Brake lights work but the tail lights don’t: problems and a fix

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Brake lights work but the tail lights don't: problems and a fix

All vehicles should have taillights since they are a crucial safety component. What happens when the brake lights are functional but the taillights are not? We shall discuss the causes of this oddity in this post.

Driving at night, during the twilight hours, or in inclement weather like rain and snow requires the use of lights.

Brake lights work but the tail lights don't: problems and a fix

However, what happens if your brake lights are functional but your taillights are not?

Six reasons why brake lights function and taillights do not

The car’s back is meant to be illuminated by the taillights. In most cases, they turn on when you turn on the headlight switch.

Many more recent types contain an automated sensor that activates them when it notices a reduction in ambient brightness.

Taillights can break down just like any other component of the car, which is a severe safety problem.

Due to the lack of rear lights, this is risky for other motorists who might not see your vehicle, but it may also result in a ticket from the police or a failure of your state’s registration inspection procedure.

If your brake lights are working, but your taillights are not, one of the following possibilities exists:

1. Faulty taillight fuse

When dealing with an electrical issue, especially when it comes to broken taillights, the fuse should always be checked first.

A fuse is a metal strip enclosed in a plastic container intended to blow when the current passing through it becomes excessive. By doing this, the electrical system’s other components are shielded from harm.

In a car, fuses are often found in two places:

  • One is the fuse panel located inside the car. It is typically hidden behind a plastic panel under the dashboard on the front passenger side. When the passenger side door is fully open, you may find it on some vehicles’ sides of the dashboard.
  • The main fuse box under the hood is the second most frequent location to find fuses. It is a big black box with numerous wires attached to it. The fuses inside can be examined once the top cover has been removed. The functions of each fuse should be specified on the surface you drew to access the fuses.

Each fuse regulates a separate electrical component. If not, they can be recognized using the owner’s manual or by looking for a schematic unique to the year, make and model on the Internet.

Once you have located the fuse that regulates the taillights, you can use a fuse tester to see if it is in good working order.

Replace the fuse with the same size and amperage if it does not illuminate. A break in the metal wire can be detected within a faulty fuse on some fuses.

2. Malfunctioning taillights

There may be a problem with the taillight bulbs if the brake lights operate but not the taillights. The taillight bulbs should be the next thing you check if the fuses within the cab and beneath the hood are functioning correctly.

Although some vehicles have an access panel where you can squeeze the bulb out of the lens, removing the taillight cover is typically required.

Remove the bulb from the plug socket and carefully examine the filament to determine which bulb is faulty.

The wire that produces light inside the bulb is called a filament. You must buy a replacement bulb because a damaged filament results in no illumination.

3. Socket malfunction

The socket that the lightbulb connects into can malfunction occasionally. The most common cause is corrosion, which is brought on by moisture entering the socket.

However, a poor connection of the cables at the back could also lead to failure.

If the bulb and fuse are in working order, examine the socket’s condition while the bulb is removed from the socket. Take note of any color changes, including white, blue, or brown, as well as twisted or broken pins.

At this stage, it’s also a good idea to use a multimeter at the socket to verify the electrical current. If no energy is getting to the pins, there must be a problem with the power line somewhere.

4. Damaged wiring

If the fuses are functioning correctly and the socket is not receiving power, there is probably a damaged or broken wire somewhere in the line.

Get a wiring diagram at this stage and visually check the wires along the taillight circuit for frayed or cracked insulation.

Check the body ground that emerges from this circuit as well. The failure to transfer power to the plugs will also be caused by a dirty, sloppy, or damaged ground wire.

5. Faulty control switch

The switch that controls them is another factor in why brake lights operate, but taillights don’t. If everything else is functioning correctly, you should also check the headlight switch on the dashboard.

This switch often illuminates the parking lights, taillights, and headlights. This switch might have malfunctioned if all other components of the taillight circuit are in proper operating order.

Please remove it from the dash to confirm it has failed and examine it with a multimeter.

6. A dirty or malfunctioning ambient light sensor

The dashboard of many contemporary vehicles also houses an ambient light sensor.

This enables the vehicle’s computer to switch on automatically and off the headlights and taillights based on how bright or dim the outside lighting is.

On newer automobiles, some people additionally off the daytime running lights. This is the likely cause if the brake lights illuminate, but the parking lights and headlights do not.

If this sensor malfunctions or becomes very dusty, you won’t be able to identify whether it is day or night outdoors, and you might not switch on the lights.

The headlight switch can be manually turned to the on position to test this, as it would affect both the headlights and the taillights.

Having issues with the taillights

Tracing an electrical fault can generally be challenging and frustrating. If the brake lights function but not the taillights, one of the six causes listed above may be the cause.

Fortunately, since taillight bulbs typically run on their isolated circuit, defects are pretty simple to find.

These issues will stop the taillights from working, but since the brake lights use a different circuit line, they will still permit them to turn on when the pedal is depressed.

For the safetandas tandion of others, drivers should quickly fix their broken taillights whenever they become aware of the issue.

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