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Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

 
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 12:09 pm
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Default Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

I searched..
I found that my tail lights and brake lights are not working. The third brake light is working. So are the turn signals.
It seems they are on a circuit breaker (40A) in the under hood box. I checked mine by swapping with another. No joy. I also looked for fried wiring around the multifunction sw. in the steering column.
Any ideas? TIA
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

2003 GT, right?

If so, check fuse #2 under the dash.

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Old 17 Jan 2018, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

i seem to remember someone having this issue and it ended up being a ground wire.

do you have a multimeter? if so put a brick(or something) on the brake pedal to keep the brake lights on. then check the bulb socket for 12v. if no dice, use the body as a ground and recheck for 12v. if you get juice, it's the common ground.

ground wire issue would be my guess. this should also explain why the top light still works
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

The turn signals are on the same bulb as the tail and brake lights. If the rear turn signals work, chances are the bulbs are properly grounded. But if the rear turn signals don't work, it could well be.
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 12:55 pm
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

I never had a sudden failure, but I did have 4 bulbs go out in the span of 3 weeks. They tend to have around the same lifespan. I would start there. Some people drive around with dead bulbs for ages without knowing.
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 01:01 am
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffz View Post
I searched..
... tail lights and brake lights are not working. The third brake light is working. ... Any ideas? TIA
Bad tail lights can be a fuse, as mentioned
The brake light wiring problem is at the back of the vehicle

The working CHMSL (center high-mount stop lamp) demonstrates that the brake light system (power) works all the way to one rear ground (G300)

The left brake and left tail light and the CHMSL are grounded together (G300)
The right brake and tail lights are on a separate ground (G301)
The back seat power window switches (and more) are also grounded to these to locations, if you wish to do a quick ground check

If not the bulbs, then the sockets are the likely problem
Sockets and socket connectors corrode
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 02:06 am
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

Thanks you guys. Here's a story for you:
I dropped the car off at a local Dodge dealer today and went to the Barrett-Jackson auction. They told me the bulbs/sockets needed replacing and it would be
200+some $ to fix. They must get their sockets from NASA or some other govt. agency! lol I said thanks but no thanks. We didn't get back in time to pick the car up.
The other problem was that the trans was downshifting abruptly. The same prob.
they fixed with the quick learn procedure in November. It recurred after having the trans pan, filter, and oil replaced at a shop I trust. They returned my OE pan and the residual oil was not burnt or smelly and they would have told me about any problems they spotted. That procedure should not trigger the need for another quick learn procedure, right?
The dealer told me I needed a total trans rebuild for $5300., that the clutches were bad, and other technical BS.
They were nice enough not to charge me anything for repeating the QLP.
Right now my idea is to repair the sockets and sell the car before it starts shifting bad. But it shifted so perfectly between the first QLP and the trans oil change, I get the idea the dealer was totally lying to me to get $5300. Am I paranoid?
Thanks again.
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 08:40 am
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

No, I don't think you're paranoid. I do have to question what fluid the transmission shop put in it with the fluid and filter change. Do you know if they used ATF+4 or Dexron with an additive? If the latter, then you probably do need another transmission.
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 07:42 pm
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffz View Post
The dealer told me I needed a total trans rebuild for $5300., that the clutches were bad, and other technical BS.
A trans for $ 5,300 isn't believable, this was either miss quoted or the wrong $ was posted.

For a used trans, if it really need replacing, look here. Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market contact salvage yards by phone as most don't reply to e mail.
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 08:08 pm
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Default Re: Anyone have sudden tail/brake lights failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffz View Post
Thanks you guys. Here's a story for you:
I dropped the car off at a local Dodge dealer today and went to the Barrett-Jackson auction. They told me the bulbs/sockets needed replacing and it would be
200+some $ to fix. They must get their sockets from NASA or some other govt. agency! lol I said thanks but no thanks. We didn't get back in time to pick the car up.
The other problem was that the trans was downshifting abruptly. The same prob.
they fixed with the quick learn procedure in November. It recurred after having the trans pan, filter, and oil replaced at a shop I trust. They returned my OE pan and the residual oil was not burnt or smelly and they would have told me about any problems they spotted. That procedure should not trigger the need for another quick learn procedure, right?
The dealer told me I needed a total trans rebuild for $5300., that the clutches were bad, and other technical BS.
They were nice enough not to charge me anything for repeating the QLP.
Right now my idea is to repair the sockets and sell the car before it starts shifting bad. But it shifted so perfectly between the first QLP and the trans oil change, I get the idea the dealer was totally lying to me to get $5300. Am I paranoid?
Thanks again.
This sound ludicrous. It normally costs no more than $1,500 to totally rebuild one of these transmission. And if you can do the swap yourself, you can get a low-mileage salvage transmission with a warranty for a around $400. A tranny from a U-pull It salvage yard is around $250 or less. I would trust nothing the dealership told you. This includes the part about the sockets and bulbs. However, it's not a bad thing to check yourself. The local parts stores likely have replacement tail light sockets. If not, you can order them on line. If me, I would use a multimeter and check voltage at the sockets. If not just a fuse, it may just need bulbs as already suggested.

The next time your transmission acts up, take both battery cables loose and touch them together. Then wait ten minutes, do it again then put them back on the battery. This will likely reset the transmission allowing it to relearn on it's on. Just drive normally and see what happens.
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