I have a 1997 Ford Explorer and the tail lights stopped working but the brake lights still work, could both brake light filaments burn out at the same time?

Joe Westbrook Jr

Asked by Mar 16, 2014 at 10:09 PM about the 1997 Ford Explorer 4 Dr XLT SUV

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I don't think it is a fuse because the brake lights still work, also when I turn on just the
parking lights the head lights shine too

8 Answers


Could be or tail lights wires interrupted or damaged. Maybe have internal contacts in light fixtures

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You have to have a multi meter set on 12 volts and a wiring diagram to trace connections. Obtain a repair manual with an electrical diagram and begin tracing connections.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yes! Or use a 12volt light tester. Check power to tail light wire and then check ground to that light if all checks out then its a burnt contact within light fixture.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jenna Schroeder

I have this exact problem right now! Mayday! Mayday! I'm a damsel in distress! I have no idea what all of this 12volt tester jibberish is about. If I take it to a mechanic, is he going to charge me a million dollars because I have no idea what I'm doing? Help!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jenna Schroeder

Let me follow that up... so the dash lights are not working. Neither are the back tail lights. All of the fuses are fine. The lights still work when I brake, so I know bulbs aren't out. This happened to happen the day I hooked my new hippie-fabulous trailer into it. The trailer lights are not working properly either, but they are working. As in, you signal left and both blinkers go on, on the 62 can-of- spam trailer. Is there a chance that hooking it into the trailer messed something up? Again - fuses are all fine. But I've unhooked the trailer and the problem still exists. No dash lights (except for blinker indication, theft and o/d on/off) Speedometer and all of that is out. I worry I will take it to a mechanic and they will overcharge me because I'm a chick that knows nothing about this. HELP!

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Jacquelyn Cross

Oh, I have no clue what any of this is saying except, I too am having the same problem. Dash lights don't work, but brake lights and brights, and turn signal and hazards all work. What is going on and how, in dummy language do I fix this?

Jacquelyn Cross

Should mentioned I replaced all fuses that needed replacing because I couldn't pinpoint which it might be, also replaced all lights....no go.


Jacq. If you know little to nothing about electricity and electric circuitry, and cannot read the appropriate electrical diagram associated with your vehicle, it would be best to search out someone who does/can. Maybe one of your friends has a knowledgeable husband.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Explorer in your area?

CarGurus has 71,755 nationwide Explorer listings starting at $300.


Search Ford Explorer Questions

Ford Explorer Experts

#1 OJ
Reputation 8,470
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 3,360
#3 tennisshoes
Reputation 1,940
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Jeep Grand Cherokee"
1,213 Great Deals out of 73,878 listings starting at $1,593
Used Ford Expedition"
582 Great Deals out of 21,658 listings starting at $2,111
Used Ford F-150"
3,268 Great Deals out of 216,650 listings starting at $1,500
Used Chevrolet Tahoe"
1,076 Great Deals out of 36,075 listings starting at $1,700
Used Dodge Durango"
409 Great Deals out of 22,641 listings starting at $1,400
Used Toyota 4Runner"
366 Great Deals out of 18,995 listings starting at $2,200
Used Nissan Pathfinder"
451 Great Deals out of 25,193 listings starting at $1,500

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Ford Explorer For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 35,239 listings starting at $24,075
2016 Ford Explorer For Sale
267 Great Deals out of 10,535 listings starting at $22,995
2015 Ford Explorer For Sale
161 Great Deals out of 3,338 listings starting at $12,995
2014 Ford Explorer For Sale
317 Great Deals out of 5,633 listings starting at $9,999
2013 Ford Explorer For Sale
330 Great Deals out of 5,354 listings starting at $9,300