Brake lights.....

Discussion in 'Electrical Systems' started by 1980 Camaro Berlinetta, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. 1980 Camaro Berlinetta

    1980 Camaro Berlinetta Veteran Member

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    Got a problem with brake lights. I've recently traded my 80 Camaro for a 79 Camaro. When I first got it I noticed when I would hit the brake pedal the dash lights &I front marker & turn signals would come on along with the brake lights. The I noticed when the headlights were on the turn signals and marker lights would not come on and the brake lights were brighter than normal. I so pull the brake lights out and turns out someone had put 1158 bulbs in & not 1157s. So put in the 1157s and now the brake lights don't even work, but the tail lights do work. I'm not good with anything electric so I'm open for suggestions!! Thanks!
     
  2. Cardinal

    Cardinal Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Ah, the old "brake lights and/or tail lights don't work" problem!

    Remember that good grounds are your friend and dirty, broken, missing grounds are your enemy. So first off, look at all of the grounds for the brake lights, marker lights, tail lights, backup lights, and headlights. The grounds for all of them must be attached to clean metal with a star washer under the ring connector.

    Your next quest is to find, clean, and put dielectric grease in the tail light wiring harness connector that is usually on the left side in the front of the trunk area. Said connector is notorious for being corroded.

    Beyond good grounds and that connector, the correct bulbs will be your next task. From what you wrote, you found the WRONG bulbs in the tail light/brake lights so that should be OK BUT if it were me, I'd verfy that ALL of the bulbs are the correct ones. Dual element bulbs should be 1157s and single element ones should be 1156s. Summit (along with a lot of places) have LED replacement bulbs which would last a LONG time when compared to incandescent bulbs.
     
  3. 71RS/SS396

    71RS/SS396 Veteran Member

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    Check your flasher /hazard fuse, the brake lights share the same fuse as your hazards.
     
  4. 1980 Camaro Berlinetta

    1980 Camaro Berlinetta Veteran Member

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    Ok I'm going to check my grounds in the trunk & see if I have power @ the brake light switch. Let the fun begin!!!
     
  5. Ligerzero

    Ligerzero Veteran Member

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    When i bought my 76 LT everything had worked and all the electrical wiring worked also, but i was upgrading all the bulbs around the car and eventually noticed that when i hit the brake lights, they didnt come on, but the parking lights worked so i was really confused. it bummed me out because after looking at the whole wiring in the trunk, the front end, and under the column, i couldnt find out what the heck was going on, it was a PITA lol. So the only way i could think of "fixing" the problem was to make a toggle switch to turn on the brake lights. At Autozone theres some LED strips you can buy in red that come with a toggle button to where you can use it as a demo. I bought em and they come in 2 Strips at about 10" a piece, so i stuck each one in each tailight cover and ran an extension through the truck and placed the button on the bottom side of the drivers seatbelt. so everytime i hit the brake i have to manually hit the buttom for the brake lights to come on, they are pretty bright since the are LED's but for $20 it was worth it lol. I only drive the car on weekends so its not a big issue right now having to do that. A little bootleg but hey, it got the job done!
     
  6. 1980 Camaro Berlinetta

    1980 Camaro Berlinetta Veteran Member

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    I found my problem this past weekend. It turns out that whoever put the 1158 bulb in the socket it had bent the contacts down farther in the sockets. So I bought a fancy test light with a buzzer in it & put it in the sockets hit the break pedal & they were working. Bent the contacts back to where they need to be & they are working now! I'm eventually going to replace the brake/tail sockets. Thanks for your help guys!
     

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