Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Brakes -> Brake Lights
Question from Jim (1968):
Does anyone know if the right brake light is connected to the turn signal switch? The bulbs were changed and lights work and so does the turn signal but brake lights do not. I have to hold down the lever for signal to work on right side only.
The brake lamps are indeed wired through the turn signal switch. This is so the active signal can override the brake lamps. When the signals are off, stepping on the brake sends current to both sides' brake lamps. Turning on either signal disconnects the brake lamps on that side and flashes the turn signal using the same filaments of the same bulbs.
What you're describing is a common problem, and it indicates a faulty turn signal switch that no longer makes proper contact on the right side, and cannot make contact at all on the left side. You'll need to find the switch (I don't have the part number handy but many Chrysler dealers still have their old parts books and can look it up... and many can still locate a switch for you, believe it or not), and then you'll need to check another page for advise on replacing this switch. You'll need a steering-wheel puller, some patience, and extra elbows in each arm.
One word of advice: Attach a long string or wire to the wiring harness of the old switch before you pull it up out the top of the steering column. The wire needs to be long enough to stay hanging out the bottom by the time to pull the wiring out the top. It will help you pull the wiring for the new switch back down the inside of the steering column.
If NEITHER of your stop lights work, I'd look at the stop light switch mounted under the dash under the brake pedal arm. Pull the wiring off the switch and jump them (with a paper clip or short piece of wire.) If the stop lights work, that's your problem. The turn signal switch is a lot of work to replace as Chris mentions.
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