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2002 Ford Focus Brake Light Problem

Hello, long time lurker, am stumped by this issue. Car is a 2002 Ford Focus, the lower two brake lights do not come on when the brake is applied. The third brake light works fine.

I know the brake switch is ok because it disengages the cruise control. Bulbs are good, fuse is good. Turning the hazard lights on DOES light up the brake lights in question. In reading other posts I got the idea of replacing the turn signal switch but balked at spending $40 without knowing if that might even fix it.

Anyone know if replacing the turn signal switch might fix it? Otherwise I’m thinking it’s some computer unit that the dealer would have to replace. Thanks for any advice/experience you can share!

Sounds like a broken wire or loose/bad connector between the center light and the side brake lamps.

I couldn’t pull up the wiring diagram for a focus, but did find one for the same year escort, which should be similar. Your power for the two lower brake lights go through the electronic flasher unit, and the third brake light does not. So I’d start there. It looks like it uses the same flasher unit for the turn signals as the hazard flashers. Does your hazard flashers and turn signals work normally? Your electronic flasher could have an internal open, preventing the brake lights from working in the brake mode, but allow them to work in the flashing mode. I don’t see where your multi-function switch could be causing this problem. (unless the Escort wiring is much different from the Focus). This flasher unit is not one of those quarter size silver ones you’re probably used to. This unit should be larger, with several pins or legs coming off it.

Try cycling the emergency flasher switch to see if that helps. The lower brake lights run through that switch and sometimes the contacts get dirty causing this kind of trouble. Cycling the switch sometimes clears the problem. If that doesn’t help you may need to replace the switch, but I would verify the trouble is there first before replacing it.

Thanks for the response bennyandthe jets, I was hoping for more input as electrical wiring is not my strong suit! I finally found a diagram on the autozone website. When you say “electronic flasher unit”, is that the same as a “turn signal switch”? I’ll search around and try to figure out which part that EFU might be.

The turn signals and hazard lights work normally. The hazard flashers even light up those brake lights that won’t work when you hit the brakes. I’ll check into flasher units. Thanks!

I will try that and see if it helps. Might also take off the turn signal switch and clean the contacts, maybe that will help.

found it, the focus doesn’t use a flasher relay, it’s all electronic. I’m gonna remove and clean the turn signal switch and see it that does anything.

08/05/2010-Hi my name is David and I had the same problem but , today I thought I’m not paying a dealer to fix my problem. I checked the switches, fuses, and the cruise control in the engine compartment. They all checked good. So I started the worst and thats tracing the wires all the way to the trunk lid and thats where i found it. Broken wires that are inside the rubber boot between the body and the lift gate. I found six wires broken. Repaired them and everything works fine after 4 hours of work. When I found the problem it only took 10 minutes to fix it. Took a road test and it ran like a champ. This is where the problem is at.

Hey I’m just curious I got a 2005 ford focus and I’m having a similar problem, it’s both front and rear running light on my drivers side aren’t turning on but my signals still works and my brake light still comes on but no running lights. Just a little worried, I don’t Anna get a ticket for having 2 bulbs out when really it’s omething else. Bulbs are new and I checked all fuses so does thqt leave it to be a faulty wire and if so is there certain locations to find this wire so I’m not ripping apart my whole drivers side

The trouble could be with the wiring connection for the left side parking lights. Sometimes the wire connections run through the fuse panel in the dash. I don’t know how your vehicle is designed. You would be wise in investing in a factory wiring manual for the car to see how things are laid out for the wiring. Somewhere there is a split in the wiring after the switch.