95 Ford Escort - brake lights only work in reverse

The subject says it all. If I hit the brakes, the lights don't go on unless I'm in reverse. Lights are obviously not burned out and I've checked the fuse
and it looks ok.
Any ideas and how much is it going to cost me?
Dan Mercer snipped-for-privacy@mn.rr.com
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Dan Mercer wrote:

and it works.... cant be the bulbs as it lights when in reverse???? how about the reverse lights????? do they come on at all??? maybe someone has the wires crossed and the reverse lights are coming on which is wired to the brake lights or the reverse lights wired to the brake lights????? did someone mess with the wires in the trunk????? check it out.. put the car in reverse and see if the reverse lights come on??? do the brake lights come on when the car is in reverse and no one is pushing on the brake pedal????? if so the wires are crossed???????
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: kinda odd??? it cant be the brake light switch as its on the brake pedal : and it works.... cant be the bulbs as it lights when in reverse???? : how about the reverse lights????? do they come on at all???
reverse lights come on as do parking lights/running lights. No work has been done on the car to precipitate the problem.
Dan Mercer
maybe : someone has the wires crossed and the reverse lights are coming on which : is wired to the brake lights or the reverse lights wired to the brake : lights????? did someone mess with the wires in the trunk????? check it : out.. put the car in reverse and see if the reverse lights come on??? : do the brake lights come on when the car is in reverse and no one is : pushing on the brake pedal????? if so the wires are crossed???????
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Dan Mercer wrote:

My first impulse would be to suspect an application of Murphy's Law juxtapositioned onto Ohm's Law. I don't know if it is possible, but I believe I would check to see if someone had jammed on the connectors to the tail light assemblies----albeit somewhat backwards, upside down or caddywhampus.
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wrote:

The first thing i'd suspect is a bad ground at the brake lights.
Check for power coming out of the brake light switch with the pedal depressed and the vehicle in park. Do the same check at the lights. This will verify the problem is on the ground side.
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It's my kid's car and I foolishly took the word of him and my wife that the lights worked in reverse. They were seeing the backup lights. At least that makes more sense.
So how do I "check for power" and where is the brake light switch?
TIA
Dan Mercer
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Dan Mercer wrote:

there and look up.. it used to be alot earier to make all these moves when i was a kid.. why they did not put it in there back then????
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wrote:
<snip>

(the longer and heavier the lead the better). Ground the clip of the test light and have a helper press the brake pedal with the key in the RUN position. Probe the contacts of the brake light with the test light (you should have 2, one for the park light and one for the brake light).
If the test light glows brightly, you have power to the connector. Therefore the ground or the bulb must be bad.
If there is no power at the connector, you have an open in the brake light circuit between the battery and the connector. Check for power on both sides of the brake light switch with the pedal depressed and the key on. If you have power on both sides of the switch, then the open is between the switch and the brake light connector. Power on one side only means the brake light switch is bad. No power means there is an open between the battery and the brake light switch. Check the fuse. Have you tried replacing the bulbs?
The brake light switch itself is on the upper end of the brake pedal.
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