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Is it the brake switch?

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Chevy Caprice Classic 1996, 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #1
So I got old MuleDawg home & well she is doing “ok”, but there are still issues. So here I am...
The reverse lights are staying on regardless of position of the shifter. The 3rd brake light doesn’t light up...
Also, I need a connect to find the door seals for all 4 doors as well as a instrument dash cluster....
Thanks everyone for all the support & guidance in keeping MuleDawg in the fight.
 

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Reverse lights always on--check the neutral safety switch at the base of the steering column.
3rd brake light--check the bulbs.
Door seals--look at RockAuto or google "caprice door seal".
Dash cluster--Ebay or car-part.com
 
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Chevy Caprice Classic 1996, 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks brother I’m gonna look at in the morning.
 

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Chevy Caprice Classic 1996, 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #4
Update:
Being that my wife whom is a frontline worker as a nurse 👩‍⚕️ tested positive today & my job requires us to be out for 10 days...I’m working on MuleDawg.

So come out today, hit the auto start & pisssssss.... nothing... after listening I hear my headlight lamp fans still running after the car was off.... strange.... I keep hunting and find out that with everything off... my rear tail lights are on, with the reverse light but no 3rd brake light 💡 WHAT IN THE NAME OF CHEVY HAS CRAWLED INTO MULEDAWG!!!! Brothers & sisters of the Chevy first baptize church of Big Bodies help a brother out...
I’m gonna look for a systematics of the lighting system in my Haynes manual, but if someone has dealt with this or can shoot me to a possible demon that is within this child of the road, I will by all means perform the exorcism !!!
 

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If you want to look at color schematics click on this:
A

Do you have the twilight sentinel head light switch or just a headlight switch?

Check your brake switch is it stuck?

You might want to disconnect or remove the fuses from the remote starter and/or alarm system until you know what is happening they do fail.
 

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Chevy Caprice Classic 1996, 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #6
I do have the twilight switch system...the brake & reverse lights are on at the same time, but I will check the brake switch. Also, good idea to remove the fuse from the alarm 🚨 & auto start.
 

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Chevy Caprice Classic 1996, 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, let me start by saying this ...HELP!!!
No headlights....
Dash displays solid 4 ways with the high beam indicator lit
Brake lights & reverse lights are on
3rd brake light not on...

I ran a test on the brake switch
Disconnected it, applied a jumper wire- brake lights work
Reconnected plug, used test lamp to test white wire at plug with brake pressed - it lit up. That tells me two things (I think) my brake switch is bad and the switch on the column is bad? Somebody gotta have dealt with this before... I have checked all my fuses... performed a amp draw/shortage test & all is well...
Anyone feel free to jump in and tell me it’s something simple and I’m over thinking this whole thing. Thanks in advance
 

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First please do not keep opening new threads on the same problem. It makes it impossible to know what you did in the past.

Has this car ever pulled a trailer? Dig around under the carpet in the trunk and look for extra wires. At the area behind each lens and on the driver's side rear fender where the factory wires come from the back seat and go to the left rear lens. Shorted rear wiring is a easy answer to your issues.

High/low beam switch is at the base of the column, the turn signal switch is in the column just under the wheel, the headlight switch is in the dash, and as you know the brake switch is separate as well.
I mention this as you would probably need several switch fails to have all the problems you are describing. It has a better probability of being a wiring issue.

RE: brake switch.
When unpluged do all lights go out?
When pluged in do all lights go on? Brake and backup?

Do the lights seem to be brite enough or do they seem dim?
A disconnected ground wire to the two lens would give you some but not all of your problems
Does anything change when you turn on the signal lights L/R?
Does anything change when you turn on the 4way flashers?
Do the front signal lights work?
Do things change when you turn on the park lights?

Have you checked the third brake light bulb? Whether the bulb is bad or lack of brake signal to it is good information.

You mentioned headlight fans? What type of headlights do you have? Are they connected direct to the OEM wiring or are relays used.?
 

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Discussion Starter #9

First please do not keep opening new threads on the same problem. It makes it impossible to know what you did in the past.

Has this car ever pulled a trailer? Dig around under the carpet in the trunk and look for extra wires. At the area behind each lens and on the driver's side rear fender where the factory wires come from the back seat and go to the left rear lens. Shorted rear wiring is a easy answer to your issues.

High/low beam switch is at the base of the column, the turn signal switch is in the column just under the wheel, the headlight switch is in the dash, and as you know the brake switch is separate as well.
I mention this as you would probably need several switch fails to have all the problems you are describing. It has a better probability of being a wiring issue.

RE: brake switch.
When unpluged do all lights go out?
When pluged in do all lights go on? Brake and backup?

Do the lights seem to be brite enough or do they seem dim?
A disconnected ground wire to the two lens would give you some but not all of your problems
Does anything change when you turn on the signal lights L/R?
Does anything change when you turn on the 4way flashers?
Do the front signal lights work?
Do things change when you turn on the park lights?

Have you checked the third brake light bulb? Whether the bulb is bad or lack of brake signal to it is good information.

You mentioned headlight fans? What type of headlights do you have? Are they connected direct to the OEM wiring or are relays used.?
Ok, let me first say I apologize for reposting the same issue, truly thought it all merged.
ok, so update: I checked my brake light switch for both power & continuity-both checked out, however per another troubleshooting tip- placed my test light into white wire and depressed petal- light cam on. Now I also found that the 3rd brake lightwas blown -gonna replace this first.
can someone point me in the direction of troubleshooting the switch and also is it the on on the left of the column or on top of the column? When I cut power by disconnecting the battery & reapplying power lights are off until I turn the parking light (dimmer) on , then tail lights, tag light and reverse lights come on and stay on, but no head lights or any up front...
 

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it the on on the left of the column or on top of the column?
the turn signal switch is in the column just under the wheel,
The wire harness for the turn switch goes to the bottom of the column where there is a connector.

can someone point me in the direction of troubleshooting
The forum could do much better if you answered the questions I asked. All of them.

When I cut power by disconnecting the battery & reapplying power lights are off until I turn the parking light (dimmer) on , then tail lights, tag light and reverse lights come on and stay on, but no head lights or any up front...
Sounds like some added accessory has malfunctioned. I can not think of any factory connection between the tail, reverse, or brake lights other than they use the same ground wire. The fact they reset when you remove all power points to something electronic. The twilight sentinel or the factory remote door lock could cause trouble with the tail lights but the reverse lights are not part of those circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Bro, I promise you this... is something I have learned in the military but this time I failed to follow, that is sometimes the answer to the problem is right in front of you & it was. So I have aftermarket bulbs in my headlights that have cooling fans attached to them, LED rear brake lights as well as reverse lights & a flipping heavy duty flasher relay... guess what the issue was? (I’ll wait.... 😂) the flasher unit!!! Yeah, I know right “how the flip?” Well, I traced all the wires, relays, switches, tested the all I could, changed a blown bulb 💡 (3rd brake light) and that’s when it hit me... had I tested my flasher relays?
So, I removed power, removed the unit and performed a test on it, based off my test it failed... I replaced it with a stronger flasher and what do ya know the bastards work!!! Now I’m gonna put everything back together and let her (MuleDawg) run for a few, cycle my remote start , alarm 🚨 & check all my lights both night & day operation and I will let you guys & gals (if they here) know....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I was wrong 😑 🤦🏾‍♂️... applied power & attempted to engage turn signal and both left & right plus high beam indicator are lit up. What the ham sandwich 🥪???

Back to the drawing board...
 

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I don't have a specific answer, but you need a schematic of the exterior lights system that you've accurately filled in with all the modifications that have been done (remote start, alarm, etc).

From there - you'll need to analyze it and figure out what can be causing the head lights not to light up and for the taillights/reverse lights to be on when they shouldn't, etc. Keep in mind, there may not be a single problem, but multiple problems causing the symptoms you describe. Get in there with a test light, multi meter, etc and verify every connection.

Make several print outs of the schematic, get some colored pencils/markers/crayons and start drawing. You'll make mistakes, improper diagnoses, etc so have multiple copies. Don't throw the mistakes away until you've found the problem, fixed it and confirmed the fix. Then once you've done that, make a final correct version of the schematic for future reference. Laminate it, take a picture of it, etc. You will need it again and you will not remember all the details :).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks brother... I’m just ready to get this behind me... I got so many parts to installed. Can’t quit and gotta stay in the fight...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update on MuleDawg:

So due to nasty cold weather, I was able to dip in & out to get some work done on MD, but I found more issues. So I am like 2,006% sure my turn signal switch is done, so I am awaiting that part before I move forward. I decided to pull my cluster out in order to check it out & guess what I found? So the owner before me I guess had attempted to replace the bulbs within the cluster by using either the teeth of a wolverine, ice pick, or his teeth!!! I mean bulbs were torn out, wires everywhere. SO in order to ensure I had no issues with my cluster (the repair shop said it was fading out) I paid the $100 to have it repaired, tested & checked for issues in a shop outta of Missouri.

So now that its flipping snowing!!! I guess I will wait to take off the stripping on the bumpers & replace them with new pieces. Until later & I have more updates ya'll have a good one...
 
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