I was pulled over by the police and informed my brake lights were not working. I have replaced the bulbs, the fuse, and the stop light switch at the brake pedal and still nothing. The turn signals work, the rear night lights work and the reverse lights work. Also, the third brake light works in the back window. It is only both side brake lights that are not working. Any suggestions? I don’t know what’s left to replace.
Did you happen to just clean the bulb sockets for the side brake lights? Get some sand paper and some electronics cleaner in there. Then use a test light or meter to find out if they’re actually getting power. If they aren’t then the hunt is on for the wiring fault.
Since the middle light works it means the brake switch is working ok. There may be a problem with the emergency light switch contacts as the brake circuit passes through it. Try cycling the emergency flasher switch a few times. There may be a bad connection in the switch contacts there.
Your turn signal switch may be at fault. Many vehicles run their brake light circuits through the turn signal switch, and they can fail in such a manner that your turn signals and third brake light still work, but both side lights do not. Mid '90s midsize GMs are notorious for this.
All these responses were great helps in troubleshooting this. I tried the hazard lights and they wouldn’t flash even tho’ they worked and that led me to suspect it was something isolated at the light itself since there were two sources of power that weren’t responding. On closer inspection of the light housing, I found that the paddle that the light fixture rests against had melted in the most mildest of manners so that it sank into the plastic of the housing just enough to be out of contact with the bulb. Both sides had this problem. I pair of tiny pliers helped me break the remolded plastic and bend the paddles back into contact. Now, I just need to watch to see if the heat of the bulbs melted this over time or whether it was something that happened quickly with some sort of boost in energy being sent down the wire. Since the lights went out at the same time, I suspect it was the latter and there was some sort of power surge. Thanks again for the help. If you guys were here in Santa Cruz, I’d buy you all a beer.
Glad you found the trouble and you’re welcome for the help. Thank you for the feedback. I guess you’ll have to drink our beers for us.