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Old 07-26-2004, 05:12 PM   #1
jordanb69
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Dizzy Center High Mount Stop Lamp (3rd Brake Light) complex problem, please help

I have a 99' SL2 with 60k. Recently my 3rd brake light stopped functioning while all other brake lights and car functions are normal. Here is a list of what I've done, none of which has helped:

1. I bought all-new bulbs and installed. Still no function.
2. Used a multi-meter and determined that the connector to the brake light assembly is receiving approx. 12v when the brake pedal is depressed.
3. Went to a junk-yard and purchased a used light assembly off of another 99'. They gave it to me with the bulbs so I decided to try the replacement with its' bulbs and not my new bulbs. Still no function. Convinced my original assembly is now fine, fortunately the junk-yard was great and let me return theirs on the spot.
4. The junk-yard also let me cut the connector off the junker so I could see if my original connector to the assembly was the source of the problem. I replaced the connector, confirmed 12V when brake depressed, and still no function.
5. I now suspect that I am having a problem with grounding. After getting the idea from another post I have located 2 connectors in the trunk on the left side (driver), behind the carpet. One connector was larger and was blue, the smaller was black. I disconnected both and applied electrical grease to all terminals and then re-connected. Still no function.

I read a mention in another post about a Ground Bus Bar. Was this one of those connectors?
Any help anyone can give would be much appreciated. Something tells me that I will get raked at the dealer

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Old 07-26-2004, 09:19 PM   #2
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Saturn runs two wires to the rear for the brake lights. One for the left and right and the other for the high mount. Obviously the lower ones are getting their power. The connector that is gettng the power when the brake is pressed is it the one that goes to the high mount? If the connector at the high mount is not getting power time to start tracing the power wire back to the front to see if there is a break in the wire or if one of the connectors has a poor connection for that wire. There is a connection in the drivers foot well, should be in the outer kick panel area.

think that you hav a ground problem. Run a by pass ground wire to the high mount to see if the lights will come on. If so then trace for problems on the ground side.

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Old 07-27-2004, 07:36 AM   #3
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Your post says you checked for power at the connector to the third brake light, so you know that the blue wire at the two wire connector is power. The other wire (black) should be ground. To check it jumper the two wires together with a test light and apply the brakes. If the test light lights then you have good power and ground to the third brake light. If not and you know you are getting 12 volt to the blue wire, then you have a ground issue. OK so now for the part you don't know. The third brake light ground source is the left body splice pack. That is located under the carpet under the left seat. If you've had a water leak in the past moisture could have caused a corrosion problem at the splice pack.
To repair this issue, you could do one of two things. Either trace the wire back to the source and repair the broken wire or poor ground connection. Or just cut the ground wire and run a new ground for the lights to a new location. Both are acceptable repairs.

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Old 07-29-2004, 03:46 PM   #4
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Well, thanks for your responses. I tried taking a long wire and grounding it under the hood, as a test, but no luck. Still won't light.
Taking the car apart to get at these wires is just out of my league so my next step is to bring it in for service, unfortunately.
If any Saturn tech or other mechanic is reading, I live in Long Branch NJ. Anyone who wants to fix it off the books for decent cash feel free to respond.

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Old 07-29-2004, 04:24 PM   #5
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The 3rd light in my SL2 went out, and I had to resolder the connector for the wire to the assembly. I don't remember much about it, I just remember soldering something back together.

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Old 07-29-2004, 09:35 PM   #6
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I could post you the GM wiring diagram if it would help

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