I have a 2001 Dodge Durango, and the passenger-side brake light will not work, even after replacing the bulb.

The bulb that I replaced was obviously burned out. I double-checked the new bulb, and it looks fine. I checked the connectors on the inside of the bulb housing, and it looks fine as well--very clean. I thought about a fuse, but figured if it was the fuse, all the brake lights would stop working.

The tail-lights work fine, as do the signals.

Any insight?

  • 1
    I'm gonna try that . I'm having the same problem now
    – user16130
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 22:30

7 Answers 7


I finally got this figured out.

The housing inside the actual tail-light assembly had become deformed, I guess due to heat, thus keeping the light-bulb housing from making proper contact with the tail-light assembly. A new tail-light assembly fixed the issue.

Thanks, everyone, for your help with this issue.

UPDATE: Recently, the same thing happened on the other side of the vehicle. Replacing the entire housing fixed it. I wonder if this is a common issue with this model?

  • You fixed my trailer. With all the lights on, the left side tail light would go completly out when I applied the brakes. I had all power and ground at the trailer/truck connection. I had power and ground at the tail light. I had the light installed inside a box and the box bolted to the trailer frame. The ground metered good. You suggested to check the ground connection between the box and trailer frame. Although the box was bolted to the frame you were right. I tightened the bolts and everything started working right. Thank you. Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 19:45

Last time I saw that problem it ended up being the socket on the vehicle. Could also potentially be wiring of course.

  • Thanks for this. I'll try checking the socket/assembly with a multimeter, and see where that gets me. Commented Mar 16, 2012 at 15:42

I would still check all your lighting fuses, sometimes your brake lights/taillights will be on separate fuses.

  • Fuses are fine. I also took the advise of @Brian Knoblauch, and checked the socket, and it seems to be getting power. I'm completely stumped! I even swapped the sockets that hold the bulbs, and the same thing is happening--right side doesn't work, left side does. I've swapped bulbs, and bulb sockets (the part that you twist and remove from the light housing), and the right side still doesn't work. Commented May 4, 2012 at 17:50

For me, it was the brake light housing on both sides. MY OPINION...this is a crappy design!

The 3 little points, once you twist on the housing, barely makes proper contact. I had to rig up something to make better contacts.


Left brake light was not working. The brake light would come on when turning on headlights so I knew the bulb was good. Bam! Contact with the housing was the problem. Manually pulled the small contact tabs out to make better connection. Also swapped the right light for the left and they both worked.


OK. I have used some of your troubleshooting issues to direct my issue. As I found out similar questionable possibilities to resolve my issue I, went to look at my left tail light assembly again. Utilizing some of the resolved scenario's, in exorcising an issue, I resolved the problem and is now fixed as I was pulled over this morning. My concern was a major.electrical problem. Well. Here is what noticed and how I fixed it. I bought the vehicle with the light out. Fixed it with another light assembly purchased at Cagles in Muskogee County,OK. It worked. After about 4 mo. It went out again. Switched the lights and worked again. About 3 weeks later. Pulled over. No ticket, but a concern. I pryed the silver prongs toward the light at all three areas at both lights, used a sharp knife . In addition , I used plyers to pull down the three brass looking prongs. Did this at six areas. I noticed one silver prong to the light assembly was seated a little from a heat issue. Pulled it out of the melted area a little to increase contact per continuity. Long story short. It works. But a noticeable area of heat is there concern. Works for now.


Had the same intermittent issue, usually losing one brake light at a time, swapped the bulb holders and occasionally the problem would fix itself.

However, eventually I could not get either brake lamp to work, even though the third (center) brake light always worked (proves the brake pedal switch and fuse were good).

Turns out, my problem was the bulb holder contacts, I used a flat screw driver to bend the prongs towards the bulb for both holders and this fixed both brake light indicators!!!

Apparently those contacts lightly deformed (bent) over time until they lost contact!!!

Thanks to those on this thread, my fix was free!!!


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