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Old 03-29-2011, 05:53 AM   #1
kwaidonjin
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No brake lights/ fuse keeps blowing

My 03 focus P vin SOHC brake lights don't work, it keeps blowing the fuse. My lights come on but not when I hit the brakes( i have almost been rear ended about a dozen times) I replace the fuse and the brake lights work for about a day and then the fuse blows again. I went from a 15 to 25 amp fuse. I checked the wiring in the trunk area to see if the wiring had rubbed through and is causing the short. I don't know where else to look. Any help would be appreciated.


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Old 03-29-2011, 07:54 AM   #2
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Hi kwaidonjin,

I don't know if you have a hatchback or not. I have a hatchback and I had a similar problem that basically turned out to be a severed wire within the boot between the trunk lid and the car. Top middle.

Check out what I'm talking about:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=177074

Just go down in the post and check out the picture ... this is not my picture, but it definitely looked exactly like this picture when I un-did the boot.

Good luck!

:)
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaidonjin View Post
I went from a 15 to 25 amp fuse.
Why do people do this? You are circumventing the purpose of the fuse and may have introduced a new problem - a burnt wire and new shorts - into the system. You should go back to the proper amperage fuse.

You have a short in your wiring harness somewhere. Common areas are the hatch or trunk hinge, as mentioned above, water in the rear tail light lens due to a faulty sealing gasket, license plate light socket corrosion - again due to water - and the brake switch on the pedal itself.

If you've examined the trunk area and there are no obvious faults, check the brake pedal switch.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC_ZX3 View Post
Why do people do this? You are circumventing the purpose of the fuse and may have introduced a new problem - a burnt wire and new shorts - into the system. You should go back to the proper amperage fuse.

You have a short in your wiring harness somewhere. Common areas are the hatch or trunk hinge, as mentioned above, water in the rear tail light lens due to a faulty sealing gasket, license plate light socket corrosion - again due to water - and the brake switch on the pedal itself.

If you've examined the trunk area and there are no obvious faults, check the brake pedal switch.
I am not familiar with this switch on the brake pedal, Is it easy to tell if it is bad? My 2003 has a trunk, not a hatchback, Thanks for all the good tips.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:55 PM   #5
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The brake light switch is located at the top of the pedal on a mounting bracket just under the dash lower cover. If you kneel beside the car, door open and look up it should be obvious. When you press on the brake pedal, a plunger that is normally pushed in by the pedal, pops out and completes the brake light circuit. You simply twist and pull the switch body to remove the switch from the bracket. It'll then hang in the driver's footwell suspended by its wires.

While I don't have my wiring diagrams with me at the moment, a bad switch would be obvious if: 1) the plunger didn't move freely or was stuck in one position 2) the switch terminals were black or burnt 3) any wire going to it had exposed copper that could possiby ground.

Forgot to mention: Your highmounted rear brake light is functional, correct? I've had the plastic housing on mine melt at one point, which may be a source of shorts.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC_ZX3 View Post
The brake light switch is located at the top of the pedal on a mounting bracket just under the dash lower cover. If you kneel beside the car, door open and look up it should be obvious. When you press on the brake pedal, a plunger that is normally pushed in by the pedal, pops out and completes the brake light circuit. You simply twist and pull the switch body to remove the switch from the bracket. It'll then hang in the driver's footwell suspended by its wires.

While I don't have my wiring diagrams with me at the moment, a bad switch would be obvious if: 1) the plunger didn't move freely or was stuck in one position 2) the switch terminals were black or burnt 3) any wire going to it had exposed copper that could possiby ground.

Forgot to mention: Your highmounted rear brake light is functional, correct? I've had the plastic housing on mine melt at one point, which may be a source of shorts.
My brake lights work fine when I put a new fuse in, then they go out without warning. If they work with a new fuse could it still be the brake pedal thingy??????Thanks again.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:45 PM   #7
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please read this thread

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=160808
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaidonjin View Post
My brake lights work fine when I put a new fuse in, then they go out without warning. If they work with a new fuse could it still be the brake pedal thingy??????Thanks again.
Possibly. You have an intermittent short...somewhere. I'm just suggesting you need to check out all the components in your brake lighting electrical system. That's the fun of intermittent shorts; faulty components don't die completely so they're not easy to identify or trace. A bump in the road can cause a wire to jiggle just enough to create metal to metal contact between power and ground or move that one drop of condensation into a place it doesn't belong.

You can test the brake light switch with a multimeter; don't simply replace it.

The brake light circuit is simple - press pedal, operate switch, 12V electrical circuit completed, current flows via fusebox/fuse and wiring, bulbs light. You are looking for a short (power directly to ground) not an open (break) in the circuit. Shorts blow fuses.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
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So I cant seem to find anything wrong with the wiring in my trunk, but when I opened up the brake light housing I found that the left rear bulb was covered in carbon. Both the rear lights and the brake lights work so long as fuse #42 is in tact, but now whenever I try to drive the fuse blows and I lose my brake lights. Suggestions? In the meantime I'm going to remove the bulb in the hope that it stops the shorting. That's a ticket too, but at least I shouldn't get rear-ended.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BC_ZX3 View Post
The brake light circuit is simple - press pedal, operate switch, 12V electrical circuit completed, current flows via fusebox/fuse and wiring, bulbs light. You are looking for a short (power directly to ground) not an open (break) in the circuit. Shorts blow fuses.
I have cruise control on mine and I'm wondering if the problems are related. At the top of my brake pedal there are two switches: A black one and a green one. The one at the very top has a green housing and a white nylon coloured plunger that moves with my brake pedal. Below that is the black housing which loses contact with the brake pedal after depressing it a few mm's (about the amount needed to disengaged cruise control (which no longer works).

Any thoughts here?
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