1997 Chrysler Cirrus brake lights

I have a 1997 Chrysler Cirrus giving me a bit of a headache.

The left and right rear brake lights are not activating; however, the center light on the trunk works fine.

The same bulbs light when the headlights are turned on, but do not brighten when the brake is activated. The blinker/hazard lights are separate bulbs.

I’ve checked all the fuses - pulled each an every one, in fact. All look ok.

Any ideas on what the deal may be?


Both Brake Light Bulbs Might Be Burned Out.

Sometimes one burns out and isn’t noticed. Then the other one burns out at a later time and both get noticed.

It’s possible they light in the “headlights on” function and not when the brakes are applied because the taillight filament is separate from the brake light filament, both housed in the same glass bulb.

Take out a bulb and look very closely at both squigly filaments for integrity or just try replacing them both with the correct bulbs.

Click this this link to Sylvania and see that 3057 bulbs or 3057LL bulbs are required.

This wiring diagram, Fig. 11 (Diagram 10) shows the wiring for the brake lights. Check this link for details:
To see Fig. 11 (Diagram 10), click ENLARGE, then on your pc, press ctrl ++, ctrl ++, ctrl ++ to enlarge further (or, View, Zoom In six times). Enjoy.

Fig. number corrected 03/23/09.

The rear bulbs that light when the headlights are turned on have two filaments. When you step on the brake, a different filament is supposed to be activated. These are similar to a three way bulb in a household lamp. Suppose the bulb is a 50-100-150 watt bulb. The first position activates the 50 watt filament. The second switch activates the 100 watt filament. The third position powers both filaments. In your car, turning on the lights activates the tail light filament. Stepping on the brake activates the other filament. Stepping on the brake while the headlights are on activates both filaments. Start with the bulbs–the brake light filament may be burned out in each bulb. If this doesn’t work, check for power between each contact at the base and the ground. Turn on the headlights, remove a tail light bulb and use a tester to locate the contact that is active for the headlights. Move to the other contact and have someone step on the brake. If you don’t get power, you will need to trace the circuit back further.

I don’t have any data to look at but try cycling the hazzard switch to see if that helps.

Cougar, et. al.,
I just included the link to the lights wiring diagram at www.autozone.com. ( http://www.autozone.com/autozone/repairinfo/repairguide/repairGuideContent.jsp?chapterTitle=Wiring+Diagrams&partName=Chassis+Electrical&pageId=0900c15280089a44&partId=0900c1528008995b ). Inform me (us) if you can link to the diagram successfully, or if you have a problem doing so. You may have to register there to be able to visit certain areas. Let me know.

Thanks for the link Hellokit. Once again you have been very helpful. I did sign up to the site a little bit ago. Enlarging the drawings helped as they were worthless in there normal enlarged state.

Looking the the drawing it does show that the power for the brake lights is tied to all three lights. There must be a connection that has seperated for the two side lights, possibly near the middle light.

If the center brake light works, and the sides don’t, you have a wire problem to both sides. Look at places where the wires go around corners. Flexing,or pinching, can rub the wires bare, or even, break wires. Examine the wires.

I Don’t Know About Your Locale, but . . .

Where I live I have a “take it off yourself” salvage yard that would sell me a module or module/harness for this car for a couple of bucks, literally. I know a lot of people don’t recommend throwing parts at a problem, but in this case It could be a cheap try before calling in the expert$.

Is that the correct drawing Hellokit? It looks like that drawing is for a Sebring and not a Cirrus.

Thanks all.

I checked both bulbs - in each, both filaments look good.

Then, I guess, that leaves me with an electrical issue that needs to be chased down.

Thanks again for the advice.

Aha! Somebody actually looked at a link! Unfortunately, the OP may not have been included in that number. Sigh.
The Fig. number has been corrected. Thanks for the catch, Cougar.