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Old 05-16-2007, 01:11 AM   #1
microsat
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Default left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

I own a 2002 saturn sl2.
The left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.
How many brake light switchs under the brake pedal are there in 2002 saturn sl2?
Do left and right brake lights and centre high(3rd) brake light share one brake light switch with each other?

Any suggestions about which might be bad, brake light switch, connection
bulbs or fuse?

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Old 05-16-2007, 01:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Your 2002 may be different, but on my '96, there is only one switch. But there are multiple wires coming _out_ of the switch, so the wire for the outboard brake lights might be broken.

Don't rule out the possibility that both bulbs are burnt out. May as well buy one bulb, if you don't have a spare, and try it on each side. If it turns out the bulbs are good, it's still good to have a spare bulb on hand.

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Old 05-16-2007, 01:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Try replacing the bulbs first. If that doesnt cure the problem, check the wiring loom that runs along the trunk lid, to the side of the trunk. It supplies the grounds for both side lights, and you could have something as simple as a broken wire or two.... Have you stuffed something large into the trunk lately? Or had trouble closing it lately?

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Old 12-07-2007, 05:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

I realize this is an old thread, but just in case someone is having the same problem I was having... there is a recall related to this (Campaign Number: 05052). A Saturn Dealership will fix it for free.

Here's a link to a recall notice:
http://auto-recalls.justia.com/conte...EDAN-2000.html

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Old 12-07-2007, 09:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffystuff View Post
I realize this is an old thread, but just in case someone is having the same problem I was having... there is a recall related to this (Campaign Number: 05052). A Saturn Dealership will fix it for free.

Here's a link to a recall notice:
http://auto-recalls.justia.com/conte...EDAN-2000.html
Quote:
Model : L-SERIES SEDAN Year : 2000
That would be for L series not S series.

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Old 12-07-2007, 11:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

i believe saturn used the same type of design for the tail-lamps in the 3rd gen S-Series as they did the L-Series: that is a bulb mounted into a socket which is then mounted into a circuit board built into the housing (very much like an instrument cluster lamp).

this design sucks because corrosion starts to occur on the contacts eventually either burning the bulb out or preventing it from coming on. i know there was a recall for the L-Series b/c my grandmother's car had this problem, and it was fixed by the dealer for free. there were probably not enough complaints to warrant a campaign from the S-Series camp, though.

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Old 01-24-2008, 11:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Sorry to reopen an old thread, but I'm havin the EXACT same problem, also with a 2002 SL2. I've checked the bulbs and the fuses... did anything elver solve the problem for you?

thanks,
joe

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Old 01-25-2008, 01:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe SL2 View Post
Sorry to reopen an old thread, but I'm havin the EXACT same problem, also with a 2002 SL2. I've checked the bulbs and the fuses... did anything elver solve the problem for you?

thanks,
joe
let's start your problem from the beginning - exactly what does and does not work, and when? Just the brake light bulbs, or all the rear bulbs? Any other clues?

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Old 01-25-2008, 08:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

whats up purdue guy [Krannert 2004]

well, I haven't had a chance to completely diagnose every scenario, but it seems to be with or without headlights on, and the tail lamps work just fine. my left and right brakes don't get brighter, and only the top center brake light comes on. I've changed bulbs (in only the drivers side one, but this didn't fix that one, so i haven't tried the other yet) I've checked LOTs of fuses even things i thought wouldn't even remotely relate to it...

basically, i can't get the brake lights to work. period.

any ideas?

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Old 01-25-2008, 10:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Do the parking lights / taillights work okay? If so, it's not a ground issue, and your next suspect is the wire going from the brake light switch to the outboard lights. As stated above, although electrically redundant, there are two wires coming out of the brake light switch for the lights. One goes to the outboard lights and the other goes to the center light. Alas, they're the same color of insulation (blue, IIRC). So you'll need to do a little sleuthing to figure out which wire is which, and check the one for the outboard lights for continuity.

Another preliminary test, just to see if it's something simpler -- remove both outboard bulbs, and put a voltmeter between the blue terminal of the left side socket and a known good ground. Have someone press the brake pedal, and see if you get battery voltage. Repeat for the right side.

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Old 01-25-2008, 10:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Tail lights work just fine with headlights on. I have yet to test the parking lights, but will do so. I'm getting a voltmeter today, and will check voltage at the brake light sockets.

Its weird b/c there are several posts with people experiencing the same phenomena as I am, and I figured there would have been an easy fix for this.

I'm going to the parts store in a couple of hours, i'll update soon.

joe

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Old 01-25-2008, 10:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

Yuh, I lost my way with the multiple threads. So you've been having brake light problems with both cars simultaneously? Have you read your horoscope?

Oh, best way to test the socket terminals is to put the probe in from the "back" side.

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Old 01-25-2008, 10:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

ya.. i guess i can just redirect to the other thread, so if you are reading this one, here is the newer thread that I started...

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...35#post1190735

Anyway, ya, i knew i had a possible issue on the 99, but the 2k2, i JUST got home last night and my wife noticed on the way home that both brake lights were out.. doh

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Old 12-31-2013, 01:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

What do we do now about this problem since there are no more Saturn dealerships? Any former Saturn dealership mechanics out there?

I had the same problem, the instrument panel brake lights on the inside worked but not the actual tail lights. I replaced both lights, then had to crawl under the steering wheel and contort my body to replace the brake light switch. Still no tail lights. Any suggestions?

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Old 12-31-2013, 05:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

By your comment that the instrument panel brake LIGHTS work, do you mean the RED dash light that illuminates when the hand brake lever is pulled up?
Also, you say LIGHTS, my car only has 1 light in the dash for the brake/brake failure system.....what model 1998 do you have?

I would check for a broken wire between the brake pedal switch and the tail. Use a voltmeter right @ the rear socket (probe from the socket backside).
Does the 3rd light work or not?

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Old 01-08-2014, 10:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: left and right brake lights don't work but centre high brake light works.

This is actually on my 2001 Saturn. I have a 98 and an 01. It has three brake lights.

I am talking about the lights in the rear of the car NOT on the instrument panel. The rear brake lights (tail lights) do not work. Only the center light located inside the rear windshield. Sorry for the confusion.

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