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Old 12-01-2007, 01:54 PM   #1
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'96 Cobra: Brake lights not working?

I need some help guys. The brake lights are not working on mine/my dads '96 Cobra. The taillights DO work when the parking and/or headlights are on though. He just bought a new brake light switch that I just installed a few minutes ago, but that did not fix it. We dont have the owners manual for the car so I dont know if there is a relay or fuse to check. I have also checked the harness in the trunk and it looks fine (as I said, the taillights do work, just not the brake lights). Any ideas??? Its kinda dangerous to drive it without the brake lights working!

EDIT: The turn signals, headlights and foglights do work as well. Just not the brake lights!
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Last edited by Dave89GT; 12-01-2007 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:07 PM   #2
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Always check the fuses first.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:16 PM   #3
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Just did. None of them are blown.
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:01 PM   #4
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Get a test 12V test light.
There are 2 wires going to the brake light switch.
Green with a red stripe if I am not mistaken.
One should have constant voltage going into the switch,
and the other only when the switch contacts are closed. (brake applied)
If you have no voltage there,
check for volatage "upstream" a few inches in the harness before it gets to the connector.
The wire may have broken inside.
if so, repair the connection there.

Last edited by birdman941; 12-01-2007 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave89GT View Post
I need some help guys. The brake lights are not working on mine/my dads '96 Cobra. The taillights DO work when the parking and/or headlights are on though. He just bought a new brake light switch that I just installed a few minutes ago, but that did not fix it. We dont have the owners manual for the car so I dont know if there is a relay or fuse to check. I have also checked the harness in the trunk and it looks fine (as I said, the taillights do work, just not the brake lights). Any ideas??? Its kinda dangerous to drive it without the brake lights working!

EDIT: The turn signals, headlights and foglights do work as well. Just not the brake lights!
Does the third brake light work? It is kind of strange all the brake lights would quit working at the same time. Did you make any changes to the car that involved anything electric recently?
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:59 PM   #6
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Sometimes once cars accumulate some age and mileage,
the connectors on the ends of the wires going to the brakelight switch
lose connection with the wires.
If the fuse is good as he states, it's the only explanation for the symptoms.
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Old 12-01-2007, 06:18 PM   #7
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No, the 3rd one doesnt work either. Im gonna have to find me a test light.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:55 PM   #8
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If all three lights went out you're going to have to go through the pain of tracing out the wires in that circuit.

It's going to be a HUGE pita.

Hopefully, it's something as arbitrary as a loose connection somewhere.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 12-02-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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If they are all out, it's probably right up at the brake light switch.
He didn't mention any issues when braking with the turn signals on,
so if the voltage never gets to the interruptor wire
going into the turn signal switch, it's likely before the brake light switch,
right at the connector itself.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman941 View Post
If they are all out, it's probably right up at the brake light switch.
He didn't mention any issues when braking with the turn signals on,
so if the voltage never gets to the interruptor wire
going into the turn signal switch, it's likely before the brake light switch,
right at the connector itself.
Man I hope youre right! If its not in that little section, that will be a major PITA
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
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I know this is super old. but, by chance did you figure out what was wrong? mine quit working over the weekend
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:51 PM   #12
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If the 3rd brake light is out along with the regular brake lights it's more then likely the multi-function switch (turn signal lever assembly). Do your turn signals work (not that it matters really, for some reason when this thing goes bad the brake lights stop working)? You can remove the multi-function switch, open it up and clean up all the corrosion that's on the contact pads and put some more dielectric grease in it, should fix it. Be careful though, lots of little springs in it. A new Motorcraft one costs about 70 bucks if you don't want to fix it yourself.
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