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Brake lights on my wife’s 03’ Windstar have stopped working.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by John Pine, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. John Pine

    John Pine Well-Known Member

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    The high-mount brake light is still working but the two standard ones are not. I’ve pulled the plastic light enclosures off and checked the bulbs. I’ve also checked the fuses as indicated by the owners manual, but they were good. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Jimi C

    Jimi C Well-Known Member

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    Do they just not work when braking? Do they come on when the headlights are turned on, or with your 4-way flashers?
     
  3. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Well-Known Member

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    I would assume since its a 2003 vehecile there is a warranty. If its an electrical problem, that issue may still be covered.

    Paul
     
  4. Jimi C

    Jimi C Well-Known Member

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    If the lights come on with the 4-ways i would double check the fuse, it has to be a fuse.
     
  5. John Pine

    John Pine Well-Known Member

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    Good points guys I'll also check and see if the "running lights" come on. But I was referred to the brake lights don't come on with the pedal is pressed. I have not checked the emg. flashers either. Vehicle has over 40K on it, so I didn't think it would be covered by the warranty.
     
  6. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Well-Known Member

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    If you've done anything under the dashboard, there's a good chance you've pulled loose the connector that attaches to the top of the arm that holds the brake petal. I had the same thing happen on my Mercedes once.
     
  7. John Pine

    John Pine Well-Known Member

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    Running lights do work and the emg. flashers work but are a different bulb.

    Matt: I've done nothing under the dashboard except pull the fuse box cover and check three fuses. But, I will check the brake arm.

    Tonight, I will also check every fuse this time, as suggested. Maybe the manual is showing the wrong fuse configuration.
     
  8. CRyan

    CRyan Well-Known Member

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    My wifes parents Aerostar exhibited a similar problem. I actually traced it to a loose harness connector in the column. The plastic latch had broken onits own and it was partially unplugged leaving some lights working and others not. Point is Matt still might be right without you haveing done anything under the dash.
     
  9. John Pine

    John Pine Well-Known Member

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    CRyan: Understood! So tonight I'll be checking for any harness/connector that may have come unplugged and all fuses.

    Thanks for the feedback guys!
     
  10. CRyan

    CRyan Well-Known Member

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    Let us know. Generally, I have found that electrical problems are the WORST things to troubleshoot unless you have the tech and routing diagram in front of you. Good luck. And even so, getting to some of that stuff is nearly impossible without dismantling the entire dash and underplastic.
     
  11. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Well-Known Member

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    If the high mount brake light is on the same circuit as the side brake lights it would have to be the bulbs or the wiring close to the light sockets. Double check the bulbs and make sure you are checking the brake light bulbs. A volt/ohm meter is handy for this.
     
  12. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Well-Known Member

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    ...or you could just get Ford to fix it. LOL
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Well-Known Member

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    did you try known good bulbs or just eyeball the old ones?

    Things differ from model to model, but no vehicle I've seen uses the same bulb element for both tail and brake lights. Typically the tail and brakelights will share a single double-element bulb. Some models use the brake element for turn signals also, while increasingly more and more vehicles have separate turn signal bulbs.

    Get a simple 12v test light and check for power at the brake light sockets when the pedal is pressed. If you have power and new bulbs don't solve the problem then you probably have a bad ground in the sockets.

    While rare, it's not totally unknown for brakelight bulbs on both sides to be bad, it's not that they both failed at the same time, just that both went bad before anyone noticed.
     
  14. John Pine

    John Pine Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it was the bulbs! Swapped them out today. As Steve suggested, I just eye balled them and that was my undoing. Being a car novice, I saw the cross support and thought that was the filament. When in fact the filament on both bulbs had burned up, leaving only the support. Thanks guys, you saved me money and prompted me to check them again. As usual, the HTF crew comes through again!
     
  15. BrianW

    BrianW Well-Known Member

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    That's great news, John. I'm glad you got it fixed, and cheaply at that.That happens a lot here. I can't remember the number of times Steve has saved the day in car-related threads, but I'm pretty sure it's in the thousands, if not millions.

    Well, maybe not millions...
     
  16. John Pine

    John Pine Well-Known Member

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    BrianW: Agreed! Thx Steve!
     

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