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Q: Rear brake light, and some interior lights don't come on unless I'm braking

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I have an irritating problem with my passenger side tail light. The stop light's socket that connects to the metal pin of the red lamp assembly does not always make contact. This means sometimes the red light doesn't come on unless I'm coming to a stop. I tried to tweak the socket to make contact with the metal part. It sort of worked, but the problem came back. Something new has started happening though: Now, the interior lights near the radio and the PRND12 bezel are off, and they only come on when I apply the brakes. Why do my dashboard lights only come on when I'm pressing the brake pedal? All the bulbs are new.

A: Hello. Replacing the stop light socket with...

Hello. Replacing the stop light socket with a new one should have solved the intermittent problem of the stop light not working all of the time. It is possible that when you tweaked the socket, it caused a short to ground. This could explain why the dash lights only come on when you press the brakes.

The first thing that I would suggest is that the stop light socket be replaced. After replacing the stop light socket, if the dash lights still only come on when you press the brake pedal, the wiring for the dashboard will need to be inspected for any shorts to ground or bare wires touching metal that it shouldn’t touch. Since this issue started as a rear light problem, I would start with having your rear lights inspected by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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