Rear signal and brake lights not working. | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rear signal and brake lights not working.

dburkhead

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'05 XLT
I have a 2005 Ford Explorer XLT. Recently I've found the rear flashers, turn signals, and brake lights not working.

I discovered the problem when I'd turned on the flashers while stopped on the side of the road. I noticed the front lights were working (suggesting the flasher relay was working) but the rear lights were not. After some experimentation I determined that the front turn signals work, both as turn signals and 4 way flashers. The rear ones do not. The high center brake light works but the ones as part of the tail light assemblies do not. So this is two lights in particular that do not work since, as I understand it, the same light does double duty as turn signal and brake lights.

Is there some common connection for those particular lights but that does not affect top brake light, the lower intensity tail lights (turned on with the headlights) or the front turn signals/flasher? If there is, how would I get access to inspect, test that connection?

I suppose it's also possible that the bulbs have just burned out. Both at once would be unusual but not impossible. It is not immediately obvious how I can get access to the bulbs. That would be easy enough to look up online but "while I'm here..."

Any other suggestions on what would cause this particular combination of failures. The flasher relay failing I would expect to get both front and rear lights. Multifunction switch in the steering column I would expect not to hit the brake light. So...wondering.

Money is tight so I'm really, really hoping this fix can be done as a reasonable DIY project.

Help.
 


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IIGood

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03 Explorer; 03 Mustang
I suppose it's also possible that the bulbs have just burned out. Both at once would be unusual but not impossible. It is not immediately obvious how I can get access to the bulbs. That would be easy enough to look up online but "while I'm here..."

The bulbs are quite an easy fix really. Open the tailgate and on the side of each light housing, there are 2 Philips-head screws. Remove the screws and then pull the light assembly away from the body of the vehicle (just need to do a little finagling; it's not bad). Then the light sockets are on the back of the lens/light assembly...just rotate each socket so it can pull out of the housing and voila...you can then replace the bulbs.

Then, as they say, "reassembly is the reverse of disassembly."
 




dburkhead

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By two screws do you mean one on each side? Because that's what I see.
 




dburkhead

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And is there anything in particular to check for those specific symptoms other than the bulbs themselves?
 




IIGood

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By two screws do you mean one on each side? Because that's what I see.

It probably is just one. I couldn't remember if it was one or two per lens...

Beyond the bulbs, I personally do not have any other knowledge on what to check for. Maybe just check if the wiring going into the bulb sockets is in good shape? Someone else will have to chime in on any further troubleshooting...I'm not too familiar with electrical stuff.

Are your reverse lights working?
 




sfhess

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There are two screws per side that hold the taillight clusters in place.
 




Donystoy

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Certainly do the simple stuff first by checking the bulbs. Are the tail lights working? They use the same bulb but the other half. These are similar to the old 1157 bulbs but have a different style push in plug end. If the tail lights are not operating as well I would look for a common ground connection that may not be connected. Unfortunately the brake circuit does goes through the steering column switch so as to remove the brake light circuit from the individual rear bulb that is to flash when turning on that signal light. Otherwise you would not have any signal lights in the rear when you stepped on the brakes. I haven't looked at the wiring diagrams but usually the center brake light would have a dedicated wire going directly to the brake light switch on the brake pedal. Usually when there is a bad contact in the steering column switch it would only effect one light so I would look elsewhere first.
 




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