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I discovered two days ago that brake lights on my 1996 Caravan were not working. I had to find a quick solution due to a planned 120 mile day on California freeways and busy city streets planned for the next morning. Postponing was not an option, nor was driving without brake lights. Fuses were fine, all other electrical systems seemed normal. I determined that the brake light switch was working - using a sort of backwards test (ok, it was an accident but a useful one). So that suggested that the switch was not getting power.

Conveniently, the previous owner had altered the electrical system for primitive car phone and cb radio (long since removed), thus there are some extra wires abandoned under the dash, including one which was tapped into a wire at the brake light switch. On a hunch, I jumpered that to 12 volts and got brake lights to work. So I made a better jumper from the fuse panel and completed my trip without incident.

So my question is this: Do I just fabricate a more secure and permanent alternate source of 12v to the brake light switch with an inline fuse, which I can do competently and cheaply? Or do I try to solve this properly? If so, how do I start on finding the root problem here? I do have a 12v test light, a simple mulitmeter, and the factory manual, though I'm just beginning to navigate the big book.

BTW, an update on the radio/clock problem mentioned in a previous thread - the radio is the apparent problem, I did have power reaching the harness connector in both. May begin searching for a salvage yard replacement next week.

Thanks for any guidance on solving the brake light problem.
 

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You need to trace the Pk/Bu wire back towards the underhood fuse/relay center (PDC) where it terminates at the 20A fuse #16. If the wiring is good, try moving the fuse as sometimes the contact blades get a layer of corrosion on them. The fuse can still test OK, but contact will suffer.
 
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