97 Accord brake lights

A kind driver that was following me informed me that the brake lights on my 97 Accord were not working. When I got to work, I backed up to a wall and tried them, and the lights came on. So I tried again the next night, and they sometimes worked and sometimes not.

The only things that have changed recently on the car is an oil change/tire rotation (don’t think that’s it) and a VERY minor bump in the rear (had to reinstall the sidelight that’s imbedded in the fender; light still works).

I haven’t looked at the brake light switch or the relays.

Any guesses, or even better, fixes?

All brake lights or just the left and right ones (center working)? If the left or right bulbs burn out, you should get a line under the car icon that shows the doors open.

If the center light come on but the left and right don’t, and you don’t get the line under the dash icon, then its a good chance that the “VERY minor bump” jarred loose the sensor in the left tail light housing. just open it up and push it back into its socket. Looks like a relay.

The most likely problem is the brake light switch is intermittent or the power to it. The brake light circuit also passes through the turn indicator circuit so a problem could be there also, but not real likely. There is no relay in the circuit.

I agree it is most likely the brake light switch. Usually cheap and easy to fix. I would add that it could be even cheaper and easier to fix if it is a bad ground. If those brake lights are on the trunk and not the body of the car, it is not unusual for the ground wire to go bad at the hinge.