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brake lights don't work?

badluck charlie
01-10-2004, 11:47 PM
Hey AF people,
I'm new to this forum ,please excuse me if this has been discused here before,I tried to search for this here in the site search but had no luck.

Well I'll get to the point.My brother told me that my brake lights weren't working the other day so I pulled them out and the ones that were in there were all black and burn't looking.Oh yeah I have a 2001 astro cargo with 40,000 miles on it and I love it.I got some new lights and put them in and they still don't work.I looked for the fuse but could not figure out wich one is the fuse for the brake lights.All the fuses I looked at were still good.I don't have any money or I would just take it in to have it done by a prof.,I are just a dumb carpenter.
Any body know what I should check next.I do have basic skills of wiring and could fix it myself but I don't even know where to begin.
Oh this might help you diagnose the problem the brake light up on top, above the doors, still works, it's the ones next to the doors just above the bumper that don't.
Well thanks in advance for any help.

01-11-2004, 07:25 AM
If the 3rd brake lamp works, then the switch is OK,
Check the wiring to the circuit board..the yellow on the left circuit board and green on the right are the wires from the stop lamp switch..with a test light connected to ground, probe the wire, the test lamp should light when the brake pedal is depressed..
If the test lamp lights, I would recommend replacing the circuit boards...have seen a few go bad

badluck charlie
01-11-2004, 01:33 PM
I'm not sure where the circuit board is and now I'm looking at the rear lights wondering wich ones are supposed to light up when the brakes depressed.There are three lights from top down blinker (top)running light(middle)reverse light(bottom).Wich light is supposed to brighten when I push on the pedal?How much is a new circuit board and can I get at shucks or do I have to go to the dealer?Sorry if I seem like an idiot But the reason I bought new was because I've never really worked on cars and don't know that much about them.I can build a house with out arch.drawings, plum , do all the electrical, build the cabinets and whatever else ,but I can't seem to find the circuit board in my van.

VA Astro
07-08-2004, 08:57 AM
Did you ever get this fixed? I am having the same problem but have some additional info. I have found that if the headlights are manualy turned on, the brake lights will start working after a few seconds. When the headlights are turned off, the brake lights cointinue to function for a few minutes but then stop working again. The same thing happens when hooking up a trailer.
I have been told that the braking lamp diode is getting back current from the headlights and trailer alowing it to work but that when they are not on, the diode dissapates and stops working. I do not know anything about electricial systems but that answer seems a bit iffy to pay $700 to fix. Chevy say's you can't just replace the diode but have to replace the whole rear lamp circuit.
For now, I just drive with the lights manualy turned on.

07-09-2004, 01:14 PM
Since your top brake light works, I would check the switch at your brake pedal. It's likely, there is more that one wire meaning that one will control the top and the other the sides. If there is current coming out (volt meter or test light) when the brake is pressed, then check the connections at the light to make sure they are not corroded or dirty. Sometimes, just cleaning them and making sure they are making good ground will make a difference. If it doesn't work, check for current at the light when the brake is pressed. If there is none, check the wires behind the connections for damage. If none of this works, then it gets trickier.

badluck charlie
07-13-2004, 08:08 AM
I'll have to try turning on my head lamps manually and see if it does the same thing.I already tried the switch at the brake pedal,changed bulbs,checked for corusion and tested for current.

It get's current to one of the fillaments in the bulb but not the one that lights up when braking, just the running light.

07-25-2004, 07:34 PM
Same problem here, 3rd brake light works fine. I have a 2001 Astro. Check this out......When I apply slight forward pressure on the turn signal stalk, the brake lights work fine. I've heard that a shorted turn signal switch causes this problem. You may have the same. Good luck

badluck charlie
07-25-2004, 09:07 PM
I'm just wondering if anyone has had this problem looked at by a pro. I've almost paid off some other bills and was thinking of taking mine to a shop. I'll let you'all know what it is and how much it costs as soon as I get it done.

07-25-2004, 11:47 PM
I'm calling the dealer tomorrow, fortunately still under extended warranty. Will let you know what service advisor says

badluck charlie
07-26-2004, 06:21 PM
Cool, I'm interested in finding out what they say and hoping that I can fix it myself . I would greatly appreciate all the info. you could supply.

07-26-2004, 07:38 PM
There is a recall on Blazers, Jimmys, and Olds Bravadas, for the exact problem we have, but not for Astro. I called Chevy Customer service and let them know that Astro has the symptoms. He said that if a recall comes out to include Astro, Chevy will reimburse all repair costs. We'll see

badluck charlie
07-29-2004, 11:53 PM
Just wondering if you had taken your van in and what they said it was.I think I'll see what I can do to alert chevy that this problem exists in the astros as well as those other vehicles.

07-31-2004, 06:11 PM
I just got the van back. It was the multifunction switch that the turn signal stalk is connected to. I called Chevy's customer service number and told them what had happened. To date there is no recall on the Astro, but they said if one was warranted, I'd be reimbursed the $100 deductable.

badluck charlie
08-01-2004, 09:29 AM
I think that was one of the parts I looked at but didn't see anything wrong with it.Well thanks for the info I'll be ordering one of those soon and keeping all my reciepts.

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