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Thread: 91 Accord brake lamp dash light problem

  1. #76


    Okay I will keep you posted with the guys findings and I will share what you said/showed here with him. Thnaks for your help and I concur with you but I don't want to argure with eht guy as well..... I am stuck so I will wait and see what he says as he is on vaction now... Thanks for your diagram that will help a lot.

  2. #77

  3. #78

    Default YOU WERE CORRECT...
    The guy sent a picture of the problem and you were correct it was in the wrie harness in the middle of the dash. It was the power/hot wire that goes to the radio. The only problem I have now is 2 things 1 why didn't I see that when I was diging in there and 2 who did this the car or perhaps when the radio was installed...
    One question that comes to mind is why did the car still blow the fuse with the radio disconnect please advise/explain to me. I thought we NARROWED THAT DOWN by unhooking the radio and the fuse did not blow how is that possilbe confused please help explain...

  4. #79


    We had it down to two types of possibilities - a fault in a component or a fault in the wiring. We could only start by ruling out components one by one and then checking in to the wiring. Beyond visual inspection you'd have to do crazy stuff like install in-line fuses to isolate sections of wiring or just run new wire off the fuse and to each individual component (in cases of intermittent and unpredictable shorts.)

    I'm glad you finally solved the issue. Aside from what looks like some crusty old wire wrap, in the picture you provided, do I see in the lower left quadrant a [charred brown?] section of exposed copper wire? (and at that, it appears to be the white with yellow stripe wire too, right? heh) Looks like it's just waiting to brush up against some piece of unpainted grounded metal found all around it.

    See, we ruled out components, not the wiring. In this case whether you have a radio or not in position doesn't matter if wiring shorts out and blows the fuse. With the radio removed, it likely changed the position of the related wiring and temporarily kept it just far enough out of harms way. I remember early on I suspected something with the radio as it's SO common for a previous owner to do some poor quality work on getting the wires right, much less to properly insulate them (remote starts - especially with security key fob bypass - and keyless entries come in at a close second.)

    Once you put a wiring adapter in the equation with a new aftermarket radio in place then all bets are off. Very rarely will you see things done properly. An amateur will get it wrong, and a professional shop won't take as much time and care. When I do electrical work, it is overly redundant/perfectionist/precise because I never want anything I do to fail EVER.

    I make sure nothing gets snagged or insulating tape comes unraveled or a loose strand of wire pokes through. It's literally as much of an art as it is a science. I take great pride in the work I do, proceed with caution and remain fully informed, quadruple-check and think of every angle of how something could fail or become vulnerable. It's worth it when I can sit back and enjoy something knowing with complete confidence that it's permanently fixed and will never cause an issue down the road.

  5. #80


    Hello glad you replied back...
    Okay 1st off thanks for your help with your diagram and what you said about the fuse going to the front without I think we would have been stuck....
    Wow from what you said/typed you sound and remind of me... When I do a job I always do it right and have been told I am somewhat of a perfectionist.
    Okay now onto what was the problem. In the end it was a wire under the center console and to get to it you needed to take apart/off the thing you set your drinks on. It is located right in front of the auto Gear shifter for a automatic. Basically if you follow the wires from the CAR/FACTORY that go to the radio they lead you down to the middle of the car where the drink holder is then under the gear shifter then under the emergency brake. Somewhere down there 1 wire was rubbing up against a piece of medal from the car. So everytime I would brake hard or take a sharp turn this (exposed) wire would touch the piece of metal to the car and blow the fuse. PROBLEM REVEALED/SOLVED?
    What I still want to know is how this happened in the 1st place. I asked the guy who fixed it and he said 1 of 2 things/reasons for this. He said slight chance (1) it could be when BEST BUY installed my radio (1 1/2 Years ago) they pulled on the cars wires that go to the radio thus creating the problem of that wire scraping against a piece of metal down there. Or 2 (which he thinks is the problem) He said its a poor design on Honda's part. From what he described to me is that even if the wire was (originall) if you pulled it slightly it would catch and scrape against this piece of metal. He said it was so close to that metal that it would have eventually rubbed it raw with the slightest pull on that wire. In the end he fixed it permanently by installed a piece of rubber over the wire so that is in between the wire and the piece of metal.

    It was most unfortunate I could not see what this guy did or where exactly the loctaon this was and what the hell is this peice of metal he is talking about. He was finished with it and said he will never work on my car again because it cost him tons of labor and extreme testing to find out what was the problem in the 1st place. He said he somehow kept blowing fuses and followed the burned smell down to the exposed wire. He did a lot of work he even took apart the back wire loom that is attached to the trunk as he started htere and did not find any problems there. I showed him your diagram and told him what you told me that did hellp us thanks. He did say one thing strange and I want to ask you aobut it perhaps you can clarify for me as he confused me.........
    He said that when you follow the factory radio wires down the center of the car they somehow join with the wires from the back. He said the Neutral safety switch makes this joining possible. He said when you put car in gear or reverse then it joins the 2 together. I guess he was trying to say that if you have a problem in the back with the wires green white/ white green then that would effect and blow the fuse as well. That is where I got confused and lost what the guy was trying to explain/tell me. Please clarify for me if you can what he was trying to say/talking about? Sounds to me he is saying the fuse 24 is connected to componects in the back of the car when you engage the car in reverse or put it into gear correct?
    Now what I told him is I disagree with him saying its HONDA's bad design and that is what caused this whole thing. I disagree b/c I had a 90 EX and never had this problem so if it was a common thing then why would I not have had it with that car? Of course that car was a 2 door and my 91 is a 4 door not sure if that would make a difference or not?
    In the end I will blame BEST BUY. I am not happy here and think they pulled on the wires to hard. In fact I remember having a lot of problems with the guy that installed the radio because when he was done the right front speaker did not even work. He then fixed that and said he did not have the wiring harness hooked together all the way and he had to install a new wire harness to fix that problem. He also told me he was new and in training which PISSED ME OFF..... So I think it was him the idiot who installed the radio in the 1st place 1 1/2 years ago. Let me know what you think the problem was?
    I will try asking the guy who fixed it again but right now he is mad and does not want to show me what he did. He said you can't tell what I did so leave it alone as it took him forever and wasted too much of his time. He said he hasn't had too many worse problems (electrical) to solve. I think he did a excellent job and was very pleased with his work. He put everything back perfect and can't even tell what he did. I thanked him and told him that I have been trying to solve this and been working byself (before I got you to help me) and with you for a total of over 8 months. So the fact that this guy made the problem happen, fix it within 2 weeks blows my mind away. He is the best 2nd to no body in the region. I am very happy/pleased at the work/job this guy did. I just wish I could have seen his work so I could explain to you better what happened and what caused this mess.....

  6. #81


    I'm surprised that the fault was found much beyond the front portion of where the radio resides. The power lead from the fuse would have no reason to go toward the center console to supply 12V to a component that sits just under the dash (the radio.) That's like wiring for horns found under the backseat.

    The area that you describe as "where the drink holder is then under the gear shifter then under the emergency brake" seems to indicate the route that a wire would take from the source and then continue back toward the rear of the car.

    Keep in mind though that the only wires related to the radio that would make it to the back half of the car would be wiring for the rear speakers only. This I believe would run from the radio through the center portion of the car but it would not include power from the fuse, just speaker wire from the radio. A total of four wires with a pair going to each side. The radio already has its power from the fuse in the front half of the car so there would be no power line running past it (to nothing that would need power) down the center and toward the back.

    I have no reasonable way of speculating if whatever the fault happens to be can be attributed to an inherent design flaw or the work of an installer. Naturally I'd like to rip on inexperienced installers with some of the work that I've seen done, but at this point things are totally inconclusive from my end.

    I can relate to his frustration. I'm no stranger to screaming out obscenities while struggling with a difficult car issue. He could have saved himself a lot of trouble with looking in the wrong spot (back wiring loom) with a quick glance at a schematic. As for the part that you said confused you, well that really confused me too.

    There is nothing that the radio and neutral safety switch have in common. I mean, that's bizarre that he would draw a relation there. The closest the two come is the location of the wiring. There's a slider switch/selector which is called the Neutral Safety Switch (inside the track that the shifter moves along) that will prevent the car from starting unless you're in the Park or Neutral position. The wires for the back speakers would be routed near this channel but in no way would share an electrical path. The Netral Safety Switch in no way whatsoever completes or joins in with radio wiring anywhere. Also, in no way do either the Neutral Safety Switch nor the radio speaker wiring have any relevance to the #24 fuse, the brake light sensors and related wiring, or putting the car in reverse. (The closest thing would be the shift selector being in reverse and completing power to the back-up lights but even then there is no role involved with the radio, fuse, switch, or sensor wiring.)

    When it comes to considering a possible bad design from Honda, keep in mind too that just because you've previously not had a certain problem with a similar car doesn't mean it couldn't possibly be a problem with your current car. Common problems are common, but not experienced in every case. There are countless variables that could make two almost identical cars display different characteristics at different times. Even two cars made one after another on the same assembly line can have different flaws and faults. Identical twins can have one with illnesses that the other lacks. So I wouldn't base your reasoning off that. Sometimes problems creep up at random due to no particular wrongful action on anyone's part. I wouldn't be too concerned with the origin of the problem as long as what you do to fix it won't be affected by not knowing (and it doesn't appear that it would.)

    I can see why he would be so upset but it's not like you had some really exotic and elusive problem here. Getting access to the radio wiring by taking apart the console isn't the most straight-forward thing, but it's not hard and doesn't take that long. A Phillips screwdriver and enough time to remove the trim and ashtray is all that's needed to loosen the bolts and pull out the radio and attached pocket. If he wants to have a real good time he should try messing with the heater core or doing a timing belt. The fact that he doesn't want to talk about what he did kind of tells me that his maturity level might not be enough to overcome the overwhelming frustration and irritation that one can experience to be able to describe what he encountered and how it was addressed.
    Last edited by SRSstress; 08-04-2012 at 04:26 AM.

  7. #82


    Okay so let me clarify 2 things for you as I see from your response I did not explain it correctly sorry....
    1st I am a visual person so when I asked him to show me he did not want to because he just finished working on it. So he told me everything just a bit fast and some of what he said went over top of me so to speak....
    2nd he said the wire that is connected to the neutral safety switch that runs to the back is the white/green wire or the green/white wire. I said that wrong to you sorry. He said that when the car is put in reverse the neutral safety switch activates the white/green wire that goes to the back of the car. I am not sure why he said this or if that was the wire that was hitting the metal. I am confused here I think what he was trying to say is this... The problem I had was the radio hot wire or whatever the white/yellow wire is... Then I think he was saying the white/green wire was connected to the front of the car by the car being engaged in reverse or put into gear. In other words if there is a problem with the white/green wire in the front or back of the car it won't matter because they are connected problems when you put the car into gear. Let me know your take on this and what you think.

  8. #83


    I really can't put it any more plainly and straight forward when I say that the neutral safety switch has nothing to do with any wires running to the back, putting a car in reverse, or any such thing. It's bordering on nonsensical. Consult your Haynes manual to see for yourself. The only function of the neutral safety switch is to allow the starter to get power. Everything happens in the front of the car. That is all. It doesn't depend in any way on the brakes or reverse or power to the back. If the position of your shifter is in park or neutral it (the neutral safety switch) completes a circuit allowing power to the starter (which happens to be a [Black with White stripe] wire from fuse #9 as seen in A23 on page 12-21 of Haynes.) End of story.

    As I provided in an illustration, the [Green with White stripe] wire gets its power after coming out the brake switch. This works completely independently from any neutral safety switch or shifter position. The [White with Green stripe] wire is the signal wire coming out of the brake light sensors going to the instrument panel to indicate a failure (as addressed early on in this thread) and again, has no bearing on a neutral safety switch or shifter position.

    The reverse lights are powered with a [Green with Black stripe] wire which in automatic transmission cars is activated by the gear selector switch NOT the neutral safety switch.

    So he's way off on this. And again, I strongly urge you to check out what I'm talking about from a Haynes manual.

  9. #84


    Hello thanks for responding back. 1 question to you is the green with black stripe wire for the reverse lights connected to anything in the back of the car e.g. wires to brake lights? I think that is what the guy meant. Anyways I will look at the Haynes manual myself thanks for your help. I think I got confused with what the guy said and the way he said it.

  10. #85


    No, the wiring for the reverse lights in no way ties in with the brake lights or any other related sensors.

  11. #86


    Wow then we were way off base I might be confused I will look at the wiring when I can. Again thanks for your help and I am glad we got this resolved as it was a long long process and very flusterating.

  12. #87


    Is your third brake light working, is there more than one bulb in the 3rd light?

  13. #88


    If he hasn't figured it out in a year (or 3, if you're responding to the original 2010 post), then he's probably beyond help.
    Please look at post dates before you reply. - 1990-1993 Honda Accord forum

  14. #89
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Huntington, New York, United States


    I realize this thread is a bit older. I as well have had this issue for almost a year now where the "Brake Lamp" indicator comes on right as the car starts up. Both stoplight sensors have been replaced, and the stoplight switch has been replaced as well. There is no corrosion on any of the connection in the trunk. My mechanic looked over the wiring and said everything is good up until the dashboard, from there thats when the diagnosis would get expensive.
    If I use SRSstress's fix would it still make the brake lamp indicator go off, even if the sensors are not the problem?

  15. #90


    Quote Originally Posted by SRSstress View Post
    So this solution may not address the root problem that some are experiencing but it's virtually guaranteed to make that brake light warning go away. I was getting the same issue while using LED upgrades.

    Apparently not enough current is going through the circuit to throw the relays in the sensor units. It's a cool design if you check out the electrical schematics in a Chiltons or Haynes manual. Anyway, what needs to happen here is the white with green stripe wire needs to be drained to ground.

    That wire is actually putting out ~10-11v positive at 0.004 amps. That means 40mW which is less than a thousandth of what the low-beams are consuming or about the same as a very dim LED that you'd see in a toy. You get the idea. It won't spark or get hot. It seemed strange but this is what the brake light sensor relays set out to do when they're working properly with standard working bulbs in place - it provides a ground to that wire.

    The fix is super simple. Look for the neat bundle of wires in the black plastic tube in the trunk on the driver's side where you pull back the carpet liner (it can be kind of a pain because the carpet isn't that flexible and you have to clear the trunk hinges.) I carefully freed the wires from the split tubing and connected the white with green stripe "signal" wire to one of the two thick black ground wires and that was it. Just take the key out and put it back in again and turn to position II or start and you'll see the light went away (because the circuit in the instrument panel thinks that the brake light sensor is working and reporting normal operation.)

    If you want to minimize cutting and splicing wires, you can be slick and just feed the exposed end of the green with white stripe wire into either the nearby power antenna harness (you'd have to make sure that you put it in the hole for the black ground wire) or the harness closer to the tail light where the trailer wiring is depending on where you pulled and snipped things. You could double over the length of bare copper or twist it up good so that it fits snug and won't fall out.

    No having to tape over it, ignore it, deal with it, or go through the hassle of taking the shifter, console, trim, and cluster out to pull the warning bulb. Problem solved.
    This thread has the problem I am working to solve. Since I searched and found this, I am just posting here instead of starting a new thread. The instruction is to search for your problem before starting new threads. My thinking is others may be coming across this thread if they are searching the same issue even though the last post is old. If needed, I will just start a new thread, so no need to flame. Just let me know. Thanks.

    My question is- I cut the white with green wire and grounded it to the black wire at the antenna (cut and spliced), but the Brake Lamp indicator light did not go out. The wire was already cut on the antenna as I had began working on the antenna to see about repair. It has no mast and I was testing the motor using a 9V battery (which worked.) I don't know if something about that black ground wire on the antenna may be impacted if the antenna is not working. For example, if the circuit was completing with the 9V battery on the test of the antenna motor, but is not completing ON the car with the car battery/radio on, off, etc.- would that mean the ground wire on the antenna may not be "good" and I should try grounding to the black in the wire bundle instead? Or if it means the cut and splice white/green wire is not the solution after all. Because no need to cut the ground in the bundle if it isn't going to solve it anyways. Thanks.
    Last edited by AZ 91 Accord; 09-17-2019 at 01:04 AM.
    91 Honda Accord LX Automatic No ABS 2.163092448L

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