brake lights

Just noticed today thanks to a very rude park ranger that my car's two rear brake lights are not working, yet the small, middle light mounted in the trunk hatch is lighting fine when I apply the brakes.
I stop to buy some bulbs on the way home thinking the whole time how strange it is that the two brake lights failed at/around the same time, and replace one, test the brakes, and still no good! all the other lights (turn signals, reverse) light up fine.
The fuse is also fine..
I just had work done to my car at the end of January at a Ford Dealership (you can read about my experience with THAT somewhere in this forum) and they also did a recall on my car involving the trim around the inside of the doors. Think they may have cut something? Considering the gouges they left in the fabulous plastic trim, I'm assuming they pried the trim out with a butter knife or a screw driver.. does anyone have a wiring book that might place the wires in their line of destruction?
Any insight would be great... Megan
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Sorry, the car is a 2000 Ford Focus
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I don't know if the bulbs are burned out or not, but it is very common for left and right bulbs to burn out at or near the same time, give or take a couple of days or weeks. Bulbs have a rated life and if one side burns out, you can almost be guaranteed that the other side will burn out within a couple of weeks or so.
I once had a left headlight burn out, then after replacing it, the right burned out the next day. Always replace bulbs in pairs.
Tom

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its great how you think that someone working on the doors can affect the wiring in the boot!!!
the wiring for the high level brake light is connected to the main harness at the back panel on the left hand side. as this works ok, then check the wiring from here back to the lamps for damage etc or maybe just 2 faulty bulbs?
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Well I've replace the bulbs twice now with different brands .. both auto shops claim their bulbs would work and neither have, so it must be something other than the bulbs. Just an update.
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Have the fabulous Ford people who worked on it fix the thing.

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do the turning/hazard lights function? it's the same bulb/element for brake lights. if they work and the brakes don't... it's likely either the switch on the brake pedal, or the multi-function switch (the signal light lever)

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<Top posting fixed>

sn00p wrote:

It won't be the brake pedal switch because the OP says the high level light is working.
It's not strange if both bulbs fail, because how do you know when the first one went?
Chris
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top posting preferred... right, i missed that with the high mount light...duh. as far as the bulbs though? someone else mentioned it's common for them to go at the same time... it is not. it is common to notice both are out if one went and then the other did some time later, but they rarely both go out at the same time... and the post mentioned they've tried the bulbs with no luck i work in a ford garage... the common thing to fail is the multi function switch, though it could still be many things... just stating what's common

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sn00p wrote:

...by you as a typical selfish Yank
Poster added to plonk file - along with many of his dumbassed 'merkin friends who don't have the basic common sense to realise that Outlook Express is *not* a good newsreader.

Yep, exactly what I said!

But only in America, where the idea of having different colours for rear indicators and brake lights would be confusing for them.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Do the turn signals work back there? it's the same filiment for the turn signal.
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In alt.autos.ford.focus, on the "Re: brake lights" thread, me wrote:

Not all the time. On my car (US-spec 2001 ZTS), the turn signals and the brake lights are two separate bulbs. I was following another Focus of about the same vintage as mine, and was surprised to see that it used the same bulb for both turning and braking.
By the way, whoever said bulbs don't always burn out in pairs is right. My passenger-side brake light burnt out several months ago, but the driver-side one is still the factory original. Of course, now that I mentioned this, I'll probably have to replace it soon ...
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On 19 Mar 2006 15:18:36 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Did you find a fix for your problem?
My wiring diagram for a 2001 focus shows the center bulb connected directly to the stop light switch. The two outside lamps are looped thorough the 4-way emergency flashing switch. The 4-way switch is not a simple passive switch, but contains active circuitry according to the diagram. So a failure of that switch might not be all that rare.
Ford made some changes to the Focus wiring during the 2000 production run, so there is a chance you care is different.
So, what happens when you activate the 4-way switch?
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