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No brake lights?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by farmerkev, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    Well, I swapped my box over, and used the same wire harness off the old box. Anyway, after the swap, the turn signals work, reverse lights work, and running lights work, but the brake lights dont. Im not sure if it worked before anymore, what could it be. I mean its a super simple thing, not a complex wireing wtup at all, but what do I look at if everything else works? The fuse is good. Where is the ground?

    Trucks a 1996 Chevy Cheyenne 2500 2wd.
     
  2. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Did you check to see if you are getting power out of the brake switch? Its up under the dash near the pedal.
     
  3. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    How do you test that?
     
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    When I lost my brake lights in my 97, I had to replace the multifunction switch in the column (turn, wipers, cruise, etc). Not cheap, not fun.
     
  5. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    Test the brake pedal switch with a test light or a volt meter. The switch as stated by big Dave is located on the brake pedal under the dash on the brake pedal arm the switch is a spring loaded momentary switch when you are off the brake the switch should be pushed in when you apply pressure the spring will push the button out and ground the likghts causing them to come on if the switch is broke it may be stuck and not allowing it to ground just poke your head under the dash and see if the switch is working
     
  6. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    There is a long rod that gets pushed in with the pedal, but its operating right, and I found where a line is screwed into the frame at the back, but it seems to be just fine as well.
     
  7. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    Well the long rod you are looking at is the push rod going into the master what you are looking for is the brake light switch. Should be a black button on the pedal bracket. If your truck doesn't have this look under the hood by the master cylinder for a pressure switch probubly has a couple wires coming out of it. This type of switch senses pressure in the master there fore grounding the brake lights check for power at the switch.
     
  8. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    If it's got left and right turn, then the wires to the lights themselves should all be good because the turn signals and brake lights are operated on the same bulb on your truck. I would say that it is your brake light switch if I had to guess. Double check the fuse first. Put a new one in there just to make sure. Also check to see if you are getting power to the rear tailights when the brake pedal is pushed on. Use a test light for that. Just to rule out the simple things first.
     
  9. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    They are seperate bulbs, and Ive swapped them around to check, and they are not the problem. I have also checked and replaced the fuse. I still cant find the switch everybodys talking about.:confused:

    When I swapped the box, there was some tugging done on the wires at the connection point, but all the other lights work so I dont think thats the issue. I have no testing equipment either.
     
  10. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    Ok first off go buy a test light they are cheap. The wire you are looking for is a white wire in the bundle that is closest to the brake pedal. Use a test light or meter to check voltage going through the wire when the pedal is pressed. If your not get power here its the brake switch. Hopefully B&B will chime in for you. I am not a chevy guy. But from what I have read you may have to remove the steering coulum to fix this. But its way up there and looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    First Start with the Stop lights fuse Check and make sure it's good if questionable just replace it. Check to make sure you have power going into the fuse Use a 12V test light or volt meter. If you have power going into the fuse make sure the other side of the fuse has power through the fuse. Next Go to the brake light switch and test for power going into the switch if you have power put your tester on the other wire on the brake light switch and press the brake pedal, If there is power the switch is good and if not the switch is either out of adjustment or bad.
    If you have power in and out of the brake light switch with the brake pedal pressed then you have to find the breadk in the wire back to the lights Oh don't forget the bulbs and the grounds for the bulbs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  11. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    A simple question that will eliminate 75% of the testing, checking, and ideas Kev....does the 3rd brake light work? If it does, that will tell you there's a 90% chance that the brake light switch, multi-function switch, 12V feed fuse for the brake lights and the related circuits out of the brake switch are just fine.

    To progress further you WILL need a 12V test light and need to know how to use it. Being a very very basic (and inexpensive) tool be sure to add it to your tool collection, it will save you hours of hair pulling for many years to come.
     
  12. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    3rd brakelight doesnt work either.
     
  13. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    You said you checked fuse. Did you replace it? I have seen fuses that look perfect that just wont work or blew.. one other thing have you tried disconceting the Headlight harness?
     
  14. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    Then you aren't getting power Get a Haynes Or Chilton Manual find your wire colors,relays,fuses,switches,etc.. start at the front and work your way to the rear of the truck. If your going to keep the truck and attempt your own repairs then a manual is a must.
     
  15. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    Yes I did replace the fuse. What do the hedlights have to do with anything? I have a CHilton manual, good stuff. But I still have no clue what Im looking for. I men its one long wire, what can go bad? I think I need to remove some dash parts or something to see the switch, I cant get my big ol head in there to see squat. And at the same time, it happened after I took off my bed, and swapped them over, so either I screwed something up with the rear plug, or its just a big coincidence.
     
  16. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Ok you need to get to the brake light switch. Remove the lower dash cover for easier access. Looks just like the image big Dave posted and is mounted at the top of the pedal.

    Once you have it located and you have your test light you need to check the orange wire in the brake switch connector plug to see if you have power heading into the switch. If you do, then you need to check on the white wire with the pedal depressed to see if it's coming out.