Could be lots of things. Let's start with the basics. Do the tail lights go on when the headlights are on? Have you checked the bulbs? Have you tried re-seating the socket? Did they work before and suddenly stop?
If the tail lights light up when you turn the headlights on then it shouldn't be a major wiring issue.
Underneath the dash, find the arm that your brake pedal is connected to. Follow this up until you come to the large pin that holds the pushrod from the brake master cylinder. There should be a brake light switch connected to that large pin. The pin should have the master cylinder pushrod on it first, then a spacer, then the brake light switch with an electrical connection attached to it, and then a cotter pin. Make sure the wire connection with the brake light switch is tight.
For what it is worth, I have the problem of my brakelights going out from time to time. Usually it is along with the horn and/or turn signals. Turned out it was my turn signal switch in the column which all of these circuits go through. Then the wire connector at the bottom of the column would act up. I had to jiggle it around to make sure all of the individual pins would line up. Oh, I had to jiggle the brake switch on the brake pedal that Ted mentions a little as well.
Hell, I'm 45 years old now too and my parts don't work like they used to either.
I just installed a new contact/signal return switch, and had the same problem, if you recently worked near/on your steering column, theny you may have disturbed this unit, mine wasnt pushed on all the way. i fixed the problem by tightning the switch,
this switch functions so that like said in a previous reply, it tells the brake light to blink when that signal is on while pressing the brake.
i was a little concern as well easy fix, by the way you can use tester at the switch on the pedal, mine in white, and if you get power on both sides when depressed then, im sure its that contact under the steering wheel
Sorry I haven't replied to anyone sooner. I've been working the past week and havent found the time to be online Thank you to all those who have replied. My issue however is with the taillights themselves i believe. Both signal lites work and brake lights work perfect. Just no taillights. they used to work, not sure what happened.
Symptoms: No tailights at first. Then horn, brake lights and interior lights all quit working consecutively. Me and my dad tore apart the whole electrical system looking for what might be the cause. Found lots of small issues )I.e spliced wires and wires twisted together. In the end it ended up that the headlight switch had gone bad! Apparently alomost all of the vehicles electrical wiring runs thru the headlight switch and if that quits working it becomes a major problem. So simple solution after weeks of work haha. As far as my backup lights never working its becuz they were never hooked up! lmao! The neutral safety switch (backup switch) is completely missing from the bottom side of my shifter! Thanks for the diagrams! They helped me to label all of the connections :yelpleased:
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