12 volts at brake light fuse, but none at bulbs.
The fuse is hot always like the switch is stuck on, so why aren't the bulbs on all the time
instead of not at all?
Start following the wires back from the socket. You must have a bad ground or a broken 12 volt hot to the socket. I usually use one of those needle test lights. Just start probing the hot wire until you find 12 volts.
Also check the brake light switch. See if it has continuity when brake is applied click for full screen
To answer my own question: This funny little car made by Kia has the brake fuse before the pedal switch (unlike my '99 Ranger which has the fuse after the pedal). This explains why the fuse is hot whether the switch is closed or not. The Festiva's switch was bad. A new one made the lights work. Thanks to FordNut for his answer.
That is why I participate on this site. You're welcome
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