Brake lights don't go on

toyota
brakes
lights
supra

#1

What can I do to fix this? 1987 Supra.



No brake lights go on when I press on the brake, including the middle light.



Tail lights do work, but no brake lights. It has been somewhat intermittent as well



Thank you for your expert advice!


#2

Did anyone happen to check the bulbs? This is always #1.

#2 - Down at the brake pedal is a switch. That’s the second thing to check. Just get a flashlight and look down there - probably looks like a push button switch. Play with it. Sometimes they’re adjustable. Sometimes they just go bad.


#3

Thank you! The bulbs all seem to be OK.

The brake switch has never been changed ('87 supra) so it sounds like that could be what it is! I’ll get it checked tomorrow.

Do you have any other ideas? Could it be the wiring?
Thank you so much!!


#4

Well, it could always be the wiring. It can also be the sockets.

Just so you know, the bulbs can’t “seem” ok - as in - you can’t necessarily “see” that a bulb filament has failed. They are probably standard 1157 bulbs - you could plug a new one in to find out for all of about $1. If the bulbs do turn out to be fine then toss the pair you bought in the glove box for when one isn’t fine.

If you happen to know for sure that all three lights stopped working at the same time then I wouldn’t bother. But is one went 3 months ago…then another a month ago…then another last week its possible to have no brake lights just from bad bulbs. Its just the easiest & cheapest thing to check - though playing with the switch actually might be a little cheaper & easier.


#5

There is the brake switch under the dash and a control box, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, at the driver’s side rear tail light housing. This box should be a pale yellow. The box has a circuit that monitors and controls the brake lights. If there is a burn mark on the cover, it is bad and probably blocking the brake light signal from reaching the bulbs.


#6

Thank you very much! Isn’t Car Talk the BEST show around?!


#7

Thank you.

So need to check the brake switch under the dash and ALSO the conrol box at the divers rear side tail lite housing?

If there is a burn mark on the cover, how do I replace that cover?

Thank you so much!!


#8

You don’t replace the cover, you replace the box. The burn mark is a burnt out circuit inside the box.


#9

It would be a good idea to have a test light probe so you can verify power is passing through the brake switch.