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  #1  
Old 08-07-2012, 01:54 PM
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Location: Appleton, WI
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E320 Driver's Side Brake Light Stays on. Why?

I bought my 95 E320 about 3 years ago and noticed that the "External Light Failure" light was illuminated. The guy I bought the car from said it was because there is a crack in the left headlight glass. He was wrong. This dash light started out sometimes coming on and other times, not at all.

About three months ago, I noticed that the dash light would turn on after every time I would remove my foot off the brake pedal. Well... wouldn't you know, I got pulled over and the officer explained to me that my left tail light seemed to be brighter than the right side (I got a verbal warning by the way).

After getting out and looking at it, it was evident that my break light was still on. I tried replacing the bulb, but still the same result.

I've read a few posts and it sounds like a possible brake switch problem. My question is: If it was the brake switch, wouldn't both brake lights remain illuminated??? I don't understand why just one side would remain illuminated.

It's not a huge issue (at least I don't think so), but it is a little annoying having that dash light always lit up! Any advice would help a lot!

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:03 PM
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sounds like a grounding problem, pull up a wiring diagram and check out your grounds and clean em
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:56 PM
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Make sure the arrow on the headlight switch is pointing straight up and not to the left, check and report back.
Gilly
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:59 PM
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Here is an example, should be pointing up to the "O"
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:00 PM
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The "brighter on the left side" may be related to the rear fog light being on.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:03 PM
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Yes - check the fog lamp, the brakes are the corners, parking are the centres and the fog is the inner triangular lamp.

I was also pulled over for fog lamp driving, it was really really foggy - so I decided to use this euro fog lamp - NOPES - mister cop was not interested. I turned it off and only got a verbal. - grrrrr - And in the ultra rare event of my wife driving this car - When she comes back I go out and twist the knob back to 0 - because she twists it all the way to the left which turns on parking lamps for the left. She does this 8 out of 10 times - Its progress from her "automatic headlamps" driving training she had.

anyway - its a bit impossible that the wiring to only one lamp is reversed (parking for brake and brake for parking) unless someone has monkeyed with the connector. That little lamp failure bit is very sensitive to amp draw. even the small side marker lights in the rear will set it off.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:38 PM
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@Gilly - this happens during the day when my lights are not on as well... so definitely a brake light issue.
@gabzor - where would the ground wires be located? This is my first foreign car...

Added to this.. I also noticed that my driver's side tail light assembly is missing a bulb (and a wire!). While looking at the back of the car... It's the lower, most left light. Not sure if it is needed, but it is completely gone.

The previous owner of this car has screwed me out of a lot of things. Little things, but it has all took a lot of research to try and fix the issues. Last year, it was the wrong size serpentine belt due to him removing the smog pump (belt squealed really loud and I "kind-of" got it fixed now). Glad I know how to turn a wrench! Love the car but it has caused a lot of headaches.
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Old 08-11-2012, 11:36 PM
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UPDATE:: Well... Just checked my lights to humor myself about my issue (at night). And wouldn't you know! If I pull the light switch out two clicks, the driver's side brake/tail light is brighter! Every day is a learning curve with this car! I guess I will only pull the fog light switch to one click from now on....

I am still having the "Exterior Light Failure" light illuminate on the dash board though (Day or night)... I'm thinking that it is still a brake light issue (even though everything is working properly).

Also, I looked up the info on why I do not have a bulb in the lower left passenger side tail light assembly and I guess they didn't come with that... all I have to figure out is why I am still having the light failure.

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