2000 Mazda Protege: No brake lights!! Why?

Was stopped by a woman today who told me that my brake lights were not working. There are three of them and NONE are working!
I cant imagine all three bulbs going out at same time
so checked for any blown fuses but they looked OK to me.
So.... it has to be a relay or maybe switch in the brake pedal, right?
Do brake light systems use relays or work direct from switch in pedal?
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Before you start looking at the electronics, you should buy a pack of taillight bulbs and see if both main brake light filaments did actually both blow out at once. Worse come to worst, you'll have only spent $2.75, and you can stick the bulbs in a drawer, and someday you'll blow out a bulb and you'll already have the replacement at hand.
For one thing, you could have had two of the three bulbs blown out for weeks but you never noticed. It's easy to miss a burned-out tail light. For another, I've had both tail lights blow out "at the same time" (again, I noticed them both out at the same time, which doesn't mean that I wasn't driving around with only one tail light for a while) and I have also had both head lights go out the same night. I definitely noticed that when it happened, and I thought it had to be a bad switch or relay or fuse, but no, it was two sealed beams that let go within minutes of each other.
yrs jp
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Good point and thanks so much!!
I will replace all the bulbs in both rear lamps and work from there.
However, if that doesn't fix it..... can you tell me if there is a RELAY that controls those lights from the brake switch? I've looked for a relay but yet to find one. Is it possible the lights are controlled direct from brake switch?
Also, what abt the feasibility and cost of replacing the bulbs with LED version? Not cost effective yet?
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

I can't tell you about a 2000 Protege, but according to the '99 Miata Workshop Manual there is no brake light relay on one of those, just a brake light switch mounted at the top of the brake pedal lever. And when I looked in Google for "2000 protege brake light switch" I got a zillion matches where you could buy one (they're cheap too) but for "2000 protege brake light relay" I got nothing but noise, so I'll bet there isn't one on your car either. However, another semi-random Google match I did see said that Protege brake lights are all on one fuse, so if you can find a map of the fuses in your car that's the first and easiest thing to check. Good luck!

I don't like the way LED tail lights look, the soft bell-shaped shade of an incandescent bulb through a traditional red lens is far easier on my eye, but as brake lights LEDs are technically superior because their response time is practically zero as compared to a quarter-second for a classic Edison-style filament. When it comes to informing the moron tailgating you in his SUV that he's about to get his insurance rate raised after he runs you over if he doesn't pile on the brakes RIGHT NOW, every decisecond counts. How much is that worth to you?
yrs jp
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Guess what guys..... this was the problem!!
I replaced ALL lamps in rear tail lights and now have working brake lights again!!
I guess above poster was correct..... the lamps did NOT go al out at once but must have gone out one at a time and as long as one was working then no one stopped me to tell me. When the last one went out.... an older lady stopped me to tell me I had no brake lights at all!!
Bottom line I am deeply thankful to ALL who offered help!!
Now I just have to figure out why cruise control quit abt a month ago
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On Tue, 04 Aug 2009 16:34:29 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

That would be the interior light ....I'veheard sillier suggestions....which turned out to be correct.
OzOne of the three twins
I welcome you to Crackerbox Palace.
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wrote:

wow! well then ignore my other post. so now i wonder if your cruise control is also suddenly functioning again?
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YES!! The cruise control now works as well!!
I guess the two systems are interlinked somehow
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On Sun, 09 Aug 2009 21:23:31 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

The cruise control probably gets 12 volts through the bulbs when you aren't braking. It sees 0 volts when you apply the brakes. If all the bulbs are burned out, it sees 0 volts all the time and thinks you are applying the brakes all the time.
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wrote:

great explaination, and clever safety feature.
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i would first identify other things that may not be working such as the running lights, directionals (fast blinking is an indicator of a problem), interior lights, etc. i don't know the protege, but the miata has one fuse box under the dash by the drivers left knee and another under the hood. i recently lost all of my tail lights and checked the interior fuses with no joy, then found the main relay in the engine compartment fuse box had jumped out of its socket. if it is of any value, you can download the 2002 protege workshop manual for free from here... http://pdftown.com/PDF-Mazda-Protege-2002-Workshop-Manual.html but it is in rar format so you have to have a rar utility (free) to reassemble it, and it is on rapid share, so you have to download each of the three parts about an hour apart (unless you are a paying rapidshare customer)...

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that 2002 workshop manual has excellent step by step troubleshooting and repair procedure starting on page 01-02c. it appears that the lights can fail if there is a problem with the cruise control module. is your cruise control working?

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No.....as a matter of fact my cruise control does NOT work and quit working several months ago!
I can hear the relay click when turning it on but it wont allow me to setup any speed. I just assumed it was a blown fuse and would replace it when weather warmer!
How in the heck are the cruise control module and brake lights tied together so as to make the brake lights to all fail??!!
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snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

Don't know but Mazdas are like that. Now start checking fuses, look for any blown fuse. It'll probably be labeled as something completely unrelated to either the stop lights or the cruise control, BTDT!
I don't recall exactly what problem I had but I checked every fuse that could in any way be related to the failure and finally gave up (Checking Miata fuses is easy only for people less than 10" tall!) and took the car to Mike's Place: http://www.mikes-place.biz/
I would have ended up there anyway, Mike is the only one who has ever been able to put my fuse box cover back on.. <sigh>
He knew exactly what fuse it was but the label was for something very different... :-(
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Since the cruise isn't working, I would go straight to the stoplight switch on the brake pedal. Mazdas with cruise have a combo switch that is both for disengaging the cruise and actuating the brakelights. It should be located about halfway up the brake pedal arm. When you are replacing/adjusting, please note that the plunger on that switch must be fully compressed (when nothing is pushing on the pedal) in order for the cruise to work at all.
--Geary
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OK thanks will do!
However, since the car is 9 yrs old and have never changed any taillights I'm going ahead and change ALL lights front and back since it is summer and easier to do now.
Knowing my luck even if I get the brake switch fixed, a bulb will burn out say in dead of winter and much more unpleasant to change then as I have no garage.
Also, one of the bulbs had odd ball socket "tabs" on it that were NOT 180 degrees apart but instead more like 120 degrees apart! So had to have Oreillys special order them . <sigh>
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wrote:

since your cruise control is not working, i encourage you to download the service manual and follow the problem resolution procedure. it seems very straight forward. it would be nice if changing the bulbs helped but i think that is a fantasy. fwiw, stepping on the brake is the most common way to deactivate the cruise control, so it seems reasonable that there is an interaction between the two, though it seems odd that they didn't design the switch on the brake pedal with multiple distinct functions (one circuit for lamps, one for cruise control), probably saved a few pennies by making it a single function switch, but might have been some sort of safety feature that escapes my imagination.
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Christopher
Can you look in above manual and see how in the world you change the HIGH rear brake light?
For the life of me can not see how you get to it to change it!!
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wrote:

you should download the entire manual, it is really good. but if you want me to send you the couple of pages then email me privately. the manual does have the information you want with graphics for the hight mount brake lamp, and for the spolier version as well...
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