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1988 Ranger Brake Lights stuck on 24/7


Michael88STX

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Hi! I'm having an issue with my brake lights staying on all the time. They have been staying on for about a month and a half or 2 months now and I haven't been able to figure out the problem yet. The problem started out as the lights just coming on and off at random, even as the truck was off. It usually only did it for a little bit (5-15 minutes at most) after I parked the truck from driving it around, then cut off. At this time, it seemed like only the running lights were on because my brake lights still worked (the tail lights just got brighter like usual). it then became a problem as the actual brake light would come on while I was driving without my foot on the brake pedal, and again, it would stay on for a bit after I parked, and then eventually cut off. I did figure out something weird during both of these points where if I turned either of my blinkers or hazards on, then turned them off, the brake light would cut off when i turned the blinkers/hazards off. eventually, this little trick I was using to cut them off when I parked stopped working. This is when the brake lights began to stay on permanently and haven't cut off since, except for where I started to unplug the positive battery cable from the battery to keep from draining my battery. I soon learned that because the bulbs were LED bulbs, they weren't draining the battery enough before I started it the next morning to worry about it so I just gave up on unplugging the battery. Now, the next little trick I leanred soon after this, was that if I tried to use my hazards or blinkers, they wouldn't work, but when I turned the hazards on, both the right and left side brake lights dimmed back down to the "regular" tail lights or running lights. My brake lights worked like "normal" again like this. So I just drove around with my hazards on, still not flashing. It gets even weirder. By this point, every now and then my hazards and blinkers would magically start working again (while I was driving) and I would have to cut them off, and my brake lights were stuck on again. Eventually, just like the other trick, this one stopped working too. Now my brake lights are stuck on 24/7 and my turn signals don't work. I'm now the only idiot on the road in the middle of winter with his window down this signal to other drivers which way I'm turning, and there is no way of indicating that I am stopping or slowing down which has proven to be very dangerous in certain situations.:sad: Does anyone else have any ideas as to what this might be? Has anyone else ever had this problem, or are you currently having it?

ALSO, I have already tested the connector at the brake pedal. I've disconnected it, wiggled it, and pulled the brake pedal all the way back and nothing has changed. I'm not sure if this could be a short in the wire somewhere, or maybe its touching ground, or maybe a relay is bad? Either way, all my fuses are good, including the signal blinker, and all of my turn signal bulbs front and read, and my taillight bulbs are brand new. I replaced those because the front were blown, and as well as to be safe. They are all 4 Sylvania LED bulbs. And for those of you who don't know, the taillight, brake light, and rear turn signals in the rear all use the same one bulb.

Any and all help would be appreciated. I am running out of ideas!:dunno: I think I have explained the situation at hand in plenty of detail, but if you need more info, please let me know and I can provide it!
THANKS!:icon_thumby::shok:
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 70D65189E6D8FF: January 5th, 2022

ericbphoto

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Ford Ranger
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6"
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My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
You mention testing the connector at the brake pedal. Exactly what did you test there? Did you test the switch itself to make sure it is opening and closing the circuit? With the connector unplugged from that switch, do the brake lights go dark?

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Michael88STX

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1988
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You mention testing the connector at the brake pedal. Exactly what did you test there? Did you test the switch itself to make sure it is opening and closing the circuit? With the connector unplugged from that switch, do the brake lights go dark?

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Well I disconnected the plug from the switch and the lights still didn't go out.

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ericbphoto

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1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3.0L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6"
Tire Size
35"
My credo
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are different.
What happens if you remove the turn signal flasher or the emergency flasher?

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Michael88STX

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What happens if you remove the turn signal flasher or the emergency flasher?

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Lights still on.

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DannyG

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I would start checking the wiring in the rear, specifically any third party trailer harness.

I would also look at the harness along the frame rail under the bed for worn wires/rub through protective covering.

The harnesses in the rear had caused me a few issues for me in my old 87.
 


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