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Autobody, Lighting, & Structural Tech This forum is brought to you by RPM Electronics in Burnaby.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
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Brake light on one side stays lit at night

I have sought after different solutions myself, but dealing with electrical problems is the bane of my existence

Recently, I discovered that when I turn on my lights in the evening, my brake light (which also serve as the nighttime running lights for the rear) on one side is half-lit (which is normal), and the other side stays fully lit, as if I was stepping on the brakes. It doesn't stay lit when the lights are off during the daytime.

I replaced the bulbs, checked the fuses and relays, and checked the condition of the wires near the connection, but everything seems fine. Could it be a short, or an open circuit somewhere? Maybe the brake switch? It's bugging me to no end, and input is appreciated

Some pictures in case my explanation sucks



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Last edited by AW607; 11-03-2013 at 05:52 PM. Reason: Present tense
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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You contemplated changing the bulbs......but didnt? Why not try the cheapest and easiest first.....change the damn bulb.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
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You contemplated changing the bulbs......but didnt? Why not try the cheapest and easiest first.....change the damn bulb.
I changed it first, sorry I forgot to make that clear

Last edited by AW607; 11-03-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
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Likely isn't the case, but do you have fog lights on your car? Many cars have a single rear brake light set up to come on when your fog lights are running. It's mostly a Euro only thing but sometimes you'll find it on an NA car.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:54 PM   #5
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nah my car doesn't have fog lights either...
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Check your other bulbs in the tail light, they may be on the same circuit. One grounds out and it opens the brake light circuit.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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you put the blub in properly?
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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It was doing it before I put in the new bulb, and it was still doing it after I put in the new bulb.. there's only one way to put the bulb in as far as I'm concerned

I'll check to see if there's a ground anywhere tomorrow
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:51 PM   #9
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oh, some bulbs have a separate prongs for the brake and the running portion of the light. when installed wrong the brake light portion now acts as the running light.... think i had that happen on my xj or the s12....
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:54 PM   #10
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Did you take a close look at the socket, when you had the bulb out?
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:01 PM   #11
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I didn't think twice about the socket, I just promptly replaced the bulb. The socket's like a push and twist kind of an install, but I'll keep that in mind when I take a look at it tomorrow.

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oh, some bulbs have a separate prongs for the brake and the running portion of the light. when installed wrong the brake light portion now acts as the running light.... think i had that happen on my xj or the s12....
Interesting, I've never heard of that before. The thing is, this just started to happen recently and now I'm starting to think it may have grounded out someplace.
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:59 PM   #12
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Looks like a double filament bulb has broken and has crossed the 2 filaments together causing a short. If the bulbs are ok, then as mentioned above, a socket issue. Maybe corrosion in the socket, causing the brake and tail light circuits to short. I doubt its a ground issue. The tail/brake lights have constant ground.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
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Yeah alright, I checked out the socket and turns out there was a slight bit of wear and corrosion going on inside. I cleaned it up, reinstalled the bulb and I got a normal taillight again. Thanks for the help
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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good to hear it was a simple fix
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