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It happened once before, car parked in the front lawn and my neighbor says " Hey your lights are on". The rear lamps were on. My kid was screwing around int eh car and I ASSUMED he messed with the brake light switch.

Last night in the staging lanes, same thing. Car is 'at rest' and the tail lamps are on?? Took the Ebrake off and they went off ( could be coincidence).

Then on the way out of the track, a few new 'Chevelle friends' stop me to tell me the tails aren't working. Brakes, turns, 4 ways ( which I used to get home) all functional, but tail lamps are on when they shouldn;t be and off when they should.

I read some replies in a search and I will double check the bulbs ground, but I thought someone had a similar gremlin.( or graemlin as they are known here!) I know the 'wiring ribbon' is right near the Ebrake, and the Ebrake is maladjusted . meaning is has to go all the way down, so I'll check for a mechanical problem there as well. Like I've frayed the ribbon with the ebrake lever.
 

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When they come on are the rear license plate lamps on? I'm assuming those are good normally.
Those should be on if it is the running (taillight) circuit that is providing power and not the brake circuit.
 

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Yes, John they are. And I want to thank you for nearly single=handedly running this forum. I hardly ever drop in, because I dont know anything about electrical. THNX.
 

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I hope I don't give the impression that I single handedly try to run this place. I do like to answer questions and find it a bit of a challenge fixing things through a monitor.
Since the license plate lights are coming on, the lamps are getting 12 volts from somewhere when they aren't supposed to. That means the brown wire, going back to the rear lamps is finding something that has 12 volts on it and makes a good enough connection to hold the lights on.
I wouldn't suspect the ribbon harness as a first guess. Reason is that the only wire in there that has a constant 12 volts is the orange wire that goes to the dome light. It isn't next to the brown tail light. If it was the problem that would mean that both the brown and the orange would both have to be chaffed and touching each other, without touching the frame. That would pop the courtesy fuse.
On the headlight switch there are different contacts (outputs) for the rear running lights and the front running lights. The brown is the output for the rear lamps while purple is the output for the front lamps. My guess would be a headlight switch problem. You might also want to see if the brown wire is touching something near the headlight switch connector. It's near the black/orange wire which has 12 volts.
You can buy a headlight switch just about anywhere. Same pull-on style switch was used for years in just about everything.
 

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Two misunderstandings one, technical. no John, when the taillamps are out ( switch on but no light) the license plate is also out.

Secondly, I was referring to "running things" precisely, but to answering our Q's. THNX!
 

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Originally posted by 427L88:
when the taillamps are out ( switch on but no light) the license plate is also out.
THNX!
I'd still first change out the headlight switch and look around at the headlight connector wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
THNX John, my 'gut' told me the same.
 

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John, just an FYI, it was the connection between the ribbon and the rear harness in the trunk.
 

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Originally posted by 427L88:
John, just an FYI, it was the connection between the ribbon and the rear harness in the trunk.
Cool glad you found it but that will answer why the sometimes won't come on. Won't answer why they come on when they are not supposed to.
 
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