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Old 10-18-2019, 07:37 PM
notfrommensa is offline
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My Car didn't pass inspection, Brake Lights


Car: 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix

The brake lights do not illuminate when the brake pedal is pressed. The centre high mount light (under the rear window) DOES illuminate

Trouble-shooting, it is apparently not the bulbs. But both brake lights blink when the respective turn signals are switched on.

Some possible other related issues.

A couple of months ago, I had a flat tire at night. I turned on the hazard lights while I changed the tire. They worked. Now the switch (on top of the steering column) is stuck, Frozen. I use the hazard light so infrequently, I don't know exactly how the switch works, whether I need to push it down, pull it forward, or push it backwards

I replaced a brake bulb (drivers side) about a month ago, and everything was working at that time

The Radio works, but the display to display the clock/radio Station (mostly) does not work. a recent phenomena that is not that big of deal to me. about 1 in 8 times when I use the car, the radio display turns on. One time I honked the horn, and the display turned on. This first happened about 10 days ago, well after I replaced the brake bulb above.

Since I have found out my brake lights which was earlier this afternoon, the radio lights have not worked at all, so I haven't been able to find if there is a correlation between them working and brake lights.

It doesn't look like it is the bulbs, since the bulbs illuminate when the turn signals are turned on

It doesn't look like a fuse, since the centre high mount light does work when the brake pedal is pressed

Tomorrow morning, I am going to check the connections on the brake lights (it was dark before I could get this done today). It sounds like a short but I not would know how to check for shorts

Any Suggestions before I take apart my brake lights tomorrow?
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:18 PM
kanicbird is offline
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Check power and ground at the light sockets, and just to make sure replace the bulb. But I suspect that hazard warning light which would flash the rear brake lights but not the center one (unless the car flashes a separate yellow light for that). If you felt it didn't feel right, they switch is most likely fucked, though you may be able to jiggle it and get it to work again. It usually is pretty obvious how to use the switch from feel.

One thing that may (or may not work), is to wire the lower lights off of the working upper light. Replacing the bulbs with a LED equivalent (all 3), should keep the power load below the rated power of the wires and the fuse for that circuit.
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:41 PM
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Thanks, will try to do that tomorrow morning
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:52 PM
gotpasswords is offline
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The hazards light switch is normally a push on - push off button. Bad news is for the '03 Grand Prix, it's part of the entire turn signal/cruise control/wipers stalk switch assembly.

Are you still able to honk and have the radio display go on? The lighting for the radio display is usually governed to some extent by whether the headlights are on. See above how the hazard switch is part of that multifunction stalk switch that controls the headlights. Replacing it is probably out of most DIY-ers' hands as it will involve disarming and making safe the air bags, pulling the steering wheel, and some amount of steering column disassembly. It's the kind of job that makes one ask "How much do I really like this car?"

You may be able to at least be sure the connectors are all still secure by wriggling underneath the steering column and trying to find where the wires go. The switch looks like this: https://amazon.com/ACDelco-D6280A-Eq.../dp/B000EQU172
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:00 AM
Dag Otto is offline
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A quick Google search seems to indicate either the cruise control fuse or the hazards switch. Since you recently used the hazards, that's the likely culprit, but the fuse is an easy check. Sometimes working on steering wheel columns is a bitch (even more so with airbags) but you may luck out with a YouTube video. Also, junkyards are your friend.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:32 AM
Dag Otto is offline
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Do they still make Haynes manuals? They usually have a wiring schematic which will show you (with some head scratching if you are not familiar with schematics) how the brake lights get power.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag Otto View Post
Do they still make Haynes manuals? They usually have a wiring schematic which will show you (with some head scratching if you are not familiar with schematics) how the brake lights get power.
The schematics are often quite pared down and oversimplified. Electrical problems in cars are notoriously hard to track down and fix. Add in an improperly installed aftermarket item like a stereo or alarm and the issues get totally weird.

So the OP's problem might be that somebody connected something up wrong so that when the hazard switch went on something "officially" unrelated blew. Or it could be one of a couple hundred other things.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:08 PM
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GotPasswords: The "Honk Horn Hack" for the radio display only worked one time which was last weekend. I haven't seen the radio display for the last few days. I keep hoping the radio display

**Update**

I got the Hazard switch unstuck, and the hazard lights work. Sort of. The switch has to be "jiggled" to turn on. but at least it is not frozen anymore. Yes, a hammer does fix things every once in a while. I lightly tapped on the switch and it loosened

I loosened and tightened the tail lights and adjusted the bulbs and reinstalled. Nothing.

Guess I will let my mechanic sort every thing out so it will pass inspection.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:27 AM
notfrommensa is offline
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On the way home yesterday, the radio display lights came on so it was an opportunity to see if there was a correlation between the radio display and the brake lights.

{Newsflash} There is not any correlation. The brake lights did not work

My mechanic is going to look at it this afternoon.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:58 AM
notfrommensa is offline
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Car is fixed. Problem was the blinker/cc switch in the Steering column

$500 part plus labor for a $2500 car. pfffft.

Thanks for the input.
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