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No brake lights. Any ideas?


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Hi Guys,

 

The brake lights on my 1984 Turbo are not working. I have only just bought this car. I haven't investigated it yet but are there any common faults that I should be aware of? Assuming the bulbs are ok, what's the first thing to check?

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6 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Reckon you’ve knocked the wires off the switch by the pedal while hunting for the bonnet release. 

That sounds plausible. I will have a look for any disconnected wires. Hopefully it's as simple as that! Thank you.

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I think you can save yourselves the time to try from the front. There are a couple of openings below the plenum cover but they are small, too far from the switch and obstructed. Unless you break your wrist in 3 places… The lotus position is easy. Remove the 4 nuts that hold the seat, lift out the seat, slide yourself in under the steering wheel and check from there. It’s real simple, comfy once you’re in and it won’t be the last time you get in there, trust me. She wants you to get to know her.  It’s an integral part and essential process of esprit ownership. 😉

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Well I found the problem. What an absolute nightmare that switch is to get at. 😂

God only knows how I’m going to get it back in place. The switch doesn’t look like a genuine Lotus component (according to my research on this forum). The switch is definitely faulty. I bridged the wires and the brake lights came on. So I need to order a new switch. What’s the best place to get one?

7945FD64-DC88-454C-88EE-D06F3AB19E06.jpeg

06A417C6-14B3-4A9A-B7EF-86A0DE898156.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Barrykearley said:

That looks like vauxhall cavalier/Astra to me

Which will also explain why it stopped working 😂

1 hour ago, Gis said:

Well done. SJ sportscars will likely have it in stock. Look them up. 

Great! Thank you. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 26/08/2022 at 04:48, Barrykearley said:

That looks like vauxhall cavalier/Astra to me

Ford/Mazda switch. Same switch used on the Elise S1. Twist 90 deg and remove. Reverse procedure when refitting.

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Christopher Jacobs in his book on auto electrics says that 90% of electrical problems are bad grounds. Simple to check by just pulling a new wire off a near by ground and connecting to your brake light. The fact that you have both out suggest this may be your culprit.

No doubt a simple solution if the case. 

When I bought my Elite there were 6 melted wires under the dash and all needed to be replaced which many times, in my experience, it is easier to do then to find out why or where there could be a short.

atb,

Richard

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Thanks again. 

I have ordered two different brake switches from SJ Sportscars (see attached photos). The switch I removed from my car is the black Ford/Mazda style switch but I have read that most cars used the white switch. I am wondering if my car had the wrong type of switch installed. I suppose I'll just have to fiddle around when they arrive to see which one fits and works best.

SJ089M0002.jpg

SJ036M0029.jpg

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I have a problem. I installed the new switch today and I cannot get the brake lights to come on when the brake pedal is pushed. The new switch works perfectly, the brake lights go on and off when I press the new switch with my finger. But when it is installed, it’s as if there is nothing pushing on the switch when I press the brake pedal. 
Any ideas? 
 

EDIT: I came across this photo elsewhere on the forum. My car seems to be missing that screw in thingy that I’ve circled in red. Any idea what it is? This is probably the cause of my problem. 

1F3400BD-7390-4FB0-B815-78FC9E66F53F.jpeg

Edited by GreenGoddess
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I can't quite remember, but is the switch in the normally on state i.e. the contact is broken when the switch is operated?

If so, I think you may have to reposition the switch further away from the contact point on the brake pedal. The push and twist type switch is designed to be mountable at different distances in or out of the pedal box.

Note: I may have dreamed this, as I have the older type of switch :)  

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It's getting there......

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29 minutes ago, TAR said:

I can't quite remember, but is the switch in the normally on state i.e. the contact is broken when the switch is operated?

If so, I think you may have to reposition the switch further away from the contact point on the brake pedal. The push and twist type switch is designed to be mountable at different distances in or out of the pedal box.

Note: I may have dreamed this, as I have the older type of switch :)  

Yes, the brake lights are on when the button on the switch is NOT pressed. 
Nothing seems to be pressing on the button when I have it installed. 

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Success! I now have working brake lights. Someone on Facebook told me that when inserting the new switch, you need to install and remove it about 3000 times in order to get it into the perfect position for it to function correctly. Even if you move it 1mm either way it stops working properly. What a complete nightmare. 
Anyway, now I know for the future. 
Thank you to everyone on here who offered their advice, it’s much appreciated. 😊

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