No brake lights

I have a 1996 Lumina, that without warning, BOTH brake lights went out. BUT, both directional signals still work as does the light on the rear deck. Ohm the fuse and it’s fine, both bulbs were ok but had a couple of spares so I changed then just for the heck of it and still, NO BRAKE LIGHTS. Running lights yes.

Anyone with an idea as to what the heck is going on?

when you are driving and have the cruise control engaged, does the push of the brake pedal disengage the cruise? if the push on the brake pedal does NOT turn off the cruise, that would indicate the brake light switch is bad.

Since the brake light on the deck is working this means that the brake switch is working as it should be. The problem is with the connection to the side rear light wire. The connection to those lights may be in the rear, near the lights. You may want to get a test light probe and check the leads going to the lights using it with the brakes on. You will be able to see where voltage is getting to and it isn’t.

another thought. do you have a trailer brake light plug hanging down out back? sometimes if they get crudded up, they can short out and cause light shorts.

Thanks Cougar, the connection you are talking about,is it the bulb socket itself or is there another harness socket that I might be looking for? I am disabled and can’t just go crawling under the car that easy but I sure as heck can get it done. If I had a better idea where the other socket/sockets might be it would be easier for me to locate and plan on how I can get to them. I like that you caught the fact the deck light worked as do the directional signals,so I know it’s getting to the socket or I would think it is. Let me know if you can figure out where any of the other connections might be.

And cappy208, thanks for your thoughts also, but I don’t have a trailer light brake plug, factory or otherwise. But that didn’t cross my mind at all.

I can’t say where the wire is exactly but you should be able to find out what wire is working and what isn’t by using a test light probe.

3rd brake light is not wired to main tail lights,its independent,check the white wire at pedal sw.thats brake light feed to B/Ls

The corner lamps each have two elements. These provide three (3) functions: 1. stop lamp, 2. turn lamp, 3. tail lamp. The tail lights are turned on by the headlight switch. The brake switch sends power to the turn signal switch, and separately, to the high mount center brake light. The turn signal switch, then, sends power to the left and right side corner brake/turn element of the lamp.
Since the turn lamps are working, the wiring from the turn signal switch is OK. The turn lamp wires carry, both, the corner brake lights power and the turn signals lamp power. If the wiring were bad, there wouldn’t be rear turn signal lights.
The white wire carries the power from the brake switch to the turn signal switch. Push the brake pedal and check the white wire, at the turn signal switch for 12 volts. If power is there, check the dark green wire, and the yellow wire, at the turn signal switch output (or at the right and left corners of the turn, stop, tail lamp connectors). If there is power on the white wire; but,no power on the dark green wire, nor the yellow wire, the turn signal switch is probably bad.

Thanks to you all for you help. I’ll check this out the best I can. Maybe I can get a friend over that can mover better than I can to do all the bending over.I have a good idea of the basic parts and think I can figure it out from here. Might have to take it to the shop to get fixed but at least they aren’t going feed me a line because I’ve not done my home work. You all have been great.
Thanks again and I’ll let you know what I find out.