Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 12:57:59 -0600
From: Robert Sklar <>
Subject: Re: Brake Lights

Joe wrote: > I have a 1984 SAAB 900s. When I step on the brakes the rear turn > signals > and backup lamps come on but not the brake lights. Also, both turn > signal > indicators on the dash board light up when I step on the brakes or put > the > car in reverse. Anyone have any insight to this problem? The problem you are experiencing, especially if the car is a 4-door, is probably caused by a defective ground to the tail light assembly. Bad grounds can cause really bizarre symptoms. You can check for this by connecting one end of a clip lead to the ground bus on the tail light assembly, and the other end to a good ground on the car. If the lights work properly, that is your problem. The bad ground is sometimes caused by the ground lead contact corroding through at the connector on the tail light assembly. I have repaired this by drilling a hole through the tail light assembly at an appropriate point where it goes through the plastic and the ground bus bar on the tail light assembly. I use a piece of 12 or 14-gauge stranded wire with a ring terminal crimped on each end. One end is attatched (from the outside of the tail light assembly) to the hole through the ground bus of the tail light assembly with a 6-32 or 4-40 brass screw and nut. The other end is attached to a good grounding point on the car. There is a grounding screw under the lift-up floor board of the trunk near the center of the rear of the car that can be used. The above method effectively fixes grounding problems of any cause, not just corroded contacts. BTW, I have owned as many as 5 Saabs, 3 900s and 2 9000s at one time. I presently own four, but I probably shouldn't count one because my neice wrecked my '87 900T last week. Robert Sklar

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