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Brake light mystery

Another question about my Accord, Betty: below the gas gauge is a little map of the car that shows if doors are open or lights are out. For a couple of weeks it has indicated that there is a brake light out, but all my brake lights are fine. That red light is starting to annoy me–any cheap, at-home way to fix it? Could this be related to the digital odometer not lighting up when I turn on my headlights? Am I an automobile hypochondriac?

Have any of the bulbs (especially brake light bulbs) been replaced recently?
I ask this because of my experience with Volvo’s bulb-burn-out-indicator.

On that Volvo, I learned (the hard way) that a replacement bulb had to be the same brand of bulb as the one that burned out. Yes, I know that this sounds bizarre, but it is true.

On any individual circuit (tail lights, brake lights, back-up lights, headlights, parking lights, etc) that had two or more bulbs, all of them had to be the same brand, otherwise that over-eager bulb-burn-out-indicator would tell me that a bulb was burned out.

This may not relate to how the system works on a Honda, but I thought that I would offer this observation, just in case it does relate.

Sounds like your Volvo was picky! I’m 99% sure they are all Sylvania, because that’s what auto supply stores here sell. And the indicator light didn’t come on right after I changed the last bulb.

“Sounds like your Volvo was picky!”

Actually, it was an unmitigated piece of crap, but all of the bulb-burn-out-indicators of that era ('70s & '80s) worked the same way. Hopefully some advances have been made in this type of technology since then.

Just be glad that you don’t own a Volvo, because your problem would seem very minor to a Volvo owner!

Lol - why don’t you say what you really mean, VDC.

No way!


Stop stealing my thunder! Back to my Honda! :slight_smile:

I suggest you check the bulb out warning circuit board. There may be a connection problem in the wiring to that bulb. Another good reason to have a service manual for the car.

The brake light bulb indicator circuit is located in the left (drivers side) tail light housing. I think your brake lights are not working as well as you think. Check them at night, turn on the headlights and make sure the taillights are working. Then step on the brakes and make sure the tail lights get significantly brighter. Check that the lights are equal on both sides.

It is possible that when you replaced the bulbs, the new bulbs are not getting as good of a ground as they should or the contacts are not as good as they should be. The bulb socket may need a good cleaning. It is also possible that you were sold the wrong bulbs. Also, LED bulbs do not draw enough current so they will trip the bulb out indicator.