Chasing rear brake/ indicator issues. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 13, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Chasing rear brake/ indicator issues.

We have a 6 month safety (Warrant of Fitness ) check on all older cars in NZ...which includes brake lights/ indicators.
I made a discovery today, after years of tearing my hair out on many occassions...
Follow this exactly
checking rear lights....
1/turn on tail lights...all work including number plate light good
2/press brake pedal, brake lights turn on....and tail lights still good
3/ turn on ign, check left indicator...working ... good
4/ turn on right indicator....working ...good.
5/ now do both again with brake lights on...brake light on each side now flashes....again all good
5/turn off ign , turn off tail lights, and remove foot off brake pedal.

Now just check again to make sure...
1/ turn on tail lights... all work good
2/put foot on brake...one brake light NOT BLOODY WORKING.
And this is where one gets out the multi meter, checks grounds and goes bald ripping hair out

OK now I found out what is happening after years of chassing.
Anyone else tell me what is 'wrong'

I digress here a bit..
The American way of combining the rear indicator and brake light filliment together is crazy... well for non Americans as elsewhere these circuits are separate..
Which means wiring up a trailer to the rear lights in non American countries in such a maner ANY car can hitch up and have the trailer lights work corectly means running wiring right up under the dash.
If wired straight into the truck loom...when hooked upto a normal non American car, the indicator becomes the red brake light and the brake light becomes the orange indicator light...Which I have got around by choosing lens on my trailers that I can simply unscrew and turn over... If I remember... as my trailers are wired for towing with the Camaro

Back to the issue above... why is my brake light no longer working on the re check?

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 05:19 AM
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Re: Chassing rear brake/ indicator issues.

Trick question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
OK now I found out what is happening after years of chassing.
Anyone else tell me what is 'wrong'
You have looked, after all these years and found the probem. You know the answer.
You would like for us, Americans, to give answers - Pass/fail.
Quote:
I digress here a bit..
The American way of combining the rear indicator and brake light filliment together is crazy... well for non Americans as elsewhere these circuits are separate..but simple.
Which means wiring up a trailer to the rear lights in non American countries in such a maner ANY car can hitch up and have the trailer lights work corectly means running wiring right up under the dash.
If wired straight into the truck loom...when hooked up to a normal non American car, the indicator becomes the red brake light and the brake light becomes the orange indicator light...Which I have got around by choosing lens on my trailers that I can simply unscrew and turn over... If I remember... as my trailers are wired for towing with the Camaro
This is a hint, I would wager
Quote:
Back to the issue above... why is my brake light no longer working on the re check?
My thoughts:
Tail light power is its own circuit from the headlamp switch.
Brake light power is from the fuse panel and routed through the turn signal to each rear lightand to each front light; indicator on cluster is wired in with front bulb(s).
Directional light power is from a separate circuit/fuse to flasher then to turn signal switch. When turn is selected, brake light power is interrupted and t/sig power is introduced into the same brake light wiring to light the same bulb filament used for brake. Cancel turn, brake light power back into circuit.

Wire in a trailer plug, if dbl filament bulb, not a problem.
If separate bulb for turn AND brake on trailer, then a problem, maybe.
Both trailer bulbs will react the same, whether on a turn or brake.
Regardless of set-up, must change the flasher to a heavy duty unit as load has increased due to the extra bulbs from OE design.

Back to your problem, exercise all facets, and the circuits work - brake, turns, and back to brake. Get out of the car, close the door. Wait.
Open drvr door, press brake, one rear light. What is the problem?

Either one of two:
Lack of power going to the expected bulb - miswire, or too much load, for the circuit, not enough power being supplied due to too small wire gauge,
Pass door is not open to supply ground for missing brake light.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 07:33 AM
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Re: Chassing rear brake/ indicator issues.

did bulb just happend to burn out the one filament? Take out the 'non working' bulb and there are 2 filaments inside it... one is lower than the other so they dont contact each other by accident. Its easy to see if either one is broken, hence not working. Or try the good bulb in the 'bad' bulb's socket and see what happens.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 07:49 AM
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Re: Chassing rear brake/ indicator issues.

Bad ground or 12v connection. Works at 1st but then as it gets hot resistance builds and breaks circuit.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Chasing rear brake/ indicator issues.

There is no problem.. there just appears to be.
Quote:
Follow this exactly.....

4/ turn on right indicator....working ...good.
5/ now do both again with brake lights on...brake light on each side now flashes....again all good
5/turn off ign , turn off tail lights, and remove foot off brake pedal.
Note I did not turn off/ re center the indicator switch for the re check.

Quote:
Now just check again to make sure...
1/ turn on tail lights... all work good
2/put foot on brake...one brake light NOT BLOODY WORKING.
With no ign on, but the indicator still un centered, it turns the brake light off on that side.

how many ppl , like me over the years have unwittingly chassed an 'intermitent' conection under those circumstances?
I accidently discovered this anolomly yesterday.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 12:26 PM
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Re: Chasing rear brake/ indicator issues.

I'm trying this out tonight!

Thanks Steps, leave it to a Kiwi to discover this GM "feature".
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 13, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chasing rear brake/ indicator issues.

LMAO...
Yep us Kiwis are on to it pretty quick....
Had the Camaro for nearly 33 yrs.....
u guys been driving American cars far more and longer lol

Found out something else the other week to...with my Garmin gps..
I drive most of the time old cars.. classics vintage on a normal daily basis.
With the Garmin plugged into the cig socket , it is live all the time so have to manually turn off and on...put it in the wifes corolla the other day, more modern cars the cig lighter socket is wired thru the ign...
And today ...I always thought brake lights where universally wired live... ie work when ign is off....but not so on moden landrovers.. must be the only exception.

Having a run of odd ball stuff at the moment.

My Spelling is not incorrect...it is creative

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