One Brake light not working


Old 06-02-14, 04:24 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One Brake light not working

I have a 1995 Honda Civic EX. The brake light on the right doesn't come on. Both of the tail lights work. There are two bulbs which each serve as brake lights and tail lights.

Let me give you a little more detail on that. When the headlights are on, the tail lights are on. When the tail lights are on and I step on the brakes, the left tail light gets brighter, but the right one stays the same.

When the tail lights are off, and I step on the brake, the left tail light comes on brightly, but the right tail light stays dark.

Yesterday, I had everything working, but I had to unplug the connector to the tail lights for a short time. After I plugged it back in, the right tail light, which is also the brake light, did not come on at all, either for the running light function or the brake light function. I wiggled the connector and then tried it again, and everything worked. Last night after I got home I looked, and the brake light function wasn't working on the right side. I wiggled the same connector again, and nothing happened. Only the running light function works on that side.

I just replaced the bulb on the right side. It came in a package of two bulbs. I checked the other bulb, and it has only one filament. I guess it gets brighter and dimmer by a change in the voltage. The fact that the new bulb works as a tail light tells me it does not have a problem.

I'm not sure how to troubleshoot that connector, and I'm not sure how you replace those.

There are four wires going into the connector. One is black. One is green with a black stripe. One is green with a white stripe. One is red with a black stripe. The enclosure to which those wires are connected has two bulbs. One is the running/brake light, and the other is the backing light.

I have a couple of multi-meters. I tested them with a D-cell battery, and they showed about one and a half volts. I guess they are working correctly.

Also, when I replaced the bulb, I also replaced a fuse labeled "back-up light". I did that because the fuse in the slot had a gap.

How can I fix this without taking it to a professional?

By the way, this is the same car that I was talking about in my previous post.
Old 06-02-14, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: usa
Posts: 56
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Since you have had them apart didnt work- wiggled- worked then stopped.First look at the connector.. they can corrode and make a bad connection... look for a greenish color onboth sides. Look to make sure the "female" sides arent spread to far apart and that the "male" pins arent bent. Check the sockets that the bulbs go into for same thing.. these are push-in and turn bulbs? 1156 &1157?
Next check the fuses again some models have seperate fuses for left and right I dont think this is the case in your situation but part of the process.
Then try replacing the bulbs that arent workin. Sometimes the filament will make intermittent contact. They will be out then when you tap them they might start working...and go out later.
The bulbs with 2 fillaments is a park/stop lamp...the single is probably a park....if your signals are red they will be tied into the stop circuit do they work?
Old 06-02-14, 09:00 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 61,440
Received 1,412 Votes on 1,306 Posts
The single filament bulb is the back-up light.

You need to look at the connections and make sure they aren't corroded. If they are.... your problem lies there and you need to replace the socket. If the socket looks clean.... no corrosion... then the problem is probably not there.

The dual filament bulb is parking lights on the dim filament and brake/directional on the bright filament.

You may have a problem in the column switch, flasher unit or hazard flasher ass'y unit as they all control the power to that bulb and when the bright filament will come on.
Old 06-03-14, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: usa
Posts: 11
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
if the 1 bulb acts as a 2 stage bulb, its not correct. if its tail light and brake light, it should be 2 seperate filaments as they are on 2 seperate circuits.

im sure a connector for that car is no more than 10 bucks. check RockAuto Parts Catalog.

if you want to do it the right way, try and do a google search for a brake light wiring diagram for your car and back probe the pigtail to the correct wires, there will be 2 wires for the circuit. ones power and ones ground. you should have 12 volts when the brakes are applied. if not, and you know you're on the proper wires, you need to fgure out whether you lost power or you lost ground, and where you lost it.
Old 06-03-14, 04:50 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 38
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I fixed the problem

I fixed the whole problem. It was just some burned-out light bulbs.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: