Brake lights don't work
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  1. #1
    Contributing Member tcdell's Avatar
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    Default Brake lights don't work

    I took my bike (an '04) and participated in a bike safety class (which involved a lot of idling). About 3/4 of the way through my brake lights stopped working with either hand or foot brake. I checked the fuse and it looked okay, but I thought I'd stop on the way home and buy some new fuses just to be sure. I replaced all fuses (except for the two big ones at the bottom). Still no brake lights. Any suggestions? Where might the relay switches be located? Thanks for any help you can give me.
    Tom
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    The relay is under the seat, with a cover on all 3 banks of them. 2 screws hold the cover down and then the relay racks pop out by squeezing in on the tabs at the sides of the cover. Swap the brakelight relay with another one with the same legs and see if they work. If not, you need to check your turn signals to see if they work.
    Last edited by techdude2000; 04-07-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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    Here is the part of the schematic that might help. I find it unlikely but very possible that both switches are bad. One could have went bad before today and you didn't notice until the other crapped out. You can short the wires together of either switch to eliminate them from the problem.

    Last edited by techdude2000; 04-07-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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    Contributing Member tcdell's Avatar
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    Default Relay good, turn signals work

    Quote Originally Posted by techdude2000 View Post
    The relay is under the seat, with a cover on all 3 banks of them. 2 screws hold the cover down and then the relay racks pop out by squeezing in on the tabs at the sides of the cover. Swap the brakelight relay with another one with the same legs and see if they work. If not, you need to check your turn signals to see if they work.
    Thanks for the reply. I swapped it with the horn relay. Horn worked, but no brake lights, so the relay is good. The turn signals work okay. Could it be a switch at the hand or foot which is taking the whole thing out? Tried to jump the wire at the front between the green & yellow and white/green with no luck.
    Last edited by tcdell; 04-07-2012 at 09:07 PM.
    Tom
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    OK, just saw where you jumpered the switch at the lever. When you pull the lever can you hear or feel the brakelight relay click?
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    Contributing Member tcdell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by techdude2000 View Post
    OK, just saw where you jumpered the switch at the lever. When you pull the lever can you hear or feel the brakelight relay click?
    Yes, I can hear the relay clicking when I pull the level and when I step on the foot pedal.
    Tom
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    Seasoned Member pshivers's Avatar
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    Have you verified that all the brake lights are good? Long shot that all the brake lights are burned out, but it can happen...

    Double check the large connector under you seat that connects all rear lighting to the bike. It is underbuilt by Honda, usual damage is the ground wire connection fries itself inside the connecter.
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    Seasoned Member GOLDWING KEVIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcdell View Post
    Yes, I can hear the relay clicking when I pull the level and when I step on the foot pedal.
    I had the same problem with mine. Check to see if your rear brake pedal needs adjusting. I bought a new relay and then found out it was just an adjustment
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    Just got home from church, you probably have a bad connection in the C15 connector under the seat to the rear of the relay banks. Here's a picture of it, check the solid Green wire that grounds all of the rear lights as well as the Green/Red wire that carries the power to all the rear brakelights.

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    Seasoned Member pshivers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pshivers View Post
    Have you verified that all the brake lights are good? Long shot that all the brake lights are burned out, but it can happen...

    Double check the large connector under you seat that connects all rear lighting to the bike. It is underbuilt by Honda, usual damage is the ground wire connection fries itself inside the connecter.
    Quote Originally Posted by techdude2000 View Post
    Just got home from church, you probably have a bad connection in the C15 connector under the seat to the rear of the relay banks. Here's a picture of it, check the solid Green wire that grounds all of the rear lights as well as the Green/Red wire that carries the power to all the rear brakelights.

    I wish I had thought of that..... But then you did provide a pretty picture...

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    Sorry, I didn't read the posts after his last one, but I did have a pretty picture of it.
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    Contributing Member tcdell's Avatar
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    Okay, so I checked the C15 connector and couldn't see anything visibly wrong. I put a digital multimeter on the green/red wire and the solid green on the side closest to the relays, with power on I pushed the brake pedal and the meter showed 12 volts (okay 11.59). So, from that I can deduct that the pedal adjustment is not the problem, nor the switch at the front brake or the rear brake, right? I also pulled one of the bulbs and it wasn't blown. I doubted that all four brake light bulbs would blow simultaneously but at this point there is no harm in checking because something weird happened. I checked the wiring coming out of the C15 and followed it up to the top of the back of the seat where it disappears and couldn't see anything obvious with it.
    Tom
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    OK, when you measured this voltage at the connector, did you try it on the opposite side of the connector? Do your tail lights and turn signals in the rear work? Did you check the bulb socket for brakelight power when you hit the pedal? It's probably not going to be there. This means you may have a junction connection that has come loose or melted enough to disconnect the feed wire in it. It is represented by this set of "DOTS" that connect all these Green/Red wires together. I haven't dug into it, but I believe it is under the trunk.

    Last edited by techdude2000; 04-08-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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    Contributing Member tcdell's Avatar
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    I'm afraid I have exceeded my abilities. I didn't check on the "opposite side." I'm not sure what you mean here. I only checked the green/red to green. I'm not sure how to check the "bulb socket" for brake power. I blew a fuse while trying to do that and lost my tail lights. Yes, the tail lights and turn signals all work normally (after I replaced the burned fuse).

    I pulled the inside of the trunk lid and found the junction box up there. I pulled out the socket and didn't see anything looking melted or anything. I tried to check continuity of wires from that junction to the one that plugs in at the C15 junction, and got a ring on the green/red wire, but then there were a bunch of goofy colors that didn't match the schematic shown below connected by the "dots," so I got confused and friend wife suggested this may be a job for the shop and I think she might be right.
    Tom
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    Seasoned Member Waldo's Avatar
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    By the "other side" techdude means did you check the voltage on the wires headed to the trunk, not the wires on the "bike" side of the connector.

    Shown here caused me all sorts of headaches and it might be your problem. One more question. Do you have a trailer harness?
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    If you tested where I show a wire that it partly pulled out, the test is null and void because you can have voltage and ground on the "bike" side of the plug and still have nothing on the "far" side toward the trunk as happened to me.
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    I wasn't talking about the underside of the lid, but the underside of the trunk itself. The bottom comes off where the handles are to release the latches for the saddlebags and trunk. When I asked about the voltage on the opposite side of the connector, I meant measuring the voltage using the green wire for ground and checking the green/red wire on the side of the connector where the wires are leaving it and going toward the light socket in the rear. Your Green ground wire is good or your tail lights and turn signals back there would be acting weird or not working at all. The Green/Red wire is still suspect going thru the "DOTS" junction. Did you unplug the C15 connector and check the pins for corrosion or any sign of melting the connector?
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    Seasoned Member Waldo's Avatar
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    As shown. Use the ground wires to each separate harness, don't use the frame or only one green wire.

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    Seasoned Member canadian Jack's Avatar
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    some time the wire that runs beside the trunk hings get under the hing and gets cut or just breaks from bending back and forth. Just a thought.
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    Contributing Member tcdell's Avatar
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    Default I caved and put in shop

    Well, thank you all for your help. I caved and took it to the shop because I couldn't figure out how to get inside the bottom of the trunk. It cost me $155 to find out that one of the brake wires in the bottom of the trunk (as shown in the pic above from Waldo) had gotten burnt and repair it. They also found that a mouse had chewed on some of the boot material. I wonder if the little bugger had chewed the brake wire too causing it to short and burn.
    Tom
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    Rear: Michelin Primacy 195/55/16
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    Glad you got it fixed, sorry it costs $155. Those little destructive critters can be a pain.
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