Third brake light - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 25 Old 05-04-19 Thread Starter
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Third brake light

I have noticed my third brake light has stopped working, but the other brake light led's on the hatch are still working. Does that mean that the lamp has it's own wire in the gaitor rather than being connected to the other brake lights or do they just die? Any advice warmly welcomed!
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3rd brake light is included in the loom on the left side, may have broken.
Or (as it is in my case, after having replaced the loom) a faulty connector in the 3rd brakelight itself. These lights are NOT monitored in the canbus, so no warning lights.

there are plenty of topics here on how to replace the loom; for access to the 3rd light itself the spoiler needs to come off:
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...oval-help.html (Rear spoiler removal help)
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...ake-light.html (Giulietta Third Brake light)
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(Post Link) post #3 of 25 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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3rd brake light is included in the loom on the left side, may have broken.
Or (as it is in my case, after having replaced the loom) a faulty connector in the 3rd brakelight itself. These lights are NOT monitored in the canbus, so no warning lights.

there are plenty of topics here on how to replace the loom; for access to the 3rd light itself the spoiler needs to come off:
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...oval-help.html (Rear spoiler removal help)
https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa...ake-light.html (Giulietta Third Brake light)
I took the spoiler off to check the power to the 3rd brake light and there wasn't ANY! Note there are 4 nuts holding it on to the tailgate, not 2 as stated in another post! You have to pull off the top hatch trim and remove the two triangular grommets to access the nuts. So I decided to bite the bullet and do the LHS rear loom. I already bought it from Opettaja a few months ago because the wiper motor has bugged the crap out of me for months, its possessed most days and just works on others!

So I carefully cut off the old rubber boot and found 2 wires were broken. I had already repaired the boot lock wire about 2 years ago, I tried the 2 combinations to get the 3rd brake light working and once it lit when the pedal was pressed I then got to work with the rest of the loom and washer pipe. Luckily I have proper crimping tools gained from my previous jobs. If I don't count the time removing the spoiler twice and removing the hatch side trim to look for the other two nuts it took me about an hour to do the wiring replacement. Once done without the engine running I put all the lights on, fogs, reverse, indicators and I got the missus to press the brakes to see if the whole reason I'd done the job worked? She pressed the pedal and the 3rd brake light lit up, Woohooo! BUT the red LED's on the hatch did not increase in brightness? Then I remembered before I did the repair the LED's on the hatch do not brighten if the fog lights are on. Turned off the fogs and all is as should be. Does anyone know why the rear fogs cancel the rear hatch brake lights? Seems a bit strange to me, you would think you would want everything as bright as possible in the fog under braking? Still job's a good un!I might do the RHS loom before I notice any issues, I'd hate to have to try and decode what does what as all the wires are black, they do have numbers on them but they are too far apart in the small distance that the hatch gaitor/grommets cover. I also seem to have cured the wiper mentality!
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That don’t sound normal,after replacing my looms and testing I am sure brake lights work regardless of any other lights being tuned on,I certainly do t remember them not illuminating with rear fogs on. Like you say that wouldn’t make any sense at all.
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Does anyone know what is right or wrong, cos my car has always done this when the fogs are on?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
Does anyone know what is right or wrong, cos my car has always done this when the fogs are on?
Rear brake light should illuminate when rear fogs are on, I've just checked mine!
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Strange it should be both sides simultaneously. Possible bad earth somewhere. Sometimes the bulbs are faulty or even incorrect bulbs. My brother's Sierra did something similar when he used bulbs with the pins at 180 degrees to each other instead of bulbs with the pins at 120/240 (or close). I've seen it where the filaments have broken and remade on the other filament. BUT as you're saying it is the LED lights could it be the driving unit for them?


Ignore all the above!!!!!'

I've checked mine a minute ago. Results:-

Brake lights work on rear wings, hatch and spoiler.
However if rear fog lights on the hatch LEDs go back to normal brightness, all others as before.
So now you can stop panicking, or I need to start!
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Last edited by armoore; 4 Weeks Ago at 15:48.
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So with yours if rear fogs are on the brake lights don’t work as per the OP?
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After reading this, just checked mine and yep - with rear fogs on, only the 'circle' of brake lights in the wing-mounted lamps and the central 3rd brake light on the spoiler illuminate, the 'strip' along the top of the tailgate cluster remains in tail-lights only mode.

Only had the car since 2010 and never realised that happened, .
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I noticed this about a year ago, so after fixing the broken wire for the lock, the only issue I had was, I thought, the weird wiper action. I've even gone through the handbook today and there is no mention of brake/fog light interactions. Since I did the repair this weekend everything works as it should if you think like me until you put the fogs on and press the brake pedal. The LED's on the hatch do not increase in brightness but they do when you turn off the fogs. I'm going to plug into the car and see if there any errors.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomeoRaiderZ View Post
After reading this, just checked mine and yep - with rear fogs on, only the 'circle' of brake lights in the wing-mounted lamps and the central 3rd brake light on the spoiler illuminate, the 'strip' along the top of the tailgate cluster remains in tail-lights only mode.

Only had the car since 2010 and never realised that happened, .
So has your car had any loom repairs etc, cos this is driving me mad, could it still be a body computer issue or a proper intention by Alfa? It may be that because the fog lights are already on that the increased illumination of the tailgate lights would seem imperceptible but the wider body lights would show up more clearly? Does that make sense? There might even be some sort of lighting law that explains this in 2010?
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I believe it to be intentional now that I know about it. Mine is a 2011 model.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
So has your car had any loom repairs etc, cos this is driving me mad, could it still be a body computer issue or a proper intention by Alfa? It may be that because the fog lights are already on that the increased illumination of the tailgate lights would seem imperceptible but the wider body lights would show up more clearly? Does that make sense? There might even be some sort of lighting law that explains this in 2010?
It did have both sides of the loom where it enters the tailgate replaced way back in about 2012 when the tail-lights in both the tailgate clusters stopped working.

Yesterday, I had occasion to strip out all the interior panels trying to trace a leak in the pipework to the rear screen-washer - instead of coming out the nozzle above the screen, the fluid was running down inside the tailgate and emerging at the latch mechanism. I can confirm, as a result of my exploration, that the wiring for the 3rd brake light does indeed come into the tailgate as part of the left-hand side loom, and is then bound-in (with tape) along with the washer pipework and routed up around the glass to exit into the spoiler at the top-centre of the tailgate.

The brake light function in the tailgate sections not working when the foglights are on does make sense now that I've looked at the vehicle lighting regulations as there is a minimum distance required between a foglight and a brake light - see section 2d in here:
The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 .
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Well done for finding that out.
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Well done for finding that out.
What he said! I can worry about something else now!
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And none of us aces noted this in all these years.....
we suck!
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One of the ways I check lights to see if they are working is if I'm out and about and pull up facing, or reversing to, a large window, such as my local Halfords I go through all he switches etc. to see if the lights are ok. Never occurred to me to check fogs and stops simultaneously. I will from now on.
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One of the ways I check lights to see if they are working is if I'm out and about and pull up facing, or reversing to, a large window, such as my local Halfords I go through all he switches etc. to see if the lights are ok. Never occurred to me to check fogs and stops simultaneously. I will from now on.

I do exactly the same!
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I am with you now I misunderstood thinking only the high level brake light worked with fogs on.
After repairs when testing I reversed up to my garage and ran through all lights,seeing brakes come on both sides I assumed all normal. Seems mine is probably the same where hatch ones stay on tails and wing ones illuminate when pressing the brake.
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Originally Posted by armoore View Post
One of the ways I check lights to see if they are working is if I'm out and about and pull up facing, or reversing to, a large window, such as my local Halfords I go through all he switches etc. to see if the lights are ok. Never occurred to me to check fogs and stops simultaneously. I will from now on.
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Originally Posted by RomeoRaiderZ View Post
It did have both sides of the loom where it enters the tailgate replaced way back in about 2012 when the tail-lights in both the tailgate clusters stopped working.

Yesterday, I had occasion to strip out all the interior panels trying to trace a leak in the pipework to the rear screen-washer - instead of coming out the nozzle above the screen, the fluid was running down inside the tailgate and emerging at the latch mechanism. I can confirm, as a result of my exploration, that the wiring for the 3rd brake light does indeed come into the tailgate as part of the left-hand side loom, and is then bound-in (with tape) along with the washer pipework and routed up around the glass to exit into the spoiler at the top-centre of the tailgate.

The brake light function in the tailgate sections not working when the foglights are on does make sense now that I've looked at the vehicle lighting regulations as there is a minimum distance required between a foglight and a brake light - see section 2d in here:
The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 .
If you look at the requirements for separation from a brake light and a fog light in the same cluster, or separate light units of 100mm in both cases, the G hatch tail/brake LEDs encircle the fog lights by about 20mm so there can't be any cars that have the tail lights going bright under braking with the fogs on, unless the regulations have been revised?
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Sitting in a hotel beer garden looking at my G wondering if there's anywhere I can check this!!

Interesting!!
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Sitting in a hotel beer garden looking at my G wondering if there's anywhere I can check this!!

Interesting!!
You lucky lucky bar steward! you just need a big window or a girlfriend! Just don't let her drive your baby, mine bent the steering on the only day it snowed in a billion years in England!!
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No one but me drives my car!!

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I do exactly the same!
Great minds think alike!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
If you look at the requirements for separation from a brake light and a fog light in the same cluster, or separate light units of 100mm in both cases, the G hatch tail/brake LEDs encircle the fog lights by about 20mm so there can't be any cars that have the tail lights going bright under braking with the fogs on, unless the regulations have been revised?
I would think that that must be the case as the 1989 regs are still current - there have been subsequent amendments but none of them related to rear fogs.
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