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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 wagon with a brake light problem. My top bar light is never working, but my lower right and left brake lights are working when my running lights are off but when they are on there is no change to the brightness when the brake pedal is depressed. The bulbs are all fine, and the brake fuse is ok.
The lights do get brighter when the hazards are on and the running lights are on. So it seems as if it is just isolated to the brake function. My husband checked the top bar light with a voltmeter and there is no power going to those lights when the brake pedal is depressed.
Any ideas how to troubleshoot this further?


I have searched around and it seems like I have the opposite problem of this person!
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=149053&highlight=brake+lights+broken

Thanks for any help you can give!
 

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This one's hard to explain.....but the std brake lite problem sounds like a grounding problem to the sockets. You need to check the socket itself for the exact grounding method. It could be as simple as a loose screw, a melted connection, or a poor grounding method. Some sockets just push a ground wire next to the socket.

When the running lites are off, the brake circuit is using the running lite circuit to ground (the brake lite and the running lite share a common ground usually).....told you it was hard to explain.

The third brake lite sounds like a different problem. If it's not getting voltage ever.....you've got to fix that first.
 

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Remove the rear side panel on the driver's side in the cargo compartment. There are screws, and you'll have to remove the top side trim as well. The wires for the lights run down that side of the car. There should be a ground wire that springs off from that wiring harness to a bolt. I'd check the connectors.
 

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When you tested the brake lights was the car in the on position or running???
if not.. turn it to the on Position then try again if they still don't light up

you may have a faulty brake switch which is located behind the brake pedal..

remove the switch from its bracket and unplug it.. short the 2 wires that went to the switch and see if they go on

As for the top bar there is a rubber protector cover that goes from the body to the door carfully use a flathead screwdriver and pop one fo the sides (its got a hardened plastic clip on each side and pull it back to expose the wires I've seen alot of wagons with this problem that the wires will crack and fray) my third light on my wagon also died I found a broken wire aside to all the rest of the wires cracked and frayed...

I will see about taking a short vid to show you ...
reply with the vid in a few


The broken wire MAY of ( never seen that yet) of shorted and killed the controller that integrates the brake lights with the running lights.. its the same kind of controller they use to convert car tail lights with the amber turn signal to a all in one so it uses a single bulb instead of a dedicated turn and dedicated brake...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When the running lites are off, the brake circuit is using the running lite circuit to ground (the brake lite and the running lite share a common ground usually).....told you it was hard to explain.
Ah, ok. That's a good place to start troubleshooting, thanks for the tips.
 

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As for the top bar there is a rubber protector cover that goes from the body to the door carfully use a flathead screwdriver and pop one fo the sides (its got a hardened plastic clip on each side and pull it back to expose the wires I've seen alot of wagons with this problem that the wires will crack and fray) my third light on my wagon also died I found a broken wire aside to all the rest of the wires cracked and frayed...
Husband typing now... :)

Ya, that was exactly the problem. Not sure why it affected the lower brake lights but it's working now so I'm not going to complain. Thanks!
 
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