Allpar Forums banner

brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights

3897 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  KOG
Hello. I have an 84 LeBaron convertible that I've owned for about three weeks. The brake lights, turn signals, and hazard don't work.

Here is the chronology:

1) Bought car, got it home, noticed that brake lights, turn signals, and hazard flasher didn't work.

2) Changed rear bulbs, changed fuses, though all looked fine. Changed flashers for hazard and turn signals.

3) Brake lights and turn signals worked fine, but hazard did not.

4) "Cleaned up" fusebox, replacing some incorrect fuses with correct ones. Stupidly trusted a website fuse chart and left fuses 15 and 16 empty, since they were marked "spot light" on fusebox and on chart.

5) Car wouldn't start. Starter was going but wouldn't turn over. Then I got no ignition/starter response at all from turning the key (all instrument lights, chimes, other electrical systems worked fine). Received the owner's manual I had ordered and discovered that 15 and 16 were turbo and coil. Felt stupid and fixed that.

6) Spent days trying to get car to start by replacing things. Codes told me hall effect sensor and auto idle motor (decided idle couldn't have anything to do with the starting problem I was experiencing). About four relays and sensors (starter relay, hall effect, etc) later, just before I got out the jack to take off the (new) starter, replacing the "fuel pump relay" made it start right up. Turns out that this part was really the auto shutdown relay or starter shutdown relay, NEITHER OF WHICH IS MENTIONED AT ALL IN THE HAYNES OR CHILTON MANUALS in my possession. One would think that a crucial component like that might figure in one of those books somewhere, like, um, troubleshooting, or the starting problem matrix, or chassis electrical, or somewhere.

7) Car starts and runs fine, but-- once again-- brake lights, turn signals, and flasher don't work. Fuses and bulbs are fine, and everything else on the circuits works.

8) Fiddled around with brake light switch, but it's impossible to get to in terms of having a sense if it's any good. Plus, why would they have worked earlier but not now when the car did not move at all between the brake lights working and not working?

9) Have a new brake light switch and will try to install it, but am not convinced that's the problem.

10) No idea what to do with turn signals, since everything else on the stalk (headlight dimmer, cruise control, wipers) works. Only thing I did not replace was cornering bulbs, but, again, the blinkers worked before without my replacing them.

Any suggestions welcomed, unless they are "find a short." :)

Seriously, unraveling dozens of wires from their routing tubes and tracing them to all ends of the car does not seem like a solution, unless there is a faster way of checking continuity I don't know of. I might as well install completely new redundant brake light, blinker, and hazard wiring if I'm going to do that. But then I am far from an expert on this at all and am very likely missing some assumed knowledge about the process.

Thank you for any ideas.
See less See more
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Welcome to Allpar. Park the Chiltons and Haynes and get the real service manual(s) for information. There are 2 volumes, one is Engine and Chassis (mechanical) and the other is Electrical/Engine performance (inc. diagnostics and wiring).
It will save you a lot of frustration, time and money. It will provide you with wire colors and harness routing. Some larger libraries may have them in the backroom stacks for loan or think of them as an important tool purchase. If you plan on doing your own work, they will become indispensable.
The turn signal switch feeds through the stop light switch so that the side opposite the direction that you are signaling will be your rear brake light. The hazard switch is battery supplied while the turn signals are ignition switch supplied. Two different circuits.
Sometimes the hazard switch contacts get oxidized from rarely being used and by rapidly cycling the switch on and off several times, it can clean the contacts and resume operation."]!B-fZsegCGk~%2524(KGrHqN%252C!
Thank you for the advice on the manuals. I'll buy them.

Re the switches: Are you saying that replacing the brake light switch might then fix both, since the turn signals route through it?
I think he's saying that the hazard switch can kill everything. Which it can. Work on that first.
Aha. What a logical idea, which is why I suck at this.

I'll try that. The hazard switch itself, however, is part of a quite expensive ring-type thing that includes the turn signal switch, etc, so I hope to avoid replacing that. But I can definitely clean the contacts.
The hazard flashers are wired right off the battery, and in 1984 I think they go through a fusible link. That may have burned out or been chewed by rodents (it's common for mice to chew wiring, as the insulation has soy in it). Look for a rubber "octopus" wiring splice, that has two wires in from the battery and about 6-7 wires leading out of it to fusible links and off to the car harness. One of them could be burned through. If so, splice in a wire that is slightly thicker than the rest of the run to see if that fixes it. If it does, I'd then put an inline fuseholder in.
Thank you. There is exactly such an "octopus," and one of the wires does look like it could be broken, if not burned. It's clear it's been soldered before, and not very well. I'll let you know.
Also. the fusible link wire insulation is rubbery. A gentle pull will reveal the one that stretches. That would indicate one that has opened.
Yeah. In this case, it looks like the wire (light green) is at least partly broken right where it goes into the octopus thing, so I'm not sure what to do since I probably can't or shouldn't solder a new wire into one broken off inside the octopus. I'll probably have to get a new harness of some kind to replace the whole octopus somehow, since it doesn't appear to be a part that can be opened for the sake of fixing one wire.

Does that sound right?
These are great. Thank you. I tried following the color from the wiring diagrams in the chilton and haynes (I know, I need the RSM) but the colors don't match my car. Could be the result of other repairs/replacements over the years. There's an aftermarket immobilizer still attached, for example, that I'd disconnect, except one of the wires from it goes to the starter relay and I don't know what I'd hook up to that relay in its place (the others go to the battery and to the coil, so easy to get rid of).
Some of us install an inline fuse holder instead of replacing the fuseable link. You can take another wire from the postive battery terminal to the fuse holder and connect the other side of the fuse holder to the solid wire in the car harness that the bad fuseable link led to. Use a fuse amperage to match the size of the wire you connect to on the car harness.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.