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Old 09-16-2008, 12:16 PM
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3rd Brake Light not working

Anyone else had a problem with the 3rd brake light not working? The bulb is fine and the normal lights all work... Any suggestions would be great.
Thanks from the North Pole
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:20 PM   #2
Knows a couple things...

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Using a wire brush, clean the four silver colored button contacts near the hinges you'll see when you open the tail gate wide open. Those are what connect the third brake light to the brake circuit. They can look perfectly clean but they can get a coating on them where the third brake light won't work. It drove me crazy since I had the same issue and know how to troubleshoot electrical circuits. I couldn't believe those big silver contacts weren't making a good contact so it was much later that I finally tried a wire brush on them which cured the problem.

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Old 10-16-2008, 04:49 PM   #3
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If ya got carpet in the cargo bay watch it doesn't get in the way of the button contacts. Got bitten by that one. (The carpet doesn't have to cover the buttons, just keeping them from contacting firmly will disable the light.)
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:11 PM   #4
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if you've eliminated these two issues, then the problem might be the actual wires going to these connectors. somehow, one of my wires came off inside the body. I had to go fishing with some long needle nose pliers to get it back. they are mounted in rubber and pull out easy.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:02 PM   #5
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The connectors also slide... try pulling them out a bit to make contact.
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Old 10-16-2008, 09:00 PM   #6
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I had problems with the carpet covering one of the silver tabs on the trunk side.. still haven't been able to fix that yet.

I also had a problem with the connector on the tailgate side sliding out. All you gotta do is take that black plastic cover off (I think its one screw) to check those connectors. The silver piece just pops right into the wire connector.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:32 PM   #7
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i had the same issue when i got mine. i had 12v at the contacts on the body but only 9v at the light. as azTJ mentioned, the contacts slide. i made sure they were nice and clean, but once i pulled the ones on the body slightly out they made better contact and the light worked.

it's a good idea to use an ohm meter if you have one, it can quickly give you a better idea where the problem is. if there's 12v at the contacts then the problem is somewhere in the tailgate wiring. if you don't have 12v then there's a problem somewhere further up with the wiring.
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:14 PM   #8
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I had this happen before and it was the 2 contacts. 1 wire somehow pulled off.

Btw, my kids were standing here while I was reading this post and now they think Santa drives a Jeep.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCS05Rubi View Post
I had problems with the carpet covering one of the silver tabs on the trunk side.. still haven't been able to fix that yet.
Take some scissors to it and be done with it. If you dont want to, glue the carpet to the body so it doesnt move, if you dont want to do that either, drill a hole and get some of those things to hold the carpet in place, i dont know what they are called but most auto stores have them such as autozone.

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Old 10-18-2008, 02:30 PM   #10
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Easy solution... DITCH THE 3RD!!!!!!
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vettefever5 View Post
i had the same issue when i got mine. i had 12v at the contacts on the body but only 9v at the light. as azTJ mentioned, the contacts slide. i made sure they were nice and clean, but once i pulled the ones on the body slightly out they made better contact and the light worked.

it's a good idea to use an ohm meter if you have one, it can quickly give you a better idea where the problem is. if there's 12v at the contacts then the problem is somewhere in the tailgate wiring. if you don't have 12v then there's a problem somewhere further up with the wiring.
just wanted to say thanks! i figured out my problem based on this post. my issue was one of the contacts in the tub was too recessed and wasn't making a connection.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
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just wanted to say thanks! i figured out my problem based on this post. my issue was one of the contacts in the tub was too recessed and wasn't making a connection.

If you wrap a rubber band around the back of the contacts, it will make them stick out further and make better a better contact.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:27 PM   #13
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once i get some time, i've got to try to figure what's wrong with mine, lol. my 3 year old doesn't let me work on my jeep anymore, lol.
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:20 PM   #14
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Third Brake light not working

I have a 2013 JKU, and for about 3 weeks I have been driving around without my third brake light (partly because I was not aware). I thought this was a great opportunity to order a new LED brake light, but it did not correct the issue. Wire traced and it ended up being that the connectors were separated somehow... Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0793.jpg
Views:	52
Size:	182.2 KB
ID:	3278849

Click image for larger version

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Views:	38
Size:	165.9 KB
ID:	3278857
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:26 PM   #15
Mostly old school..!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRob View Post
I have a 2013 JKU, and for about 3 weeks I have been driving around without my third brake light (partly because I was not aware). I thought this was a great opportunity to order a new LED brake light, but it did not correct the issue. Wire traced and it ended up being that the connectors were separated somehow... Attachment 3278849

Attachment 3278857
Just a heads up...you are in the tj forum (1997-2006), and this thread is 4 years old.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:38 AM   #16
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I placed a couple rubber faucet washers I had laying around behind the two body contacts so they stick out a little more. Also cleaned the contacts and have not had any problems since I did that 3 years ago.

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