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Old 03-04-2012, 11:58 PM   #1
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Third Brake Light Problems

I can't seem to get my third brake light to work, I checked all of the wiring in the trunk door and its all good, the connections seem good, and I replaced the bulb to make sure it wasn't that, but I can't figure it out, any suggestions?

'97 Sport 2.5L

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Old 03-05-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
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Have a friend push the brake pedal and you can test the light fixture with an electrical test light or a multimeter.

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Old 03-05-2012, 04:52 AM   #3
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1.
Contacts may need a clean - give all 4 contacts a rub with some steel wool.

2.
Could be the contacts on the tailgate are pushed in too far so not making a good enough connection when tailgate is closed. Pull the contacts on the tailgate out slightly before closing tailgate. One way to keep them sticking out far enough is to wrap a rubber around around the 'stem'. This will stop them from being pushed in too far when the tailgate is closed.

3.
Wiring may have come loose in the wheel wells.
Pull down the plastic inner fender at the back. Feel up inside the wheel well for the contacts. It's common for one or both wires to fall off.
The wires will need to be pushed back on with some authority or they will fall off again. You should feel a definate 'click' when the wires are back on correctly.
It doesn't matter which way they are connected unless you have after-market LEDs in the 3rd brake light.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:03 AM   #4
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Good advice above, especially #1 from Wesboy. Use a wire brush on all four of the contacts, they can develop an invisible oxidation that can prevent them from making a good contact with each other. That happened to my TJ and it nearly drove me crazy until I finally tried that which fixed the problem. All four contact surfaces looked fine but they were oxidized. Wire brushing them fixed the problem.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:17 AM   #5
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After my last accident, the shop reversed the wires somewhere and my self modified 3rd break lights wouldn't come on. I reversed the connections to fix it. This would only be a solution if you've had any work done on the rear/tailgate.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Good advice above, especially #1 from Wesboy. Use a wire brush on all four of the contacts, they can develop an invisible oxidation that can prevent them from making a good contact with each other. That happened to my TJ and it nearly drove me crazy until I finally tried that which fixed the problem. All four contact surfaces looked fine but they were oxidized. Wire brushing them fixed the problem.
Yeah, same thing happened to me, and I lucked across another old thread in here about it...cleaned 'em off, and haven't had an issue since!
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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I would have figured the connectors between the tub and tailgate to be the culprit
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesboy View Post
1.
Contacts may need a clean - give all 4 contacts a rub with some steel wool.

2.
Could be the contacts on the tailgate are pushed in too far so not making a good enough connection when tailgate is closed. Pull the contacts on the tailgate out slightly before closing tailgate. One way to keep them sticking out far enough is to wrap a rubber around around the 'stem'. This will stop them from being pushed in too far when the tailgate is closed.

3.
Wiring may have come loose in the wheel wells.
Pull down the plastic inner fender at the back. Feel up inside the wheel well for the contacts. It's common for one or both wires to fall off.
The wires will need to be pushed back on with some authority or they will fall off again. You should feel a definate 'click' when the wires are back on correctly.
It doesn't matter which way they are connected unless you have after-market LEDs in the 3rd brake light.

Number 3 was my problem. I was going crazy trying to figure it out. Thanks!

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