Removed my 3rd Tail Light; Am I an Idiot? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:50 PM   #1
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Removed my 3rd Tail Light; Am I an Idiot?

I constantly need to haul long things in my Wrangler and have been having a terrible time with the 3rd tail light sticking up from behind the spare tire. I have become so frustrated with it being in my way that I took the whole spare tire assembly apart and removed the 3rd tail light. Now the things I haul can sit on my spare tire! Much better except...

I know California law, where I live, is that you must leave the light in place if the vehicle was delivered with the light. Not all vehicles are required to have them, you just can't take one off. I'm hoping it's not the kind of thing that will generate "fix-it" tickets for me. We will see. Opinions?

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Old 11-10-2013, 11:55 PM   #2
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The third brake light is actually a federal law and all passenger vehicles have them if they are less than 20 years old. Some states don't enforce it, but its still law. You probably won't run into much trouble with fix it tickets, however if you get rear ended, if the person who hits you is smart, they'll either get a cop down to cite you immediately or bring it to court where the accident could be deemed your fault or no fault both of which cases you'd be stuck paying your deductible. They do make relocation kits tho. Some people put them behind or In front of the spare tire and that would get it out of the way for your SUP board an other things

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Old 11-11-2013, 12:00 AM   #3
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You are just asking for problems. Every vehicle after the year of introduction has had one, we're talking since the eighties, so no, some LEO isn't going to be confused that you lack one by the year of your vehicle. Yours is an easy "revenue" violation. For instance, if you park overnight at a LAX or other local area public garage, or a public beach or State/County /City Park they'll walk through and cite you for the violation as this is an easy "revenue" violation, like a missing front license plate or expired tags, and yes, they ARE DOING IT. So ask you yourself, is it worth the risk? Lacking a third brake light is also what is referred to as an opportunity violation, or justification for a traffic stop when one would not otherwise exist. Let's say the local LE thinks you may have an open container, or an ounce of hydroponic you shouldn't have but are 100% legal except for the 3rd brake light, well now you have created a justification for a traffic stop that just may find those other violations, but hey, you're a big boy, do what you want.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:38 AM   #4
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^^^ I'm not so sure that a parked vehicle can be issued a ticket for a missing third brake light. If it was seen operating on a public road it would be another matter.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:03 AM   #5
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You will be fine without it is my guess. I dont have mine on. Otherwise get a small LED one and put it in your spare.

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Old 11-11-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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Haven't had a third brake light since 2008 or a license plate since 2009. I've put about 60,000 problem-free miles on it since then......

-I use a white truck plate because they reflect more light than anything else. That thing is always lit up, even at night. I initially did this to make it less obvious I don't have a light and it seems to have worked just fine.

-My two tail/turn/brake lights are immensely bright, enough to *safely* stun whoever is behind me. The last thing they're looking for is a third one.

-Not to mention the ridiculous appearance of my ass end. If you're in a car, you're staring at a big, weird looking axle and some control arms. If you're in an SUV, your headlights are perfectly reflecting off of my license plate.

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Old 11-11-2013, 09:33 AM   #7
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You will be fine without it is my guess. I dont have mine on. Otherwise get a small LED one and put it in your spare.

Great idea! I think I'm going to do that.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #8
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I removed mine also, and just run without it. I believe they make a light that fits in your trailer receiver and plugs into the existing wire harness if you think you'll need the 3rd light..
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Add a 3rd one to your spare. I can't think of a good reason to run without one....and "I don't like the way it looks" is not a good reason.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:46 AM   #10
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No 3rd brake light here either. Lost it when I swapped bumpers.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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No 3rd brake light here either. Lost it when I swapped bumpers.
Sweet looking ride! I have always been partial to red! And I don't believe the people who say red cars get you more tickets.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:21 PM   #12
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Add a 3rd one to your spare. I can't think of a good reason to run without one....and "I don't like the way it looks" is not a good reason.
This...
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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Ive never had a 3rd brk light.Um,it didnt come with one
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:00 AM   #14
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This...
???????????????????
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:10 AM   #15
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Get two cheap trailer round led lights, splice them into your third brake light wiring with quick disconnects, and you have a third brake light!
I can post pics tomorrow of you want. I spent maybe 10$.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:33 AM   #16
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Rockhard makes a brake light that mounts through the center of your spare wheel.
Rock Hard 4x4 Parts Part RH2002-TL - Rear Bumper/Tire Carrier 3rd Brake Light

Delta makes lights that fit in the lugnut holes of your spare wheel.
Delta Industries Part 01-6581-50 - Lug Nut Light
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:33 AM   #17
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Another vote for one in the spare!
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JeepSupSurfer View Post
Sweet looking ride! I have always been partial to red! And I don't believe the people who say red cars get you more tickets.
Thanks! I don't know if the whole red thing applies to big bricks rolling under the speed limit. Might get ya more attention in like a Vette but not a Jeep. Only complaint with the red is it shows trail rash BAD.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:58 AM   #19
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If your vehicle was manufactured in 1987 or later, and came equipped with a supplemental (third) stoplamp, which is required by the federal safety standards, then you are required to keep the vehicle in conformance with that standard. (Veh C 24603, subd. (h).) In other words, if your car has a third light, it is illegal to remove it.
There are two laws in the CA vehicle code (24011 and 24012) which require compliance to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. FMVS no. 108 requires all vehicles built after 1993 to have a 3rd brake light. That being said, in CA, you're not going to get a ticket unless you really, really do something to irritate the officer, in which case you can be cited. You're more likely to have problems if DMV goes to an inspection program similar to PA's.
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I removed mine also, and just run without it. I believe they make a light that fits in your trailer receiver and plugs into the existing wire harness if you think you'll need the 3rd light..
NOT ACCEPTABLE ↑ ↑ ↑ The 3rd Brake Light must be at a Height EQUAL to or greater than the Height of Factory Installed Brake / Tail Lights, and NO LOWER. Just an FYI !!



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Old 11-12-2013, 07:04 AM   #20
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I installed lug nut lights over the weekend. To put it nicely, I'm mechanically challenged, but attaching these to the wiring of the existing 3rd brake light was super easy. My wife was so impressed that I didn't burn anything or electrocute myself, she posted my accomplishment on FB!

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Old 11-12-2013, 08:09 AM   #21
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???????????????????
I was agreeing with what he said in the quote.....would you like a pic?

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Old 11-12-2013, 05:33 PM   #22
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I was agreeing with what he said in the quote.....would you like a pic?
Ahh, I see, thanks. I like the light in the spare on that pic. I'm going to look into doing that.

Ever seen a soft spare tire cover with a light built into it? I wonder if such a thing exists.
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Old 11-12-2013, 08:14 PM   #23
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Funny I had this conversation with a cop last week. He basically said if your missing a rear plate or rear brake light your asking to get pulled over. The front is a different story if you have no plates odds are you won't get pulled over but if you do you'll probably get a fix it ticket.

I basically moved the rear plate and tail light to the center of the spare. Still no plate on the front but I bring it with me and some zip ties. This way I can fix it in front of him.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:42 PM   #24
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After running about 6 months without a 3rd brake light after I installed my new tire carrier, I added the Delta lug nut lights. Makes me feel a little better knowing some slimeball lawyer won't have an excuse to go after me if someone rear-ends me. Well, a slimeball lawyer may try to do it anyway, but at least I should be covered (no offense to any non-personal injury attorneys out there).
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:53 AM   #25
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Not having a 3rd brake light is just foolish.

Mine is bolted to my Teraflex carrier. It makes it more difficult to steal my spare too.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:01 AM   #26
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I just used the original break light and cut the aluminum bracket down. It is now mounted inside the spare with no cost at all.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:39 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olboymike View Post
I installed lug nut lights over the weekend. To put it nicely, I'm mechanically challenged, but attaching these to the wiring of the existing 3rd brake light was super easy. My wife was so impressed that I didn't burn anything or electrocute myself, she posted my accomplishment on FB!

Attachment 505970
Haven't seen those. Where did ya get them? Thanks
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #28
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My hard top isn't coming off so I moved the 3rd brake lamp to the top...

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Old 11-13-2013, 05:28 PM   #29
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I just used the original break light and cut the aluminum bracket down. It is now mounted inside the spare with no cost at all.
Yes, this is what I was thinking about doing. Now that you say it worked out fine for you, I'm going to look into it. Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:32 PM   #30
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Not having a 3rd brake light is just foolish.
You have a point there. I was just going to wait until I got a fix-it ticket, but you are convincing me to go ahead and do something else.

Might just modify the one I took off to fit into the wheel of the spare tire. No cost and worth a try. No need to change any wiring. I'm going to try it and report back.

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