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2001 Honda Civic right brake light is out

Our 2001 honda Civic has the right brake light out. The four way flashers use the same single element bulb, and work fine, so I know the bulb, wiring, socket and ground is fine. Anyone have a clue?

Do both your rear tail-lights work as well? Or is the right one out?

I would suspect the multi-function switch is bad.

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Not if only one of the brake lights is out.

Has a known good bulb of the correct part number been tried?

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Are you sure the brake lights use the same filament as the four-ways? Doesn’t this vehicle have the turn signal bulbs separate from the tail/brake light bulbs?

The same bulb serves as brake and four-ways, the turn signals are a separate bulb. I have ordered a multi function switch to try. (way cheaper then going to a mechanic) Thanks I will post back.

Something doesnt sound right here. The 4 way should not be using the brake light element in any bulb. I would think that a dual element bulb would be used but it really depends how Honda set up that tail light.

Usually there would be a dual element bulb, the thinner element is the parking lights and 4-way flashers. The thicker element handles the brake function. So just because the 4-way lights up the tail light, it is doing so via that thinner element in the dual element bulb…

Do you have a dual element bulb in that tail light? I am thinking you do… You should be able to pull the socket out with the bulb still plugged in and look at it while you are operating it so see if my theory holds true…see if the thinner element is being used with the flashers and or parking light. The thicker element is usually reserved for the brighter of the two, for the brake function.

Again, how Honda set up that tail light could have changed but, I dont believe it has.

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The 2001 Civic uses an amber light for the rear turn signal (and hazard lights), not a red light, so if you have a brake light out, the hazard lights are not indicative of what’s going on.

You probably just have a bad bulb. Replace it.

Only if your brake light is amber (not red), which I seriously doubt. The hazard lights and turn signal use amber lights, not the red lights the brakes use.

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When I tried the new bulb, I had the socket hanging I pressed the brake pedal and the matching light on the other side and the third light came on. I then turned on the four ways and the hanging, single element bulb flashed. Two different people suggested the multi function switch, so I ordered one to try. Thanks for the follow up!

****Courage is fear that has prayed! ****

Is it possible that at some time in the last 18 years someone switched the positions of the sockets?

I just loooked at another 7th generation Civic (like yours) and I will reiterate that your brake lights don’t use the same lights or bulbs as your hazard lights and turn signals.

Throwing parts at the problem is no substitute for basic troubleshooting.


According to the service data I’m seeing, for the 01 Civic DX 1.7L engine, the side brake light bulb has 2 elements. The center-high brake light bulb has one element. There’s many versions of Civics, so maybe your particular one is differently configured. It should be simple enoubh by visual inspection of the bulb to determine if it has one or two elements. No harm done to replace the multi-function switch if that’s the approach you want to take, it is getting a little long in the tooth anyway, so probably is due for a renewal, even if it doesn’t fix the brake light problem.

Owners manual should tell which bulb # goes where. Multi-function switch an unneeded expense and complication IMHO.

When the switch comes, I’ll change it, then post back here with the results. And the bulbs are single element. Thanks

****Courage is fear that has prayed! ****