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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I walked around the car this morning, as she warmed up with the marker lights on. I noticed all (4) brake lamps were lit, and not the 5th brake light in the package tray area.

I removed both plugs from the brake light switch receptacle, with no success.

I swapped out the 1157s for the heck of it, and still have the same problem.

I had to borrow a car to get into work today, and have yet to dig into the service manuals to diagnose, but can't understand how the marker light signal is bleeding over to ALL four brake lamps.

Any suggestions?

This explains why I had no cruise control with the headlights on, as posted in this thread: http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=251048

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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Short or a bad ground.
I went through a similar problem recently and found the terminal for the ground wire in the plug in harness for the tail lights was burnt.
That killed my fuel pump, lit up my third brake light and caused the tail lights to go dim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’m still stumped as to what the problem could be. When I got home (There isn’t a lot of day light left these days), I investigated, and found that at the receptacle inside the trunk that delivers power to the fuel pump, back up light, marker lights, and brake lights.

At the male receptacle coming to the rear wiring harness:

1. With the headlight switch turned on to the marker position, I have power at one of the 7 leads (Port ‘B’), and none else. Although there is continuity with three other pins when the switch is on (Port F, G & H).

2. When I activate the brakes (Using a pole shoved between the driver’s seat and the pedal) there is power at two poles (A {Yellow?}& C {Blue or Black?}). {It was dark, and I'm color blind}

When I first found this problem, I had disconnected the (2) separate connectors going into the brake light switch attached to the column, and turned on the headlight switch, and all the lights were lit in the tail lamps. So that would seem to rule out the switch as being part of the problem.

For the life of me I can’t figure out how power to the marker lights could be bleeding across to all FOUR brake lights.

I thought each lamp gets power thru one wire, and then goes thru the bulb to GND from the other lead that comes from the bulb’s receptacle.

I checked two of the GND straps that are in the trunk (Not sure what they’re for offhand, but I used jumper cables from those to chassis GND, and there was no difference.

The turn signal stalk is new GM part, just a few months old.

So, since I ran out of light last night, I removed the “B-port” wire and solderless connector from the receptacle bulkhead and electrical taped it over, so I won’t have brake lights 24X7.

It’s not really dark enough to need lights on the way into work, I just use them to be safe.

This looks like it's going to be a weekend job, where I can remove the bumper cover so I can investigate the wiring harness with a meter the proper way.

Thanks for the reply.
 

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Did you unplug the "receptacle inside the trunk" and look for any signs of a bad connection. Burnt, corroded?
I checked every wire and ground on the whole damn car before discovering that connector was bad. I ended up wiring the ground wire around the connector
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did you unplug the "receptacle inside the trunk" and look for any signs of a bad connection. Burnt, corroded?
I checked every wire and ground on the whole damn car before discovering that connector was bad. I ended up wiring the ground wire around the connector
Yes I did. I found that none were corroded or burnt in any form, from a visual inspection. Tonight I will pull each pin from the receptacle and look for corrosion/burnt issues. What I did find odd was that the incoming power source receptacle for the marker lights (On the tail light wiring harness), receptacle 'B' (Marker light power source) has continuity with the four terminals E, F, G AND H.



I'm still in the process of tracking down what each lead from the connector goes to.

Last night I unplugged each 1157 brake lamp, one at a time, and provided ground from a known good ground (Actually the GND strap on the LH side in the trunk). There was no change.

I unplugged each 194 marker light, with no change.

I changed all brake lamp LEDs to traditional 1157s, with no change.

I am at a loss, and will have to keep digging into the manual. I don't understand, why out of nowhere, no recent mods, this is happening.
 

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I'm thinking its either the new turn signal switch [was it GM?] --- or ---

the connector at the base of the column..

There were plenty of these problems in the past...

did you check QaloSS handbook?

I have the wiring diagrams in pdf but it seems someone has a link somewhere.

here is an old thread regarding a smoking steering wheel which might help explain some of this..

Smoking Steering Wheel
gbur
Senior Member
Member # 890 posted 03-04-2001 04:22 PM

I see smoke rising out of my steering collar when I come to a complete stop at a red light. I have a 96 SS with the blink-blinks installed. I think I read something on the SoCalSS forum on this topic but was unable to find it. Anyone on this forum have any suggestions?
Thanx - Gary

From: Long Beach, CA | Registered: Feb 2001 | IP: Logged

Narti
Senior Member
Member # 172 posted 03-04-2001 06:14 PM

If I'm not mistaken, the brake lights are wired through the turn signal harness in the steering column. Sounds like you have a short or are drawing too many amps through your brake/turn signal circuit. Take the blink blinks out and see what happens.
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www.chevelles.com/showroom/Nick's1970ChevelleSS396.jpg

From: Manchester NH | Registered: Aug 2000 | IP: Logged

SSpiffy
Senior Member
Member # 223 posted 03-04-2001 06:19 PM

The brake lights are indeed wired through the turn signal switch. When mine did this (still under warrantee) I took it to the dealer I trust. The service writer let me know that there was a problem with the switch that GM knows about. The new switches have been modified to fix this problem. I think it has the same PN as the older one.
The fix is to replace the turn signal switch. Since I didn't do mine, I don't know how big a PITA this job is.
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Gene, 96 DGGM

From: Everett, WA, USA | Registered: Aug 2000 | IP: Logged

gbur
Senior Member
Member # 890 posted 03-05-2001 03:00 AM

SSpiffy:
Did you have the blink-blinks in your car when it started smoking? Mine is still under warranty and I want to get it fixed as well. Was there a TSB issued for this?
Thanx - Gary

From: Long Beach, CA | Registered: Feb 2001 | IP: Logged

HACK
Administrator

Member # 31 posted 03-05-2001 04:12 PM

There have been people that have had this problem with and without the Blink Blinks. GM knows that the switch was not built to handle all of the extra current. Basically your brakes, blinkers, and hazards all go through this one switch in the column. It can't handle the current and will heat up and smoke. Somebody has to have the TSB for this one, anyone?
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HOTSS Member #001 - ISSCA Member #331
My Home Page -+- Sequentials -+- Side Panels

From: Round Rock, Texas USA | Registered: Jul 2000 | IP: Logged

SSpiffy
Senior Member
Member # 223 posted 03-06-2001 08:00 PM

To the best of my knowledge, GM never issued a TSB on this onne, they just put out an improved part with the same part number.
I did have the sequentials installed when it went, but it wasn't a problem for me. I never had the sevice department of the dealer here refuse warranty service due to mods. Heck, I even toasted the PCM with the Service Writer sitting next to me and they warrantied it. Treat your service writer right and your life will be easier.
Gene

From: Everett, WA, USA | Registered: Aug 2000 | IP: Logged

killr-ss
Senior Member
Member # 2891 posted 07-19-2002 02:29 PM

thank goodness for this forum. mine just did this exact same thing last night. now i know what to fix without having to go to a dealer.
 

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here's another post

Brake lights dont work -> fixed
The Lazy Destroyer

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Member # 4529



While on my way to a car meeting, a buddy of mine who was driving behind me told me that my brake lights didnt work. Who knows how long that was a problem. But he said my CHMSL and turn signals worked, which I thought was strange. Checked all fuses and they all checked out OK.

I searched the forums when I got home and found this thread from someone who had the exact same problem. I dove under the dash and found the connector. It's a black connector, 5 in wide, with the largest plug having 10 wires, with wires running up the steering column. I unplugged it and found the contacts (especially the one for the white wire mentioned in the thread) being pretty cruddy. I cleaned it up as best I could and WALLA, brake lights work now.

I just wanted to post this up to tell you guys to occationally check your brake lights

And before you buy a whole new switch/harness (~40 bucks), clean the contacts just in case.
 

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I think the cruise and the other problem may or may not be related...

Last one I got..

Brake Lights Don't Work http://www.impalassforum.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=25&t=001085
Lead SSled
Senior Member
Member # 1343 posted 10-07-2002 03:21 PM

The 3rd light in the rear deck works. All other lights including turn signals work. I checked power to the brake light switch via the white wire, it gets 12 volts when brake pedal is depressed. I read in an earlier thread that, in addition to the brake light switch, there is a switch inside the steering column that may be the culprit. How do I identify that one? Is there anything else that could cause this? Can't imagine the brake light filament going out on all six bulbs (have Scott's blink-blink mod) going out at the same time...

From: Houston, TX | Registered: May 2001 | IP: Logged

Kamchief1
Senior Member
Member # 878 posted 10-07-2002 06:53 PM

You may have a ground problem. Maybe water leak or wire chafed through the insulation.
I know the wires on the driver's side trunk hinge kept blowing out my trunk lights because it had chafed through. Maybe you can isolate each side by disconnecting the other harness and see if one side works while the other is disconnected.
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From: CHATTANOOGA, TN | Registered: Feb 2001 | IP: Logged

uwsacf
Senior Member
Member # 1589 posted 10-07-2002 07:45 PM

I know the tail "running" lights are fused...
Don't know about "stop" though...
Might be....
or the cheap GM brake lite switch...
There is the ground on the left trunk hinge - but I think that is more fuel related..
There is also supposed to be one either behind the bumper of just inside the trunk on the left side - if I can recall a very old post correctly...
Maybe someone else can jump in here..
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96 BBB stock, Scotts trunk kit w/hinge covers and baffle board. RE730s. 3496 bulbs everywhere, except the LedSS 3rd Brakelite.... and the LED Taillites.

From: Orlando, Florida | Registered: Jun 2001 | IP: Logged

HACK
Administrator
Member # 31 posted 10-07-2002 09:53 PM

If it were a ground problem the parking lights would not work. I am 99% sure it is the switch in the column. The brakes, blinkers and hazards all go through this switch first. It is not that hard to change but you do have to pull the steering wheel. If you have never done this before I would reccommend getting help. The good news is that Autozone carries the switch now.
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Scott Williams - Impala SS Forum Administrator


From: Round Rock, Texas USA | Registered: Jul 2000 | IP: Logged

Kamchief1
Senior Member
Member # 878 posted 10-08-2002 06:03 AM
quote:

Originally posted by HACK:
If it were a ground problem the parking lights would not work. I am 99% sure it is the switch in the column. The brakes, blinkers and hazards all go through this switch first. It is not that hard to change but you do have to pull the steering wheel. If you have never done this before I would reccommend getting help. The good news is that Autozone carries the switch now.

but, but
quote:

Originally posted by nSS 9C1:
Never had a problem before. Yes the 3rd brake light works fine, and the signals/4-way flashers also work fine.. running lights also work too. It is just when the brake is applied they don't light up. I have checked the connector/harness and all looks good. But i'm going to check the ground.

Thanks for your help.

quote:

Originally posted by nSS 9C1:
Finally got them figured out, it wasnt the switches, it was a ground problem.. guess my trunk leak affected abit more than just my stereo..

From: CHATTANOOGA, TN | Registered: Feb 2001 | IP: Logged

robification
Junior Member
Member # 4352 posted 10-11-2002 12:12 AM

had the same problem on my 96 ss, and went nuts trying to find it for a longeer time than i wish to share.... the center stop lamp is powered from the brake switch... the brake lights are powered from the turn signal switch(go figure).... there is a harness under the steering column... dont quite remember 100% how the wiring diagram went, but my signals and hazzards worked fine.... just didnt light up when i hit the brakes. to make it worse, it was intermittent. getting back to that harness.... forgot how many wires... think it was a 12 pin connector.... one of them wires were making a poor connection(not firmly in connector). the wire color was either light brown or white... after giving a light tug, this darned thing just fell out of the plug... long story short, i fixed the connection and it was good as new...
hope this helps.... if you need more info, post again, and i'll try and find that wiring diagram.

From: nyc | Registered: Oct 2002 | IP: Logged

Lead SSled
Senior Member
Member # 1343 posted 10-12-2002 04:04 PM

Well, whether it was accidental or intentional, GM added some redundancy to the stoplamp system....
If it's a ground problem, where do I look?
I do have the factory manuals, so if the wiring diagram is in there, I have it.
Thanks everyone for contributing your experience - would have taken me forever to figure this out vs. your been there/done that.

From: Houston, TX | Registered: May 2001 | IP: Logged

robification
Junior Member
Member # 4352 posted 10-12-2002 05:04 PM

i have a little more info that may be helpful... the plug i was reffering to in my first post is actually an 11 pin connector, white in color... the connector is flat(one row of 11 wires)and located at the base of steering column. you may need to remove the drivers side kick panel to gain access. the location of my faulty wire was either pin-p or pin-d... if you DO have a diagram, you're looking for connector# c210
i would post a picture of the connector with pin ID's, but have no idea how..... if you need it, lemmee know and i'll email it to you. i also have access to all data, so if you need any diagrams, lemmee know(though alldata wiring diagrams are crappy).
i also ripped this out of alldata.... may be helpful....
Voltage is applied at all times from I/P Fuse #37 to the Stoplamp Switch. When the brake pedal is depressed, voltage is applied from the Stoplamp Switch and Turn Signal Switch to CKT 18 and CKT 19, turning "ON" the LH and RH Tail/Stop/Turn Lamps.
Voltage is supplied at all times through I/P Fuse #37 to the Stoplamp/Cruise Release Switch. When the brake pedal is depressed, voltage is applied from the Stoplamp/Cruise Release Switch to CKT 17 and the High Mount Stoplamp, turning "ON" the High Mount Stoplamp.
Buick Wagons with Remote Keyless Entry (AU0) have a 400 ohm resistor in CKT 17 and CKT 750. This Resistor is used to prevent accidental locking of the door locks in cases where the Hazard Switch has been activated and the Rear glass is released. Residual voltage in CKT 17 could cause the Remote Control Door Lock Receiver to activate a Door Lock Cycle. The 400 ohm resistor will keep CKT 17 LOW," thus preventing an unwanted Lock Cycle. Refer to Keyless Entry for additional information on the Remote Keyless Entry System.

From: nyc | Registered: Oct 2002 | IP: Logged

uwsacf
Senior Member
Member # 1589 posted 10-12-2002 09:36 PM

there is one ground on the left trunk hinge - usually causes problems with fuel sender/pump..... but has been known to create other havoc as well....
I have been told there is another ground near the left tail lite - but I don't know if it is inside the trunk or behind the lite...
If I recall correctly it is near the lite... but I wouldn't swear to it...
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96 BBB stock, Scotts trunk kit w/hinge covers and baffle board. RE730s. 3496 bulbs everywhere, except the LedSS 3rd Brakelite.... and the LED Taillites.

From: Orlando, Florida | Registered: Jun 2001 | IP: Logged
part 2 coming up
 

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part 2 of above thread

Lead SSled
Senior Member
Member # 1343 posted 10-24-2002 05:25 PM

Well - still haven't cured this, and finally got a warning ticket yesterday, so I've got to figure it out. It occurred to me that this may be the cause for the two rear-enders that I have experienced in the last year...
Just to recap, taillights, turn signals, parking lights, 4-way flashers and 3rd stop light all work. Just the right/left rear brake lamps don't work. Car is a '96.
The only ground I find inside the trunk is the one leading to the trunk hinge, it's clean as a whistle, but I loosened/tightened the metal screw just to make sure there was a good connection. There's no other ground wire visible on the left side fenderwell or anywhere on the left side inside the trunk.
Checked the power from the brake switch, it shoots 12V when pedal is pressed. Can't find a flat 11-wire connector, took the flat panel and plate under the steering wheel off. Took off the left kick panel as well. Only thing that is a flat connector (not 11-wire) is directly under the steering column behind the flat panel, checked the wires on it, all seem to be seated well, tried to move them back and forth just in case any deposits had built up that could inhibit conductivity.
Only thing I haven't been able to check out is the switch that apparently requires steering wheel removal, which I'm not certain is the issue based on the input here. Any other suggestions before I remove the steering wheel (which I've never done, guess I can search the forum for instructions)? What's the part number of the switch?

From: Houston, TX | Registered: May 2001 | IP: Logged

telang
Senior Member
Member # 1926 posted 10-28-2002 09:16 AM

Lead: The flat connector your working on is the right one. Not all of the positions are used. Only seven (I think.) The wire you need to check is the white one on the end. Make sure you use a test light not a DVM (digital volt meter)and probe BOTH sides of the connector with the brale pedal depressed. I've had this connection go bad on other cars. If you got +12v on both sides of the connector then you're going to HAVE to get into the column.
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Terry

From: Youngstown,OH | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged

Lead SSled
Senior Member
Member # 1343 posted 10-31-2002 12:38 PM

Terry, I found the connector you are talking about, I was looking at the wrong one. The one you mention is securly fastened to the column via a slide-on clip, which is why I didn't see it. Also, mine was black in color. There was a different one readily visible that was white in color, but without the correct number of connectors. If we're talking about the same connector, this one is the long skinny one (must be 5 inches wide) that is the actual connector set for the switch in the column. I pulled the switch out of the column and examined it and the wires, and I don't think there's anything wrong with the switch, based just on visual observation. The only parts that have wire connections that I can't see are the turn signals and emergency flashers, both of which work. The rest of the connections and wires look to be in great shape. I checked the white wire voltage on both sides of the connector, and got 12V with a test light. If the switch in the column was bad, would I be getting the 12V?
Now I'm back to the ground issue again. As mentioned before, I find one wire coming out of the harness on the left side that connects to the trunk hinge mount, connections there are clean. If there's another ground somewhere else, I can't find it. Took the tailights out just to make sure, and no grounds hidden behind them.
If anyone has any additional info to offer here, it would be greatly appreciated.

From: Houston, TX | Registered: May 2001 | IP: Logged

Lead SSled
Senior Member
Member # 1343 posted 10-31-2002 02:58 PM
Just had one of those DUH moments... unplugged the connector for the turn signal/hazard switch and plugged it into the new switch that is still in the box - brake lights work. Definitely the switch. Now for the beeeaaatch of a job getting the old switch and connector pulled out and the new one pulled back through the tight-a** obstacle course inside the column.

From: Houston, TX | Registered: May 2001 | IP: Logged

Lead SSled
Senior Member
Member # 1343 posted 11-04-2002 05:47 PM

A final note on this - getting the connector for the old switch out, and getting the new one in, turned out to be fairly easy. All it took was a good light and a skinny screwdriver. Looking down the column, and also into the gap created by the tilt wheel feature, it was easy to gently nudge the connector and position it to clear obstacles. Took maybe 30 seconds extra both ways. Finally - working brake lights again, for a grand total of $40.00 for the AC/Delco switch from the local auto supply...
Although some parts places are picky about having electrical parts returned, it would sure be easy to figure out if it is the switch or not by simply unplugging the one in the column and hooking up the new one without taking anything apart - just a thought in the event you're trying to figure this one out ;-)

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
>>uwsacf

Well it looks like I'll go dig into the column area and look for the 11 pin connector everyone was writing about.

>>I'm thinking its either the new turn signal switch [was it GM?]

Yes it was, just bought off Amazon.com in the summer.

>>did you check QaloSS handbook?

No, I have just been rerferring to the to the Manuals 1 & 2.

What I found last night was the llowing regarding what each pin does on connector: C400

A - LH TURN
B - MARKER (Lh & RH)
C - RH TURN
D - EMPTY/NOT USED

E - REVERSE LIGHT
F - GND
G - STOP/TURN (L&R)
H - FUEL PUMP

Even though the 11 pin switch on the coumn sure sounds like it could be the problem, I can not understand why the mating connector on the tail lamp side (disconnected) has continuity between B-E-F-G & H Ports?

If anyone can throw a meter on their car and DBL check this I'd be very grateful.

It's 42' out right now @ 4:45 AM, and I'm gonna go dig into looking at the 11 pin connector and see if I can't see any burned connectors.

Thanks for the posts, I am too lazy (And tired) this AM to use the quote feature.

All of this testing is being done with traditional filament bulbs, and not LEDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just got in from looking at the 11 pin connector. I didn't see anything unusual, burned connectors...etc. I left the connector disconnected.

I used my DVOM and found that ports: M, N and P have continuity.

I then pulled the 4-pin connector for the turn signal stalk from the receptacle, and left disconnected.

I turned on the headlight switch 1-click, and SAME results. All four brake lights are lit.

So that seems to eliminate the turn signal switch, as well as the 11 pin switch as problem sources.

All of this was done once again with both connectors pulled from the brake light switch, as well as the two pin connector for the cruise control, next to the switch.
 

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then it sounds like a ground problem or a chafed wire somewhere.

However, I'm not nowhere qualified with anything other than a test lite..

I have the ground.pdf and the lamp wiring.pdf if you want to send me a private email I will forward them...[it will be late tomorrow though]

Best I can do bud - good luck..

I hate wiring..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At the end of the day, and removing yards of -really- sticky electrical tape, I found the following culprits (Hopfuly) in the GND circuit.



 
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