[INTRO]I recently purchased a 2000 Chevy Express 1500 cargo van. I have converted the van into a mini-RV for my honeymoon (which I’m now on). In the process of this conversion, I cut all of the wiring to the rear, re-ran it through the frame and then resoldered the wires together. I labeled the wires to avoid any mistakes but one could have still occurred (it was a real pain in the butt and I am unlikely to try doing that again). After doing this I checked the turn signals and brake lights and everything seemed to work okay untill…I got pulled over the other night by a cop.
[PROBLEM] When the cop pulled me over, I had my headlamps on so my back lights were all on. However, the cop noticed that when I stepped on the brakes the center rear brake light went on but the rear left and right brake lights went dark, rather than becoming brighter. When the headlights are off, the brake lights work fine. As a result of this problem I can’t drive at night since it would be unsafe.
[ADDITIONAL INFORMATION] I have read a few other forums here with similar problems and the answers given all seem to suggest there’s a faulty ground somewhere. While I’m a scientist by training, I have a very limited understanding of electrical systems and have a hard time understanding how this could be the case since the rear middle and left and right brake lights are all on the same circuit (I know this because my Chilton’s manual indicates this and when resoldering the wire I discovered that all three (+) lines were already spliced together downstream (?) from where I clipped the wires).
[A CRY FOR HELP] Could someone explain to me what’s going on? If it is a faulty ground, what is it about the structure of the circuit that could lead to this kind of behavior. Could you point me to the right resource or the key terms I should search for for figuring out how to locate the faulty ground? Alternatively, could it be I got the wires crossed somewhere or have a bad connection when I did the resoldering? Any help would be greatly appreciated.