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Thread: Brake lights not working

  1. #1
    Senior Member rickjames8's Avatar
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    Brake lights not working

    Hi All-

    I just delivered my car to the new owner in PA. It was nice to have one final road trip with the car.

    My wife followed behind me and called me on the phone at one point saying that it didn't look like the brake lights were working all the time. Then, for the last half an hour, they didn't work at all.

    A few days earlier someone said they thought it looked like they weren't working, but after checking them in the garage that evening, everything looked fine and I assumed this person was mistaken.

    My gut is telling me that this is the brake light switch, as it's affecting both sides and the 3rd brake light (which is tapped in before the tail light boards).

    I was going to clean up the switch when I arrived, the same as I've needed to clean the door pin switches when they were acting up, but the brake light switch seems to be a sealed unit. It is possible to clean? Is it a likely culprit here? I'd like to refund the buyer the cost of the repair as I'd like to deliver the car as it was described in the ad.

    -Rick

  2. #2
    Senior Member mr_maxime's Avatar
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    Check the bulkhead connector in the engine bay. I've had wires come loose before.

  3. #3
    Admins Never Retire Ron's Avatar
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    You can just jump the two wires going to the switch together to check it..

  4. #4
    Senior Member DMC5180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    You can just jump the two wires going to the switch together to check it..
    +1

    More importantly make sure one one two wires to the switch is live with the key On. If that checks out and you still donít have lights, check the connection where the 3rd light was tapped into the wiring. Especially if Scotch lock wire taps were used.
    DENNIS

    VIN 5180, Frame 3652, STAGE I, DM-eng Solid State Solutions (RPM Rly, Dm.Lt.Mod., Fan Fail Mod. , FAN Rly, HS.Rly) , HID sealed beam style headlights, SPAX user since 2009, Eibach springs, Mid-State Club Adj. Rear LCA's, DPNW poly-sway bar kit, DMCEU LCA Stabilizer link kit, DMCMW Illuminated door sills, Aussie Illuminated SS Shifter plate, GENUINE MOMO EVO Steering wheel, DELOREANA Extended View Side Mirrors w/ Heaters, DELOREANA LED Door Lights.

  5. #5
    Admins Never Retire Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC5180 View Post
    +1

    More importantly make sure one one two wires to the switch is live with the key
    fwiw, it is fed via Fuse 18, which should be live at all times.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DMC5180's Avatar
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    Brake lights not working

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    fwiw, it is fed via Fuse 18, which should be live at all times.
    Depends on the VIN.

    Some cars have a fuse 18 while others donít. Those have an inline fuse located about where your right elbow rests, under the center console. The latter version is key switched.

    Given the intermittent nature of the OP description before total failure, I doubt its a fuse issue though. But anything is possible on these old cars.
    Last edited by DMC5180; 11-06-2017 at 10:05 AM.
    DENNIS

    VIN 5180, Frame 3652, STAGE I, DM-eng Solid State Solutions (RPM Rly, Dm.Lt.Mod., Fan Fail Mod. , FAN Rly, HS.Rly) , HID sealed beam style headlights, SPAX user since 2009, Eibach springs, Mid-State Club Adj. Rear LCA's, DPNW poly-sway bar kit, DMCEU LCA Stabilizer link kit, DMCMW Illuminated door sills, Aussie Illuminated SS Shifter plate, GENUINE MOMO EVO Steering wheel, DELOREANA Extended View Side Mirrors w/ Heaters, DELOREANA LED Door Lights.

  7. #7
    Admins Never Retire Ron's Avatar
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    Under the console?? That sounds like an improvement. lol

  8. #8
    Senior Member DMC5180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Under the console?? That sounds like an improvement. lol
    Yeah, no kidding. It was a rolling production change. I donít think anyone knows when it took place though. My car has the inline fuse.
    DENNIS

    VIN 5180, Frame 3652, STAGE I, DM-eng Solid State Solutions (RPM Rly, Dm.Lt.Mod., Fan Fail Mod. , FAN Rly, HS.Rly) , HID sealed beam style headlights, SPAX user since 2009, Eibach springs, Mid-State Club Adj. Rear LCA's, DPNW poly-sway bar kit, DMCEU LCA Stabilizer link kit, DMCMW Illuminated door sills, Aussie Illuminated SS Shifter plate, GENUINE MOMO EVO Steering wheel, DELOREANA Extended View Side Mirrors w/ Heaters, DELOREANA LED Door Lights.

  9. #9
    Delorean Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC5180 View Post
    Yeah, no kidding. It was a rolling production change. I donít think anyone knows when it took place though. My car has the inline fuse.
    My vote is for the taillight boards and bulbs. Because of the intermittent nature of the problem it tends to be bad connections. I agree to start at the brake switch to "divide and conquer". Wherever the power comes from it has to be on the switch. Once you verify you have power at the switch you jumper it and see if you can get the brake lights to light up. Don't forget, just because you have power at the taillight boards (if in fact, you do), you also MUST have a good ground to complete the circuit.
    David Teitelbaum

  10. #10
    Senior Member Josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    My vote is for the taillight boards and bulbs. Because of the intermittent nature of the problem it tends to be bad connections. I agree to start at the brake switch to "divide and conquer". Wherever the power comes from it has to be on the switch. Once you verify you have power at the switch you jumper it and see if you can get the brake lights to light up. Don't forget, just because you have power at the taillight boards (if in fact, you do), you also MUST have a good ground to complete the circuit.
    X2

    a somewhat common issue with our cars.

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