Brake Lights Do Not Illuminate When Brake Is Applied. - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2007, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I have a problem where my 3rd brake light will illuminate when i press the brake, but the 2 other rear brake lights do not. The 2 rear brake lights DO stay on, but they do not get brighter when the brake is applied. I have checked all the fuses and they seem to be good. I haven't messed with any electrical or haven't tried replacing the bulbs, so I wanted to get some suggestions on where to start? I am hesitant to replace the lights because I find it odd that both would do the same thing at the same time so I am leaning more towards an electrical problem (but i'm not too sure).

thanks!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2007, 06:54 PM
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The only thing I can tell ya is to check your bulbs. Yep, take those suckers out, and look through them to check to see if the filaments are still good. If they are looking at all burned, then they are going to go out shortly. Just check your wiring harness to ensure all are nice and snug.

Why not buy one bulb from an autozone or someplace. Pop one in and test it out. If it works then buy another bulb, if not, you may have some bigger fish to fry and return the new bulb for a refund and go to the dealer to have your car checked.

GL and let us know what happens!


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2007, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks KP, I might as well pop one out and see how it goes. Will give it a shot tonight.

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The only thing I can tell ya is to check your bulbs. Yep, take those suckers out, and look through them to check to see if the filaments are still good. If they are looking at all burned, then they are going to go out shortly. Just check your wiring harness to ensure all are nice and snug.

Why not buy one bulb from an autozone or someplace. Pop one in and test it out. If it works then buy another bulb, if not, you may have some bigger fish to fry and return the new bulb for a refund and go to the dealer to have your car checked.

GL and let us know what happens![/b]
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2007, 07:19 PM
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i keep thinking fuses though. i once blew a fuse and didn't know, my whole back lights weren't on... and i passed a cop and wondering why he gave me a look.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2007, 07:26 PM
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Yea, but carlow81 said the lights were on but only the third brake light would illuminate when his brakes are depressed. If it was a fuse, wouldn't the entire brake light set just not work? But I would tend to agree and double check your fuse while you are at it, just to be sure.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-20-2007, 08:05 PM
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Yea, but carlow81 said the lights were on but only the third brake light would illuminate when his brakes are depressed. If it was a fuse, wouldn't the entire brake light set just not work? But I would tend to agree and double check your fuse while you are at it, just to be sure.[/b]
In some cars the whole circuit for the regular brake lights is completely seperate from the CHMSL, including the wiring on the brake light switch. That might be a place to check also, as it could be the switch.

Without a circuit tester you're pretty much playing a guessing game, one that could get expensive if you just start throwing parts at it without knowing what parts you really need to replace.

oh, FYI: CHMSL = Center High Mounted Stop Lamp, also known as third brake light.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2007, 01:44 AM
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I believe the rear brake light bulbs are dual filament bulbs. The socket has 3 connectors, one ground and one power for each of the ccts, parking light and brake light.

It's possible but unusally rare that only the higher power filament (for the brake portion) is burned out in both bulbs at the same time, but it could happen. Usually one burns out before the other. The turn signal dual filament signal bulbs aren't too expensive IIRC so it's worthwhile trying a new one.

If you have a friend with a multimeter (or even electrical voltage tester - a simple probe with a light bulb to test for presence of voltage) you can test the contacts to see if voltage is present when the pedal is pressed. If voltage is there but bulb doesn't light then the filament is bad (or somehow electrical contact is not being made).

Or, get the cheapest non-tinted dual filament bulb that will work and try that first, and then return it in exchange for the proper tinted one if there's a price difference (I haven't changed out the rears so don't know if they're tinted or not) if that's the problem.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-22-2007, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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It was the bulbs. I just had to replace them. Pretty crazy that they both went out at or around the same time. Thanks for all the replies.
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