Q: My tail-brake lights are not working, but my top brake light is working, and the taillights are on when the headlights are on

asked by on August 19, 2017

I just got my starter replaced, and after getting the car back, I discovered that my rear tail-brake lights are not brightening when I brake. My top brake light is illuminating when I brake, however. Also, the rear tail-brake lights are on when I turn on the headlight. Turn signals work fine as well.

Besides getting my starter replaced, the only other significant thing that I did was pack my car with a bunch of stuff for moving. I initially thought that I might have disconnected some connection in my trunk. Is there a rear-tail-brake light connection in the trunk of the vehicle?

My car has 188000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There is wiring in the trunk to the brake lights and if the wiring is exposed yes it is possible to damage the circuit, thus causing the outage that you are writing in about. In any event, a problem such as this is easily resolved if you request an electrical circuit/component diagnostic. The responding certified mechanic would use the factory wire diagram, along with a volt meter, and simply trace the brake light circuit until the interruption in power is pinpointed. For exposed wiring, you can follow the same procedure yourself, but once the wire travels in a harness or bundle you need the factory diagram to be able to pick out the correct wires (at the end of the harness) to test. If you request the diagnostic, the mechanic will resolve the issue for you expeditiously. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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