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Old 02-16-2013, 08:40 PM   #1
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left brake light ONLY

All lights work/operate properly except left brake light. Just replaced the tail Light fixture... So it's wiring somewhere correct?

Where so I start?

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Old 02-17-2013, 06:52 AM   #2
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All lights work/operate properly except left brake light. Just replaced the tail Light fixture... So it's wiring somewhere correct?

Where so I start?
Downstream. Start at the back and work your way towards the front and follow the wiring. This will also confirm if the brake unit is working correctly too. The first thing you can check is the connector plug that plugs into the tail-wiring of the brake light assembly.

You can get a simple electrical tester at any auto store for like $5. You just use the needle-end to prod the wire terminal (the hot) and use the alligator clip attached on any grounding surface. When you press on the brake pedal, the LED light inside the tester should illuminate, this will tell you if there is power coming through that particular wire.

To test for shorts to ground / continuity check, (a break in the ground wire), you'll need a multimeter with a resistance read-out. But start with the simple power test first, it's most likely a break in the power wire somewhere up-stream. Do it in sections a couple feet at a time, as long as the tester is not lighting up, that means that section of wire is not transmitting the proper voltage. Keep going section by section and when the tester finally illuminates, replace the wire back to the brake unit at that point.

If by any chance you get the tester light to come on at the most-downstream part, (the connector that plugs into the back tail-wiring of the brake unit), there is a problem with the brake unit itself. Take a piece of wood and wedge it in between the pedal and driver seat so that the pedal is always pressed in, that way you have continuous power being applied through the wiring and don't have to go back and forth or have someone else press the pedal constantly.

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Old 02-17-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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I agree start from back and go forward. It might be the contector
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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Not to state the obvious but could the bulb be bad? There are 2 filaments in the bulb; one for the tail light and the other for the brake light/directional.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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Not to state the obvious but could the bulb be bad? There are 2 filaments in the bulb; one for the tail light and the other for the brake light/directional.
No kidding. That's the first thing I'd check.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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New bulb works fine
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:21 PM   #7
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I've never used an electrical tester.

I just leave all lights/power off with the brake pedal depressed and hold the tester to the wire?
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #8
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I actually just had a similar problem my left light only worked as the brake light. I started tracing the wires and found where someone had cut and spliced the wires in the back it came disconnected and I just had to fix their bad wiring. Its probably something as simple as that
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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ok pull your turn signal switch back but not far enough to turn on your high beams. if the brake light works its in your turn signal switch. the brake light voltage runs thru the switch to operate the turn signals separate from the brake. its a plastic wear item and you have to disassable the column to replace it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #10
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not to sound stupid but my old xj would do that when i blew the fuse only one brake light would work
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #11
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Interesting, didn't think it would be a fuse...
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:39 PM   #12
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i found out is was a fuse in the owners manual
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:48 PM   #13
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I had the exact same problem so I replaced the old tail light assembly, also due to the fact it was partially broken. Left brake light still didn't work. Fiddled around with the turn indicator, now it works! I guess I'll have to replace the turn indicator now if I want the brake lights to work permanently.....

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