I have a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited and the brake lights stopped working on me last week. I tried replacing the bulbs, and that still didn't work. I opened up the fuse box, and the brake light fuse seems to be in tact. Can anyone point me in the right direction to taking a look at the wiring to my brake lights? Or where the connection from my brake pedal to my brake lights is? I believe it's just a connection problem, but it could be a short in the wiring. Any thoughts? Any help is greatly appreciated.
Check the brake switch located near the brake pedal under the dash. Put an ohm meter or continuity checker on the terminals and depress the brakes; it should short out when pressed.
I have had to replace these switches before and have even done an emergency repair by opening them up and cleaning the contacts. A small amount of corrosion/carbon forms each time the brake is released.
Thanks, Top Jimmy; great thread. I had no idea about the Lights Out Module; and believe it or not, I just discovered my brake lights didn't work when I hooked up my trailer. My brake lights are working fine now, but I suspect they will go intermittent on me again. However, I didn't get any indicator that the bulbs were out so I am still suspect of the actual brake switch. But no one on your suggested thread said anything about getting an indicator warning, so I will get the DMM out and start monitoring!
I have read some of your other post and you seem pretty savey when it comes to this type of thing. As an update, I have not yet been able to solve my brake light problem dispite checking the fuse and changing out the switch at the pedal. It appears that that any model without a message center does not have a LOM (see my latest post here http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=170121 )
So, presently I am still stuck with only the third brake lamp working. In this thread http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/sh...3&page=2&pp=25 one user tells of the Ford House finding a short in the rear LH qtr panel as the problem and another related that his was caused by a short in the steering column near the hazzard switch. While I do have some reason to suspect an short in the steering column, I am not convinced that that could affect the brake lights.
If you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
Without the LOM, The High Mount Stop Lamp and the lower LH & RH Stop Lamps are all fed power directly from the Brake On/Off Switch and does not go through the Multifunction Switch. There is one point where the power from the Brake Switch is split and goes to about 10 different places including all the stop lamps. The Hazard Lights feed the LH & RH Rear Turn Signal Lamps and not the brake lamps.
The High Mount Stop Lamp has a seperate ground. The LH and RH Stop Lamps use a common ground along with the LH and RH Rear Turn Signal Lamps. Do the RH & LH Rear Park Lamps illuminate with the headlights on? If so, it is not the ground wire as they share the same wire/ground.
Do you have a Remore Anti-Theft Personality Module? If so, the lower RH & LH Rear Stop Lamps have a common wire with this module. Find that module and see if you are getting 12Volts on pin 26 of that module with the brake pedal depressed.
Please don't take offense to this, Top Jmmy, but I assume you have checked the lamps and they have continutity (must be checked with an ohm meter because sometimes you can't see the break) and that the lamps have two fillaments, one for brake and one for park lights.
Do you have access to a good Digital Multi-Meter (DMM)?
Ford must have made changes to the Lights Out Module somewhere in the late 90's because my brake lights do not go through this module. However, there is one for the headlamps that is interconnected with the Autolamp and Day/Night Rear View Mirror. So it cannot be the L.O.M. that is my problem.
Thanks for all of the good information! I finally found (took) time this Holiday weekend to get after this problem. While I am not sure that I located exactally the problem, I do have brakelights that work again. I believe that there was a grounding problem with the trailer light adapter which had ridden unused and uncovered for years under the rear bumper. After checking all wires, connections, etc. and giving that plug good cleaning, I was back in business.
Thanks to you and all the others for the help and suggestions,