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1990 subaru legacy L 2.2L automatic with no brake lights
10-09-2013, 03:05 AM
Post: #1
1990 subaru legacy L 2.2L automatic with no brake lights
my 1990 subaru legacy L has no brake lights. i have all other lights on the car just brake lights wont work i have replaced the brake switch, bulbs, fuses and relays i had a 20 amp fuse under the dash that was blown replced it still no lights fuse stayed in tacked
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10-09-2013, 09:45 AM
Post: #2
RE: 1990 subaru legacy L 2.2L automatic with no brake lights
If I was working on your car I would get a “Test Light” and start at the brake light sockets. Working alone, I usually take something and wedge it between the seat and brake pedal to hold the brake lights ON. Take the bulbs out, connect the test light to a known good ground, and check for power in the socket. If there IS power, now you need to connect the test light to a known good power source & test for ground in the socket. If both are present the bulbs or socket are the problem, i.e., bad bulbs, bulbs installed incorrectly, corrosion, socket springs not pushing the contacts against the bulb, etc.

Since both lights are not working I suspect that you will find the problem further up the line. Check the color of the brake light wire in each socket. This will vary depending on the light configuration. If the brake light and turn signal are the same one will most likely be Green & the other will be Yellow. However; if I remember correctly, those cars had separate brake lights and turn signals. In that case the wire is likely Red on both sides. Whatever the case you need to follow the wires forward looking for any breaks, corrosion, or melted insulation. Check any connectors for dirt, corrosion, melting, & being plugged in tight. Use your test light at each connector to check for power. Keep following the wires until you find power.

If the brake & turn signal lights work together you may find that the Turn Signal Switch is the culprit since the brake lights go through the turn signal switch.

Did you check for power at the brake light switch when you replaced it? Did you check for power at the fuses & relays? Check every item with the test light as you go. Once you find power you can start back towards the lights to see what has stopped the power.

Please let us know what you find.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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10-09-2013, 09:55 AM (This post was last modified: 10-09-2013 09:57 AM by Rupe.)
Post: #3
RE: 1990 subaru legacy L 2.2L automatic with no brake lights
Using a 12 volt test light check for power going into the brake light switch then depress the pedal and see if you have power leaving the switch, just to be sure the new switch is good and properly adjusted / located.

If you have no power into the switch then work from there up to the battery. (does the key need to be on?)

If you have power through the switch my first check is always looking near other repairs (interior work?) or checking for signs of previous body work where someone may have repaired a harness or changed an entire tail light assembly and not put the plugs in tight. Once you know where the power stops you can narrow down where you need to work.

BTW, on an older car (13 years old) don't overlook the fact that you may have power all the way to the back but a ground connection could be rusty / broken.

Edited to add: it looks like Garner and I are both posting over morning coffee at the same time.
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10-10-2013, 06:17 AM
Post: #4
RE: 1990 subaru legacy L 2.2L automatic with no brake lights
I understand it is a small car but if there was a trailer hitch installed and there is a wire harness connected for the trailer that is a very good possible location for you to look, for road salt and debris can damage wires if someone spliced into the harness instead of buying a plug-in harness.

help where i can leave the rest up to the everybody else
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