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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:45 am
Posts: 2
Location: Logan city
Hi, I'm new to the forum and am looking fr answers as i only just got my license and need to make my already registered car a safer car. The problem is when i turn the headlights on, the brake lights (the inner lights?) come on also and wont turn off. When the headlights are off there is no problem and the brake lights work as they should. The outer lights light up brighter as the brakes are applied just as they shoul and everything else is okay. Was just wonderin if it could be the brake switch or something like that. Really need to know as i cannot legally drive at night time in this state. I own a 1992 swift 4 door.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 2:36 am
Posts: 886
Location: Vancouver BC
The rear lamp assemblies for the tail light and stop light functions use two 1157 bulbs per side; each bulb has two filaments, one is for the stop light circuit and the other is for tail light circuit which is energized whenever your headlight switch is turned on.

The stop light filament will produce more light than the tail light filament. If the bulb has been inserted incorrectly in its holder it us possible that the wrong filament is being supplied with electricity. Eg. The stop light filament is getting power when the tail light filament should be getting power. Try removing the bulb and seeing if it has been incorrectly installed or incorrect bulb being used. There are little offset pins on the bulb meant to prevent incorrect installation. Be careful when removing the glass bulb as there may be corrosion in the socket.

See also lighting topic: http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=42383

The car below has its stop lights on and all 4 bulbs are lit. On this car, the center lamps have been modified to also light up and that is not stock.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:45 am
Posts: 2
Location: Logan city
This seems very logical and it would make sense if i hadnt been driving the car on my learner license for so long without a drama. The bulbs are inserted correctly and not a great deal of corrosion either. Could it be the brake switch above the pedal? Even though they arent on without the headlights applied? Also the switch moves in and out smoothly with the brake pedal as im sure its meant to.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 2:36 am
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Location: Vancouver BC
When I went out to look at my Swift for you today, I found my stop lights have suddenly started to behave abnormally as well!

When the headlights are OFF, and the brake pedal is pressed, 3 of the 4 stop lights work normally but one is brighter than the other 3.

When the headlights are ON, and the brake pedal is pressed, the one bulb that was brighter becomes brighter still, while the 3 other bulbs turn off completely.

When the headlights are ON, and the brake pedal is NOT pressed, 3 of the 4 tail lights work normally but one is brighter than the other 3.

I'll do some wire tracing tomorrow and post what I find. I suspect you may be right regarding the brake switch, but bad grounds or short in the wiring is also possible.

Below is the lighting circuit for a 92-94 Swift. There are 3 wires to check out: Brake light +12V power wire is Green/White stripe, Black is Ground, and Tail light +12V power wire is Red/Yellow stripe.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 2:36 am
Posts: 886
Location: Vancouver BC
OK. Here is the most likely cause and fix for your issue (as it was for mine).

What can be ruled out?
The tail lamp wiring's main ground connections are located behind the front interior kick panels, next to your feet and on the passenger side. However, these are not likely the problem as it appears most of your rear lighting is working normally.

Your brake switch can be ruled out as it works normally when your lights are off. It would not stop providing 12V to your stop light circuit just because your headlights are on.

Solution:

Your head/tail light circuit appears to be using your stop light filament as an alternate path to ground, as you have a ground problem in your light sockets.

A Swift tail lamp bulb holder relies on friction between a copper ground wire and the bulb holder's metal socket. Over time the friction contact between the wire and the socket breaks down due to corrosion. It may be invisible to your eye.

A Swift uses 2 filaments, one for the tail light and one for the stop light. If the ground connection to one or more of these sockets is poor, the bulb will find a path to ground, sometimes, using the other filament to get there. These ground-related issues can cause all kinds of lighting problems, such as bulbs that appear dim, too bright, or turning off when you expect it to be lit up.

The fix is pretty simple. For each light socket, clean the connection from the (black) ground wire to the exterior of the metal socket. Ideally, these connections should be soldered, to avoid corrosion from recurring in the future.

See picture below.

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