Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 17, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Jon
 
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Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

Howdy all,

Just had my car transported from NM to VA as part of my move. Everything is just about in order, but I am working a small electrical issue (maybe issues):

Problem #1 - the brake lights no longer work. Tail lamps work just fine, both as turn signals and when I turn on the lights. They just don't get brighter when I push the brake pedal. Obviously, that could just be a bad switch, but since I am having Problem #2 as well, I was curious if anyone thought they could be related.

Problem #2 - none of the instrument illumination lights are coming on (instrument panel, console shifter, and heater; as far as I can tell from my wiring diagram, all of those get power from the same source). All the rest of the lights in the instrument panel work (blinkers, brake light, and the tach is working). All of the console gauges function just fine. There's just no illumination to any of hte instruments when I turn on the car's lights. I have checked all the fuses, and they all seem intact.

Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Jon

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 17, 05:02 PM
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Since turns work, check power from Stop lights fuse and/or pull up t/signal handle.
Brake light power from fuse to brake switch to t/signal switch and out to bulbs, same path as turn.

Inst lights are gray wire for all.
Fuse for INST lights
Also, twist the bejesus of light knob for removing burn spot on rheostat.
This helps.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 17, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Also, twist the bejesus of light knob for removing burn spot on rheostat.
This helps.
Heh. I did not know that knob was adjustable. It was turned all the way down. All lights are fully functional.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 17, 06:32 PM
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

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Heh. I did not know that knob was adjustable. It was turned all the way down. All lights are fully functional.
Gotta love the simple fixes !!!!!!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 17, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Jon
 
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Since turns work, check power from Stop lights fuse and/or pull up t/signal handle.
Brake light power from fuse to brake switch to t/signal switch and out to bulbs, same path as turn.
Brake light switch had good 12V power going to it from the orange wire, so at this point I'm assuming bad switch.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 17, 08:10 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

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Originally Posted by ScudRunner View Post
Brake light switch had good 12V power going to it from the orange wire, so at this point I'm assuming bad switch.
The orange wire should have power all of the time, which you found out you had so now press the brake pedal down and see if the other wire (which should be white) then shows power. If you can see the plunger where it contacts the brake pedal, see if the center of it comes out while you push the pedal down.

If you show no power out of the switch when the pedal is pushed down, then the switch is not passing power like it should and what you can do if you are very careful is to short the one wire to the other wire on the switches plug and see if the brake lights come on so this can verify from out of the switch, up into the turn signal switch in the column and then out of the column is in working order.

I just would hate to see one replace a switch that is needed and then find out later the turn signal switch may need some work also with more down time waiting for parts.

Jim

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 17, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

So, I put in a new brake switch, and it is functioning properly (12V from the orange wire all the time, and 12V to the white wire when the plunger is extended). But, still no brake lights. All turn signals are functional.

What is the next step?

I know the circuit is good from the turn signal switch to the taillamps since the blinkers are working, and it looks on the wiring diagram like that's the same circuit that the brake light signal travels on. I will check at the turn signal switch connector to ensure the 12V signal is making it through the white wire from the brake switch to there. Assuming it is, it seems like the issue is the signal dying somewhere in the turn signal switch?

One question - I don't see how, but could it be at all related to the fact this this pedal return spring extension thing has fallen apart?

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 17, 06:31 PM
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

Did you check the intermediate harness connector by the drivers kick panel for a possible loose connection?

And if the brake pedal return spring is gone the worse thing that happens is that the brake lights stay on until you lift the pedal with your foot.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 17, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

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Originally Posted by 69-Pace View Post
Did you check the intermediate harness connector by the drivers kick panel for a possible loose connection?
Not yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-Pace View Post
And if the brake pedal return spring is gone the worse thing that happens is that the brake lights stay on until you lift the pedal with your foot.
I figured. Just making sure that it wasn't some weird grounding connection thing. This car has a lot of those.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 17, 08:31 PM
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

It's sounding more like a turn signal switch issue. Maybe try working the turn signal switch from left to right to left to right a bunch of times as maybe the contact are corroded.

Basically the same wire going to the left rear brake light is also used by the left turn signal and the turn signal switch determines whether the brake signal goes up and through to the left brake light bulb or if it gets connected to the turn signal flasher.

Here are some drawings I made a while back when I finally started to understand the turn signal switch and how it works:

The album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766...57648553149133



















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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 17, 08:56 AM
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Al
 
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

Jon, I know this sounds pretty elementary but did you
check or replace the bulbs ? They are dual element
1157. I believe one element is for turn and running tail
lamp. The other is for brake and emergency flasher.
The problem could also be a bad socket(s).

Al

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Aug 5th, 17, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Jon
 
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Re: Electrical Gremlins - Instrument Lamps and Brake Lights

The white wire had come out of its socket at the place where the turn signal switch connects to the dash wiring harness. So, a simple fix. I appreciate all the input.

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Born Sierra Fawn on Gold, now Bolero Red on Gold

Not sure how many owners, but she's mine now...
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