CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

No brake lights

I have a 2000 pontiac grand prix, 3.8, I lost both rear brake lights at the same time, still have rear window brake light, have changed fuse and both light bulbs, have tail lights an turn signels, but still no brake lights. any sugestions as to what to look for next?

Usually when peolple reach this point we say check the bulb sockets.Are these the type of bulbs that use a exposed wire wrapped around a plastic base? If yes then the socket could be the failure. It was common for the Malibu to have brake light failure in this way. GM let us replace the entire light assembley for a fix (including lens),made people happy.

similar problems with BMW’s and resulted in fires, etc. Socket problems and lamp fitment problems.

but too have both brake light sockets to go out at the same time? are both lights some how related to each other? and I still have tail and turn lights.

Are these brake lights mounted on the hatch or trunk lid? If so look for a poor ground or a worn wire where it flexes on the hinge side of the hatch or trunk lid.

It’s probably a turn signal switch problem. The high brake light circuit does not go thru the turn switch but the normal brake light circuit does.

The dark green wire and the yellow wire coming out of the turn switch should be powered up when the brakes are applied.

The white wire from the brake switch should have power when the brakes are applied, it goes to the turn signal switch.

This same kind of problem happened to my son’s Ford van. The problem was the emergency flasher switch. By cycling the switch the brake lights returned.

Well what type of bulbs are they? Is the exposed wire contact melted somewhat at the bulb? If not, proceed on,its just do the easy stuff first.I am not saying go out and buy sockets without some diagnosis.