22nd Dec 2011, 11:55
Thank you for your help! I can't wait to finally fix this annoying, time consuming and law enforcement attracting problem, once and for all!
5th Jan 2012, 01:03
Regarding the warped front brake rotors: All the Grand Cherokee's I've owned have this weakness. I have solved it for the most part by having ceramic pads installed, and replacement rotors that are ventilated/slotted and cross drilled. These can be purchased at any reputable brake service center or auto parts store. These rotors make a little more noise with all the slots and holes (perfectly normal as any motorcycle rider will tell you!) when braking hard.
Do not ride the brakes, watch downhill speeds, and downshift out of OverDrive if you can do so safely (on long downhill sections).
Lesson learned: Make sure to rebuild or replace the calipers as well, as some older ones can get sticky, adding extra heat to the rotors.
29th Feb 2012, 18:44
Thank you so much, I have been trying to fix this problem for months; such an easy fix when you know what the problem is. Once again, thank you for saving me a couple hundred bucks on new tail lights!
12th May 2012, 07:24
Thank you for the awesome explanation on "brake lights not working when the headlights are on". My Saturday will flow much easier having fixed the problem. Thank you again.
15th May 2012, 10:17
You da man! This fixed my problem. I am undecided about whether or not I should try and lodge something under the contact to keep it in place. I am afraid to mess with success. Thanks.
16th May 2012, 20:18
Awesome! I did this to my 2000 Grand Cherokee, and it worked perfectly. Thanks!
19th May 2012, 16:05
You rock!! I love Google. This has been a problem for many years... I have had several "mechanics" (including a Jeep dealer service dept) tell me there is nothing wrong with my tail lights or electrical system - "you just needed a new bulb" they say (replacing the bulb ALWAYS has worked temporarily). Now I can go get that fix-it ticket signed off!
11th Jun 2012, 00:51
1999 Grand Cherokee Jeep, IT WORKED!!! Maybe this will fix the constant replacement of bulbs also. This was the first time that the combination of brake light going out with the headlights on, but maybe it's related.
Thanks to whoever came up with this fix. It's now June 2012, and the original post was 2007, so this fix has helped for over 5 years. Thanks for taking the time to post it.
21st Jul 2012, 18:14
I can't thank you enough for your advice on the left brake light of the 2000 Jeep. It worked like a charm. Now I press on the brakes with the lights on, and both brake lights come on. Unbelievable how simple that was to fix. I followed your instructions step by step, and it worked. This problem has been bothering me for years. Again, thanks.
1st Sep 2012, 08:50
Thank you for the detail on this. I've had my 2000 Grand Cherokee for 7 years, and this issue is frequent and ongoing. I wish Jeep would acknowledge the issue and offer a recall at their expense. I have replaced both tail lights, sockets and bulbs on three occasions over the years, and within a year or so, I start having issues again.
20th Sep 2012, 20:18
Not sure if you got your answer to this, but I have a Grand Cherokee 2002. Had the same brakes issue. There was actually a lawsuit against Jeep, where I got some of my money back. Apparently they used too small brake pads for the vehicle size, so they burn through too fast. Not much you can do that I know of.
1st Dec 2012, 17:02
The solution with putting the screwdriver under the little tab worked like a champ, thanks...
9th Apr 2013, 21:51
This worked absolutely perfectly! Thanks. Saved me who knows how much from a mechanic, and saved me from getting a ticket.
16th Apr 2013, 11:04
Thanks so much for the info. This worked perfectly and saved me lots of time and money!! If you are having this issue, this is most certainly the way to fix it!
13th May 2013, 18:31
Thank you for the hook up on the ground contact! I replaced all the sockets since the old ones were all burnt and still had the problem! One quick check on the mighty internet and it would have been a two screw 5 minute fix! Thanks for posting!
PS. I was working on a 2003 Jeep GC Overland that is now 10 years old with 135,000 and running strong!
13th May 2013, 22:18
Just want to say thanks for the perfect advice. Both brake lights went out and we replaced both bulbs, but they still didn't work. Thanks to your expertise, the problem was solved in no time at all.
6th Sep 2013, 18:42
It still totally works. I had some confusion figuring out that he was talking about the contacts on the inside of the assembly and not on the bulb housing itself, but I figured it out in like 30 minutes.
21st Sep 2013, 00:48
Ok, here's a good one for y'all, I have a 2001 JGC, left brake light isn't working, bought new spyder housing to replace the old ones. Get everything hooked back up and still no left brake light. I have no connection points in the housing, it's all wire feed to the bulbs. So if anyone can tell me what the problem is now, I would so greatly appreciate it.
6th Oct 2013, 17:23
Amazing! This left tail light fix has been out here 7 years & is still relevant! Just fixed my 2004 GC & my brother's 2001. Thanks so much to the original poster!
27th Dec 2013, 14:14
Thanks for this!
I had replaced bulbs, bulb holders, and had the light assembly on and off about five times before I read this. I lifted up the ground contact in the assembly with a jeweler's screwdriver and put a little wedge of foil under it, and presto - instant, permanent success. Wish I had read this before I went to the Jeep dealer for bulb holders this morning - they charged me fifty bucks for a pair and told me they'd never heard of the problem! Much appreciated.
4th May 2015, 18:32
Oh my gosh this saved me money!!! I have a 2001 GJC Laredo. If the headlights were on, the two lower brake lights/tail lights were out (top brake light still worked). My mechanics were suggesting a new housing for the tail lights. I had a friend read your simple steps, and voila a bit of aluminum foil and about 5 minutes later - oh I did replace a blown bulb too - all the lights were working, with and without headlights on. Thank you so much!!!
7th Oct 2015, 16:33
Our mechanic was two weeks out for appointments and I needed to pass the car inspection for a field trip. Out of options I checked for a fix online, this fix was easy. Getting under the contact was the most difficult part; I ended up using a Henkel steak knife, which worked like a charm. Thanks!
3rd Jan 2016, 21:56
Thank you, OP!
The right brake light on our 2002 Jeep GC was behaving as described, and we had it fixed at the dealership. They told us it was a blown fuse (very confusing since I'd checked every single fuse in the Jeep before giving up and taking it in for service).
Anyway, 3 weeks later the left brake light failed in the same way - it worked with headlights off, but would go off completely if you tapped the brakes while the headlights were on. After spending an hour rechecking the fuses, I started scouring the Internet to discover the location of the mysterious, hidden fuse box where the dealership tech had apparently found a blown fuse. I'm very grateful to have found this post as I now have working brake lights.
The punch line is that ground contact in the right brake light connector had obviously been bent upward as described in this fix, and there were scratches all around the contact. The dealership knew how to fix the problem and then lied to me about what they did!
Thanks for figuring this out and publicizing it. It was very helpful. :-) After 9 years, I doubt the OP will see this, but hopefully the new comment will keep the thread active and indexed by the search engines so that the next guy can find this solution, too.