't the whole housing use a common ground, which iirc is one of the mounting bolts?

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That is true but a bad ground can do funny stuff. There could be just enough of a ground to operate the lesser of the two filaments with both filaments requiring better continuity. A tell tale sign would be if both lights went out when the brakes (or turn signal) are applied. The tapping on the housing to me means it is probably an issue right there at the light. Could be a residue build up in the socket, rust on the body, a broken wire or ??
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-14-2021, 04:17 AM
John Strenk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techlight View Post
Hi All,

So my driver side brake light will not work. Running lights work fine. It's been an intermittent problem for some time. Usually I just tap the housing and it would fix it self. It finally stopped working altogether.

As with all electrical issues here's where it gets weird. The passenger side works, even though "technically" it travels through the drivers side plug. At first I thought maybe the plug was bad. Used tester leads to check through the wires behind the plug and nothing. I swapped over my passenger tail light to test and nothing. I then plugged in my driver side tail light on the passenger side and it works. I've done this with known working bulbs. I'm stumped. I suppose I could jump a wire over from the passenger side but that doesn't really fix what's wrong with it.

Where's the John Strenk bat light? He really needs his own emoji lol.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techlight View Post
I couldn't figure it out so I ended up jumping a wire across and it works. Really strange but I'll have to hunt it down after I get more advice... or have my mechanic find the problem.
If you jumpered a wire over from the passenger side to make the brake lights work, you might of missed that your turn signals no longer operate correctly.

The brake lights on the back are two, independent circuits because it's both a brake light and a turn signal light.

Plugging in the passenger side and having it not work tells me there is something wrong with the wiring before the the plug the tail light plugs into.
This can be a corroded terminal inside the socket or the wire is corroded and broke apart. Unless you hit it real hard, I'm surprised hitting it on the light would restore the contact on the plug.

There could also be a problem with the turnsignal switch because this is were the brake/turnsignal control is located.

I would probably start at the plug the turn signal plugs into on the steering column. Then probe the plug that connects the dash harness to the rear harness. Then check the plug at the rear again.
This way you can hunt down were exactly you are loosing the connection.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-14-2021, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I have some work ahead of me lol...I'll start tracing wires in the next week or two as I'm leaving state for a week. I'll check the turn signals...didn't even think of that. I do have to change my ignition cylinder and I know my blinker switch is a bit wonky. Should I just replace it while I'm doing the cylinder? I had plans to fix the horn and what not also while I was in there.

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post #9 of 15 Old 06-14-2021, 12:44 PM
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I had a similar issue years ago. My turn signal wouldn’t cancel all the way and the brake light wouldn’t operate as a result.
If I manually wiggled the turn signal I could get it into the proper position.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-14-2021, 03:42 PM
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You gotta take out the turn signal cam to get to lock cylinder so yes I would do it all together along with horn contact.

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post #11 of 15 Old 06-15-2021, 04:13 AM
John Strenk
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I have seen the springs inside the turn signal switch rust away and you loose good connection inside as a result.

Even dirt can build up inside the switch causing problems.

I'm pretty sure these TS switches are designed to be used inside a sealed passenger compartment and not in some open vehicle like a jeep where water and dirt are part of the enjoyment package.
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-15-2021, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Strangely enough all my turn signals work properly and with the lights on or off, however I noticed today my passenger running light went out on the rear.

I'll probably just replace it all and go from there. At least the turn switch, cam, horn, etc will work properly. If that doesn't fix it I'll start tracing wires. I've been meaning to anyway and I've re built or replaced most everything else haha "except" the column, pedals, body and the wiring harness. I was in the column a few months ago for some this or that and noticed everything was bound up and somewhat corroded. I'll tackle it when I get back from Tennessee.

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post #13 of 15 Old 06-15-2021, 07:52 PM
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Work your turn signal lever up and down a couple dozen times to clean the contacts.
Your brake lights are routed through the turn signal switch.

Have'n you along, is like loose'n 2 good men
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post #14 of 15 Old 06-27-2021, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Update: Took the steering column apart to change the ignition cylinder (would start without key) and change the blinker switch. When I got it apart the blinker switch was broken on one side. Changed it out and everything works. Even fixed my horn while I was in there too. Amazingly nothing went wrong haha (famous last words). Usually I start some project thinking it will be easy and everything starts breaking ...Biggest trouble I had was that darn round retainer ring. Had to get my son to add a third hand in there to get unseated.

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post #15 of 15 Old 06-28-2021, 04:44 AM
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Great to hear.
Thanks for reporting back.

There is a cheap tool you could buy to help pull the ring off. But it was probably more fun working with your son.


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