Automotive

Caravan brake lights stuck on

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  • Jun 15th, 2015 10:38 am
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[OP]
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Caravan brake lights stuck on

I bought a used 2006 Caravan with a known issue of the brake lights staying on. I tried hooking the brake switch back up so I could replicate the issue and diagnose the problem. While I was below the steering column I noticed a few things. Can somebody tell me if anything at all should be plugged into the two spots circled?

Another look at the part: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OgBUFG ... sp=sharing

Thanks.


[IMG]http://s18.postimg.org/f2hl5bf09/empty_slots2.jpg[/IMG]
11 replies
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Jun 7, 2014
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Brampton, ON
Often times it is cheaper to just mass produce parts, like wire harnesses, and have the connectors for all possible options, regardless of whether they are on the vehicle or not.

Without knowing your trim package, it would be hard to say.

That being said, I have no clue. Most connectors are made so they can only fit where they belong, so people don't accidentally plug things into the wrong spots.
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[OP]
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That's what it looks like, got a reply from another forum.
One is the ECM tester,and the other is for other power ascesorys,no they should not be plugged in to any thing.
The previous owners mechanic did something to disable the brake lights all together to stop battery drain, I'm just trying to figure out what he did
[OP]
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Next Question.

I took the switch out and plugged it into my multimeter.

There are 6 contacts on the switch. 2 pairs of them show 0 on the multimeter. The last 2 however, show 0.L on my digital multimeter. Does anybody know if there is a reason for that?

[IMG]http://s10.postimg.org/5fdnzrwy1/switch.jpg[/IMG]
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Evil Baby wrote:
Jun 14th, 2015 8:47 am
Next Question.

I took the switch out and plugged it into my multimeter.

There are 6 contacts on the switch. 2 pairs of them show 0 on the multimeter. The last 2 however, show 0.L on my digital multimeter. Does anybody know if there is a reason for that?

Doesn't matter why.
Go to Napa and buy a new one for 12$. Read the instructions CORRECTLY, I lost 12$ when I replaced mine and badly setup the other. These things are like condoms, one time use, if you mess up you'll need another new one.
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alkizmo wrote:
Jun 14th, 2015 3:27 pm
Doesn't matter why.
Go to Napa and buy a new one for 12$. Read the instructions CORRECTLY, I lost 12$ when I replaced mine and badly setup the other. These things are like condoms, one time use, if you mess up you'll need another new one.
Thanks,

Yeah I picked another one up, but then it started raining. Haven't had a chance to throw it in yet. Should have checked Napa, Automotive Warehouse charged me $22. :mad:

Hopefully, this fixes the problem. The Kijiji add said it was the IPM which his mechanic said was $750 to replace. I already know I can get one of those a lot cheaper but I thought I'd start fresh it looking for the issue in-case it was something as simple as a dead switch or burnt out bulb.

My readings above look to indicate the switch was dead, however the IPM could still be malfunctioning. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
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Evil Baby wrote:
Jun 14th, 2015 4:27 pm
My readings above look to indicate the switch was dead, however the IPM could still be malfunctioning. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
Well, one way to test it out is if shorting some of the pins make a difference in terms of the brake light situation.

I have a 2003 Grand Caravan, the brake switch went bad, the lights stayed on at all time just as you described.

What I DO remember is that I fiddled with the old switch just like you did, and indeed, the circuit would complete in a weird way, however, once i cracked it open, it all made sense.
If one of the pins gets power when it is supposed to NEVER get power, it trips a switch in your dashboard (I could hear it click) that made the brake lights turn off permanently until I restarted the car.
It's really complicated to explain and I don't remember much, but don't be surprised by how the switch operates.

Follow the instructions that came with the new switch to a T, study it before you go play around with it. There is no turning back once it is installed.
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kitchener
Evil Baby wrote:
Jun 13th, 2015 7:36 pm
That's what it looks like, got a reply from another forum.



The previous owners mechanic did something to disable the brake lights all together to stop battery drain, I'm just trying to figure out what he did
Check the fuse box...it could be that he just pulled a fuse.
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alkizmo wrote:
Jun 14th, 2015 5:08 pm
Well, one way to test it out is if shorting some of the pins make a difference in terms of the brake light situation.

I have a 2003 Grand Caravan, the brake switch went bad, the lights stayed on at all time just as you described.

What I DO remember is that I fiddled with the old switch just like you did, and indeed, the circuit would complete in a weird way, however, once i cracked it open, it all made sense.
If one of the pins gets power when it is supposed to NEVER get power, it trips a switch in your dashboard (I could hear it click) that made the brake lights turn off permanently until I restarted the car.
It's really complicated to explain and I don't remember much, but don't be surprised by how the switch operates.

Follow the instructions that came with the new switch to a T, study it before you go play around with it. There is no turning back once it is installed.
So I also cracked open the old switch. I think it was working correctly and what I have shown above is how the switch is supposed to function.

With the Switch Open[brake pedal being pressed] you can see the two black tabs push the connection apart so they are not touching each other while the third pair of connection is left untouched and in contact with each other.
Image

When you push the switch in[let go of the brake pedal], the opposite happens. The two black tabs move backwards. The larger tab is enough to push the two connections together, while the smaller tab isn't enough to force the middle pair of connections to touch.

Image


I still couldn't figure why the brake lights wouldn't come on at all though. I thought I hooked everything back up, put in the correct fuses according the plastic top. Finally I decided to life the IPM(fuse box) out of its slot to look under it.
Think I found part of what the previous mechanic might have done. Too bad, right after I found this it started raining again. Had to close the hood, guess I'll have to wait till after work tomorrow if its not raining to take another look.


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[OP]
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angry-trucker wrote:
Jun 14th, 2015 6:12 pm
Check the fuse box...it could be that he just pulled a fuse.
Thanks, the previous mechanic has certainly done something funky in the fuse box.

This is what it looks like right now,

[IMG]http://s8.postimg.org/e35ybhx1h/fuse.jpg[/IMG]

I tried following the diagram on the plastic lid and some fuses are missing or the wrong amperage and obviously that specialized 20amp fuse isn't supposed to be like that but even that didn't get the lights back on. It wasn't until I looked under the IPM that I realized the mechanic has cut a wire as well.
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Evil Baby wrote:
Jun 14th, 2015 11:15 pm
When you push the switch in[let go of the brake pedal], the opposite happens. The two black tabs move backwards. The larger tab is enough to push the two connections together, while the smaller tab isn't enough to force the middle pair of connections to touch.
There are multiple pins, but if the incorrect pins get power when they never should, it trips something inside the car that locks the brake lights on or off, I forget, I just know it worked weird like that.
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In any level of automotive troubleshooting having electrical schematics makes the job much easier and probably quicker.

I seriously doubt that the person you keep referring as the "mechanic" (previous owner) is actually a mechanic considering the level of shoddy work he had performed.

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