Tail lights went out while driving...

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Traci Ann, May 29, 2006.

  1. Traci Ann

    Traci Ann Domestic Engineer

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    We were driving home last night and dh was folling me. He mentioned that the right tail light looked brighter. Next thing he is telling me is that I have no trailer lights and no tail lights or markers on either. I still had headlights, but all my dash lights had gone out.


    Any ideas? We checked the trailer connections, which are new, they were all fine. As far as we could tell all connections under were looking ok. I am...shrug...wondering how to fix this as with no brake lights I can't drive this.
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You were towing a trailer at the time? Sure sounds like there's a short in the harness somewhere. Check the fuses and see if replacing it without the trailer connected works.
     

  3. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    When one light is much brighter than the others it indicates to me that there is a ground problem. The ground problem is as Ross stated most likely on the trailer. The no lights problem is that the tail lamp fuse is blown on the car. Tail lights are fused and head lights are on a circuit breaker that auto resets for safety.
     
  4. Traci Ann

    Traci Ann Domestic Engineer

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    We found the "turn signal" fuse - burned out. Hopefully that's the only problem. It wasn't with the other fuses beside the glove box. The glove box pan actually lifts out of the glove box opening - that's where we found the inline fuse.

    Thanks all!
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Something caused the fuse to blow. It will blow again when the trailer is connected. You need to have someone familiar with trailer wiring to check out the system.
     
  6. Traci Ann

    Traci Ann Domestic Engineer

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    Well we put the inline fuse in and the tail lights, runners and blinkers all work again. But now, the turn signals seem to be flashing twice as fast as they were before this all happened.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks for evryone's input so far!
     
  7. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The device that does the clicking is a bimetallic heat acitvate switch in most vehicles. The greater the load (more lights in your situation) the more heat to the bimetallic strip and consequently the increase in the frequency of the flashing/clicking. You can buy the bimetallic flasher to match the number of lamps in the circuit.
     
  8. Traci Ann

    Traci Ann Domestic Engineer

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    Where is the bimetallic switch located?
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The bimetallic switch is the flasher, turn the turn signal on and start searching for the clicking flasher
     
  10. NJ Rich

    NJ Rich NJ Rich

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    I had a short on my boat trailer wiring once. It burned out the wiring harness in the steering column of my car. A costly deal way back then. I am sure it would be horribly costly today.

    My solution was to put a fuse block on the tongue of the trailer. The wiring came from the connector attaching to my 4 X4 to the block and then to the trailer light wiring. I fuse every wire. I use 3 amp fuses. Yes they blow out quick if a wire shorts out but that is what protects my tow vehicle. Total investment was less than $6.00. Trailer wiring can be a problem. I have a lot less problems since I also started soldering some of my wire connections.
     
  11. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My minivans blinker gets faster when I have a brake light out.