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Chevy Cheyenne
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What is the problem if you have tail lights but only one brake light?

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Wiki User
2004-10-07 21:24:03
2004-10-07 21:24:03

The tail light/brake light bulb has two filaments. If one of the filaments is broken, you will get either only tail lights, or brake lights. If a new bulb doesn't work, then you have a broken wire or bad connection in your plug-in.

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The brake lights and the tail lights are separate circuits. Check the brake light fuse, then check the brake light bulbs, then check the brake light switch.

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i have the same problem i replaced the coolant temp sensor to get my check engine light to go off but it could be a number of things the brake light means you have a problem with the brake system but i have hared that the light sticks and is a common problem with blazers in the late eighties and early nineties models

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Are you saying your tail lights themselves do not work and only the brake lights work. If that is the case, check the fuse, and then check the tail light bulbs.

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This is operating as intended. Brake lights are only activated when the brake pedal is pressed, irrespective of the other lights in use. It is a safety feature so vehicles behind are aware the brakes have been applied. They are separate from the tail lights so they still give a visual indication of braking whether the other lights are on or off.

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Brake lights only come on when you press the pedal. The brake light is either a different bulb or filament in a dual-filament bulb than the tail light.

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yes, it lights up only when brake is applied

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This is usually a grounding problem. Either an insufficient ground to the assy or a positive to ground problem. As you mention the brake lights work with the lights off, it will probably be related to a problem with the "running lights" system. As you mention only a problem with the passenger rear, I would check for a poor ground related to that light assy or possibly one of the bulbs' internal filaments in that assy touching each other. Or possibly a socket failure at that assy. Good Luck

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The brake light on most vehicles is not only an indicator that the parking brake is on, but that there is a problem with the system.

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You can't reset the parking light - It shows you have a fault at that time - Cure the fault and the light will go out - I have a problem with mine - I have an intermittent fault the light only comes on when the parking brake is faulty - most of the time the lights out

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Have you upgraded any lights to LEDs? This answer can apply to any car with this problem but only if LED lights are used. This can be caused by LED 1157 tail/brake combo lights. The problem is that the tail and brake lights are not always as isolated as they should be. When the brake lights are powered on the tail light terminal becomes live. This voltage will power up the park light circuit ie. tail lights, front park lights and instrument panel. The "short" comes after the LED resistors in the 1157 therefore the leaked current is low and will not usually cause any problems unless you have LED's throughout the park light circuit, there is insufficient current to turn on standard light bulbs. Solution is a diode fitted in line on the tail light wires to the 1157s allowing current into the 1157 but not out.

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The most likely cause is a bad brake light switch (if none of the brake lights illuminate) but if its only one of the brake lights, try changing the bulb. Even if they still work as running or turn lights because they have a double filament and may still work partially, but not as brake lights.

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So you're saying that you have a 3rd brake light but nothing at the lower brake lights, and only one of the turn signals work. If that's the case, it's probably the brake light switch in the steering column. Don't touch it!!! The air bag is in the steering wheel, and if you make a mistake and it goes off, it could be very harmful or even fatal. Take it to someone who has experience and training.

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AnswerTry checking your fuse for your tail lights in your fuse box if that doesnt work try check for a short in your wiringAnswerI noticed on my 1990 did the same. Also found out it only happens when the TILT wheel is completely down. Try lifting the tilt wheel up and down with someone watching your brake lights. Have not pinned down the source in the column yet, but will keep looking!!!The brake light switch is probably the problem. My '91 had the opposite - the brake lights worked but the 3rd light did not. The brake light switch has 2 terminals - one for brake lights and one for the 3rd brake light. Replace the switch.

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the blinker switch shorted out the brake lights... really really common problem, need to replace the switch

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I am having the same trouble. My brake lights work with the light switch for nighttime driving, but only far right brake light works when i pres brake pedal. Reverse lights dont work at all. Turn signals and hazard light work.

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I have a 98 Villager and I had the same problem. I found that the brake light switch at the brake pedal needed adjusting. Just loosen the lock nut and adjust the switch so that the brake lights do not stay on but only come on when the brakes are applied, then tighten the locknut. Worked for me. Hope this helps.

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You may have disconnected the earth return or battery wire for the brake lights. This is only a possible solution if the brake lights do not use the frame as an earth return directly adjacent to the brake light housing. Normally the switch operated by the brake pedal or lever connects and earth to the brake circuit to light the brake lamp.

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Problem most likely is in the Turn Signal switch. I had same problem , replaced Turn Signal switch assembly and that fixed it.

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the fuse should be for all brake lights and tail lights if only one is out its a bulb

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Try to find out if the car have fuses for left and right brake lights. And did you replace the bulb on the side that is not working?

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It probably indicates that both your other brake lights are burned out and need replacing. BTW: It is illegal in most (if not all) jurisdictions to drive this way.

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Are both your brake lights blowing out? If it affects only one light: it could be a bad light socket, or a pinched or frayed wire that is shorting out.

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It seems you have two problems here. If you press the brake pedal and the brake light on the dash luminates, you have a brake problem or the fluid level is low. The other problem seems to be the blinker light on the left side is not working or the blinking tail light on the same side is out. It's more than likely the latter. Good luck!

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The only thing that will work with key OFF is the brake lights,head lights and emergency flashers. Dome light will also work.

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Ive had this problem before. Look on your brake pedal for the brake switch. Its a plunger like switch, its usually the only thing on the brake pedal. If you wiggle it the lights will go off like they should. If that works you need to get a new brake switch. Its pretty easy and cheap to change.


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