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lnsmman58, Auto Body Repairer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 345
Experience:  ICAR Certified, A/C Certified, Plastic Repair Certified, 30 Years Experience
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left rear..rear brake..Brake Pedal NOT depressed Both tail lights red

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I have a gremlin in my left rear brake light. It behaves differently when the headlights are on or off.

Headlight off:
All three brake lights work, left one is dimmer that the others

Headlights On, Brake Pedal NOT depressed
Both tail lights red with the left light not as bright as the right.

Headlights On, Brake Pedal Pressed:
Right light is bright red as expected.
Center brake light is bright red as expected.
Left brake light completely black, no light at all.

I have replaced the bulb, cleaned out any corrosion I could find, checked the fuses, and gave the wiring about a 60-second inspection and found nothing the explain this behavior.

Can anyone help me? Even if the answer is that I need to replace the entire cluster its ok as link as it fixes the problem,


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks. I will simplify the question, hopefully down to a yes/no answer. Maybe "experts" aren't really experts after all hehe.

Hello I'm Scott,

It sounds like you have quite the dilemma here. I have a question, has this vehicle been in a wreck? Another, do you have a volt meter to do some tests for me?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I just bought the car used (and cheap) so I have no personal knowledge of the car's history but CARFAX doesn't list any accidents and the title is clean so I don't think it has been in an accident but I'd not be shocked either. I do have a voltage meter somewhere in my garbage. I can dig it out if you can give me some advice on what to look for. Thanks, Tim



Please be sure you are 100% satisfied with my answer before you hit accept, bonuses and positive feedback is always appreciated! In other words do not hit accept until we have your problem solved!


Thank you for that info. It almost sounds like a bad ground, so what I'd like to do is have you first ground your meter and test the socket to see if you have a full 12 volts going to it. Then if you have 12 volts I'd like to have you stick your meter on the ground side of the socket and see if we have a good ground. Does this make sense?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I'll check the voltage going through the socket this evening. I think you got me on the right track. I'll verify this evening and then accept, leave feedback etc... thanks

Right on, let me know what you find. One more thing just in case you haven't done so, try another bulb. I have seen faulty bulbs that don't ground properly. Just throwing some ideas here. Good luck here.

lnsmman58, Auto Body Repairer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 345
Experience: ICAR Certified, A/C Certified, Plastic Repair Certified, 30 Years Experience
lnsmman58 and 9 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I haven't had a chance to check the voltage but I think you are right. Accepting solution.
Right on man and thank you for the accept. If all checks out except for ground I'd pull your rear body trim and check the ground wire. There should be one somewhere around the deck latch. Again thank you, XXXXX XXXXX can get to the bottom of this.