The 3rd brake light works, the brake light element in the tail lights does
not work when the pedal is depressed. Also, the tail lights work when the
head lights are turned on. I imagine there must be an open return path,
though not sure where to look. I wouldn't think that there are separate
switches for the 3rd brake light and one to drive the brake light element in
the tail lights. Any help is appreciated. Joe
Not a mechanic, just an old retired electrical guy who loves cars, so
take what I say for whatever little it may be worth...
But it pretty much must be separate, given that the brake lights flash
with the emergency flashers, while the 3rd light doesn't...
The 3rd brake light is driven directly off the brake light switch
under the dash. The regular brake lights are driven from that same
brake light switch but through contacts in the turn signal switch (so
the same bulb element can be used for both turn and brake lights).
Here are a couple of tests to make (and then get back to us);
1) Do the turn signals on both sides (front and back) light up?
2) Does the 4-way flashers light the back lamps?
If yes to both of the above, your problem is probably in the turn
signal switch in the steering column (not an uncommon problem with GM
"W" body cars unfortunately).
Thanks for your help. I checked the turn signals and 4-way flasher and they
were working. Then I applied the brakes and slightly applied pressure to the
turn signal switch and the brake lights came on. I will need to remove the
turn signal switch and either repair or replace. I had the steering wheel
off once before for the ignition switch, so it should all come back to me
when I start the job. I recall the turn signal switch was intermittent
then, causing problems with the turn signals.
Thanks for your help and have a good day!
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