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Thread: Brake Light Problem

  1. #1
    NBMWSsix's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Austin, Texas

    1 Official brake light problem=fixed. Looky here.

    I fixed it! Thanks to Cliff_J and Constrictor for having the problem isolated.

    Original problem.
    Originally posted by NBMWSsix
    Courtesy of Constrictor and I now have the same problem

    What happens is when I push my foot on the brake, only my 3rd brake light (in the spoiler) lights up, the main lights dont. However, when my headlights are on, the low brightness filaments come on, and when I turn on either turn signal, the lights blink the high brightness filaments. So, the problem is NOT a burned out light bulb.

    I used a trace light and traced the wire that activates the brake lights all the way up the drivers side of the car and found where it goes up under the dash. There is a separate wire for the 3rd brake light, which leads me to believe why this one is working.

    I checked the fuse, and the fuse is for all 3 brake lights so obviously thats not the problem.

    Using my test light, I was able to determine that the single wire (forget the color) for the brakes is not getting a signal when I push the brake pedal.

    I can't quite follow the wire all the way up into the dashboard, because it goes into a huge cluster of wires and then it disappears behind the fuse panel.

    Currently, I have a SPST relay triggered to send 12v to the wire that activates the brake lights, whever it detects a load on the wire for the 3rd brake light. So in other words, the main brake lights are being powered by the 3rd brake light. This works, however, it screws up my turn signals when I am also braking.

    I want to find the cause for this, does anyone have any ideas?

    The part number is GM# 01995963
    Part name is Hazard/Turn signal switch wiring assembly. Here is what it looks like. Price: About $46 and change + tax.

    This part provides power to the door chime, horn, signals, brake lights, and hazards.

    I removed the other part and installed the new one and everything works now. Brakes, turn signals, hazards.

    I didn't take pictures of everything because some of it is not too difficult to do and kind of obvious to figure out.

    Here is what you are going to need:

    Steering wheel removal tool/lockplate compressor. Bought at Harbor Freight Tools for $20.

    Philips screwdriver.
    Torx Screwdriver.
    Or this multi-purpose Craftsman screwdriver kit. ($20) Worth it IMO.

    AND Wire Cutters.

    First disconnect the fuses for the SRS airbag and the brake, horn, etc. You don't want anything to touch or short out causing more headaches.

    Remove the airbag by completely loosening the two screws on the back side of the steering wheel. They are T-30 torx screws. Once you have loosened them you will want to unplug the yellow wire connected to the airbag.

    Next unplug the the black wiring harness connected to the stereo controls.

    Now we are ready to remove the steering wheel. Before removing anything using a sharpie marker you will want to mark the steering wheel and the end of the bolt to make sure you can line them up correctly when putting things back together.

    Using a 7/8" socket loosen and remove the large bolt. Now using the steering wheel puller, setup the bolts with the tool and remove the steering wheel. Feed the wires for the airbag and stereo controls through the hole.

    Now this is what we are looking at.

    After removing the the small lockspring which I used two small flathead screwdrivers and some patience. The lockspring is the one on the bottom and the wavy washer was located behind the lockplate.

    The lockplate came off and left me looking at this.

    You will need to remove the screw holding the signal stick in place (You can see the hole right above the scredriver in the pic) and the three other screws holding the harnes in place.

    Once you have done this you will need to remove the the two panels on the underside of the steering column. The first panel with the trunk/hatch release and then the second panel right above your feet. This will reveal all the wiring around the steering column. I apologize for not taking pictures of this but I suppose you can trace the wires down the column. The wiring harness will come out about 4-5 inches if you pull on it. Then trace the wires down. To make things easy for you. The connector for the correct wiring harness is clipped onto the steering column shaft. Also the wire colors are different.

    Disconnect this one and cut the wires as such.

    I tried to feed it back up through the column but could not. So just cut them now and pull the rest of the wires out.

    At this time I plugged in the new harness just to make sure things worked. THEY DID and I was TeH MEGAHAPPY. I took out all the fuses again and installed the new harness by first sliding the connector through the column and then putting everything back.

    Installation is opposite of removal. Took me about an 1-1.5 hours and I wasn't too sure of what to do except from what people had described. So hopefully with this you will have a couple of pics to help you along and know what to look for.

    Good luck.

    Constrictor time to undo all your temp fixes and do this. It wasn't very difficult at all.
    Last edited by NBMWSsix; 03-25-2004 at 03:20 AM.

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