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Mike V.
Mike V., Auto Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 20078
Experience:  25 years automotive expierience, Nissan factory trained, Subaru factory trained.
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2001 Dodge Durango: 2WD, 4.7LThe brake lights..bulbs..under hood

Customer Question

2001 Dodge Durango, 2WD, 4.7L
The brake lights don't work. I changed the bulbs, checked the fuse (fifth fuse closest to battery, under hood) then I replaced the brake switch. Still nothing. I do have working tail lights and back-up lights.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
TF
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Greetings and welcome to JA! I will do my very best to assist you with your problem.
Does the third brake light work? Do you have a test light?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
My third brake light does not work either. Not clear on the test light?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
This is a test light, we use this to see if you have power into the brake switch and power out. Let me know
graphic
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I see. No, I do not have that. Is this something I can get at a parts store? I'm guessing no power into the switch would mean an electrical issue?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, you can get this at a parts store and yes, electrical is likely.
It looks like most of the wiring goes through the flasher for the brake lights,but not the third light
that is on a separate line, so if the switch was working and getting power, the third light would light or should at least. This leads me to want to check for power to the switch. If you can get a light I can help you do this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I will get the test light but won't be able to do that until later this evening, possibly tomorrow. I can reply back once I have it and we can go from there. Please let me know if that is acceptable.

First time using this site so I'm not sure how it works with responses, accepting answers, etc.

Thanks!
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
That is fine and I should be on tomorrow most of the day. You can press accept whenever you like. We can work on this tomorrow without a problem.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sounds good. I am on Pacifc time so I'll try to make it earlier than later.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
ok, that would help, but I am usually on till at least 10 pm east
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for it being late but I did get a test light but am not sure what exactly I need to do. Can you tell me how to test and what to test?
Thanks.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Hello again,
Ok, step one is to learn how to use the light, have you ever used one before?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Nope
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Ok, here is how to use it. Start by using the clamped end and hook it to the negative battery terminal. Then take the pointed end and poke the positive side. This should light the light.
This is really a basic testing tool. Now, the way it works is the negative is what we call ground. The cars system is based on power(positive) and ground (negative)
The entire body is a ground. So, that being said, you can hook the clamp to a bolt on the body and that provides ground.Then when I have you probe a wire,you are looking for power. If said wire has power the light will light.
Play with it a bit,hook it to different things and see if the light lights when you poke the positive side of the battery. If it does, then you have a good ground and power.
Once you get used to it, go under the dash to the brake light switch. Clamp the clamp to a bolt that is under the dash, maybe the brake booster bolts and use the probe to check the pink wire with a dark blue stripe.this should light the light. It is best to probe into the back of the connector if possible. If the light lights, then you have power(this is good) if not, then there is no power and let me know.
If there is power, push the brake pedal down and check for power on the white wire with the tan stripe. You should see power. Run these tests and let me know the result.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I probed both and the light came on for each of them. The light came on for the white and tan one without me having to push the brake pedal. It was on while I pushed the pedal as well, but I want to make sure I didn't do anything incorrectly.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Ok, well, this means a couple of things. First, the brake light switch is not adjusted properly. There should only be power on the white/tan wire with your foot on the brake.
Second, we have some type of possible wiring problem.
I would like to have you leave the brake light switch as is for now, but remove the third brake light bulb and check for power to the socket on the white/tan wires. Check it and let me know. We will go from there!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There is power on the 3rd brake light white and tan wire
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Ok, so it would seem the bulbs are no good. At least this is likely. Now do the same on one of the normal brake lights and let me know.Same color wire.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There is power there as well.
I think all 3 bulbs in the third light are burnt out. Someone is bringing me replacements now. Could that be the problem? What's next?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Well, I think the first step here is bulb replacement. 3rd brake light and the others as well.
If you replace them with the correct bulbs and don't get light, then it is a grounding issue as the test light is grounded, but perhaps the ground wires aren't.
You get bulbs in there and you let me know.
If they light like they should, then you go under the dash and adjust the brake light switch until there is no power on the white/tan wire without stepping on the brakes.
Then life should be good.
You let me know! So far you are doing a great job!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
How do I adjust the brake light switch? I've replaced all the other bulbs so I'm hoping this will do it!
Thanks for your help. I'm definitely learning!
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Are the bulbs lighting now? All of them I mean? Are you sure you replaced them with the right bulbs? They should all be lit now if they are going to work.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
All three bulbs in third light work but not tail brake lights. Those have new bulbs as well.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
OK, first, make sure you installed 3057 bulbs and in the correct sockets. They should be working as you have power there. I know it is stupid, but it needs to be checked.
Here is the procedure to adjust the brake light switch.
graphic
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So I checked the bulbs and they are 3057 and they are good bulbs. I don't think they were bad when I changed them. I changed the 2 middle bulbs immune tail lights but they aren't lighting up. Could there be another reason why the two lights aren't lighting up?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, they share the same ground, or the sockets are bad. I suspect the ground has failed. The only way to test this is going to be to clamp the clamp to the power side of the socket(white/tan wire) and then probe the black wire. If the light lights then the ground is good. If not, then it is no good. I am not able to find the location of the ground on the body however.
I am not sure how much farther I can take you with this. At least the third light is working, and please try to see if you can rig up a way to test the socket like I said, but this is really the only other thing it can be because you do have power there.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I used the instructions on the brake light switch and the third brakelight did go out and now works when i push on the brake pedal. Thank you for your help in walking me through all the steps to get at least that one working!
As for testing the groud on the 2 taillights, will i need to expose the wires on the white and tan wire in order to clamp the clamp to it?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Either that or put a wire into the back of the socket if possible where the wires go into it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't have a wire accessible to be able to put it in the socket nor do i have a wire stripper to be able to expose the wires so I wil try that another day. At least I have done all that I can do up to this point. Thank you SOOO much for all of your help!
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome! Wish we could get them all working :)
Mike V., Auto Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 20078
Experience: 25 years automotive expierience, Nissan factory trained, Subaru factory trained.
Mike V. and 4 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was able to test the ground but need more help...can I keep asking after I've accepted your answer? When I clamped the white/tan wire, The test light lit when pressure was applied to the brake. What does the mean and what do I do?
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Hello again, did you have the probe on the black wire?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes
Expert:  Mike V. replied 3 years ago.
Well, then you are using the wrong bulbs, or the sockets need to be replaced.
You have everything you need there to make the lights light up.

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