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hurry, fast, quick > mechanic > electrical > temporary brake lights

Posted on 2006-11-03
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Last Modified: 2008-03-17
I have a 1993 Chevy series 20 cargo van. I have a job over the weekend and if I can not find the source of the problem by mid day Sat., I'll need to rig up some temporary brake lights.
1. I have no brake lights on the van
2. I have no emergency blinkers
3. All fuses appear good, bulbs good since the turn signals do work.
4. temp guage goes wild, 100 degrees one day and waaaay past 260 degrees the next.

Allowing 200 points for the temp guage, 200 for brake lights, 100 for emergency blinkers.

Autozone guy told me that he once had no brake lights and he changed the brake light sensor by the pedal and still no brake lights and it turned out to be the turn signal switch..........no sure how that can affect brake lights.........

this temp guage was on 100 when I bought it and stayed there and never moved for 5 months. Then last week, out of nowhere, I looked down and it was way past 260 and the needle moved some. Now it is moving around in the 260 area and the area indicated by "red". Plenty of water and not over heating.

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Question by:nickg5
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by:
TOPIO earned 140 total points
ID: 17871356
Hi nickg5,
this means that you have a shorted sensor somewhere that is overloading
the circuit, OR a stuck relay somewhere

the closes thing that I would sugest if you're mechanically and electrically inclined
is to rig a pressure sensitive sitch on the brake pedal

Cheers!
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by:rid
rid earned 140 total points
ID: 17872598
Seems some american vehicles use the same bulbs for turn signal and brake light, so the turn signal switch is involved, of course. Might be worth checking. Check for 12 V at the pedal switch (both terminals when pedal depressed). If emergency flash is affected as well, the turn signal switch again seems to be involved, but it's difficult to say without a schematic.

As for engine temp, the 100F value is obviously false and the 260F is more like credible, but I wouldn't trust the meter *at all*. check coolant level regularly and make sure you have a functional discharge warning light (if the alternator is on the same drive belt as the water pump/fan).
/RID
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by:Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd
Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd earned 140 total points
ID: 17872823
Temp gauge - could be several things. Some to check are:
coolant level - You've done that so OK
Coolant is circulating - you say not overheating so should be ok
The temp sender can be damaged - new one shouldn't be expensive
The temp sender may not match the gauge - ie one of them is the wrong one for the vehicle so the readings don't match
Guage broken - more expensive than a sender
Capacitor in the gauge circuit damaged - this is the one that stops the gauges flicking up and down too fast, it smooths out the changes in the current.
Wiring fault somewhere in the cct.

Try locating the temp sender, take the wire off - the gauge reading should be zero.
Short the wire to earth (engine or chassis), you should get a full deflection on the gauge. If you don't then I would suspect the sender.
Other parts are harder to diagnose without the diagram.
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by:pkowilich
pkowilich earned 80 total points
ID: 17890724
run a diagnostics on your on board computer.  to many issues all at once to be a single thing.  
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by:nickg5
ID: 17893502
changing the point dispersal plan
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by:nickg5
ID: 17893521
I'm not sure my vehicle has a computer on board being a 1993.

No relays I am aware of.

The center of the van caught fire a few weeks ago. If the brake lights, etc. go to the right of the steering column and down the side instead of down the left side, those wires could have been burned. The only thing the mechanic and I "knew" had been toasted was the radio.
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Expert Comment

by:pkowilich
ID: 17894884
pretty sure it has an on board computer.  almost all cars from the late 80's on do.  if its fuel injected it most certainly does.   if you had a fire, I'm assuming electrical was the cause, if there was a short then i would really suspect the computer has some sort of damage.  
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by:nickg5
ID: 17897960
The fire was not electrical it was gas being poured into the engine "with a mechanics approval and supervision". Some gas spilled on top of the engine and caught fire and the radio was toasted. The fuel injectors were melted slightly. But the van has run perfect since then which was 3000 miles ago, except no brake or emgency lights which is a recent problem, and faulty temp guage or sensor from the day I bought the van.
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