Breaking makes rear lights go out ???

Hello all
Have a 1996 Escort, 1.8 here in Canada . Just noticed (actually I was told by a taxi driver!) that when I have the driving lights on and press on the
break pedal, the rear passenger side set of red lights all go out !!!
The drivers side rear lights and the break light come on as expected, including the extra break light mounted just below the rear window. It's the passenger side cluster that does the dissapearing act.
Very strange.
Any advice would be great
Thankyou Andrew
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Andrew wrote:

Check for a bad bulb. This is a normal thing. I'd bet your right stoplight is out.
Gerard
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Your bulb is bad, or there is corrosion preventing a proper ground.
It's probably a dual-filament bulb. Normally, one end of each filament connects to a pair of contacts. The other ends of the filaments are tied together and go to ground or similar.
When the driving lights are off, does the brake light work properly?
What's happening is that, with just the driving lights on, the low- wattage filament is getting power from it's contact, but the current can't flow back to ground. Instead, it's flowing through the high-wattage (brake light) filament, which is probably at ground when off. Another possibility is that it has a poor ground connection, which allows enough current for the driving light, but not the brake light.
When you hit the brakes, both contacts are positive, so current cannot flow.
I would first remove the bulb and check for corrosion, cleaning if necessary. Depending on how hard it is to get at, it may help to simply replace the bulb while you are at it anyways.
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bad ground
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bad connections, as most people here have suggested, it was a common problem with escorts in the UK, i'm not sure if the same bulb housing was used in canada but either way it will be the earth (ground) on the rear light cluster causing your problem.

told
the
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On Wed, 3 Dec 2003 14:24:01 -0500, Andrew wrote:

Neat. Well, to me it is. Friends of mine have an almost identical Escort (early 90's but I don't know the exact year or engine size) here in the US. They have the exact same problem with the exact same light bulb. At least you can take consolation in knowing it isn't just you ;-). With the explanations given to you, maybe we can now fix their car :-).
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sounds as if the ground is weak inside the socket and when both filaments are on at the same time it isnt enough so they go out rusto

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