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tail light always on

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So I have a 2004 S and I picked up a stock 2006+ SM rear tail light. The wiring diagrams shows they are the same 3 wires: brown, black w/ white, white w/ black. Should be simple 3 wire hook up right? Not for me. I hooked them up to the wiring harness and for some reason the brake light is always on. I tried all the combination and it would either light up fully, or light up normal, or not light at all. In all cases, pressing the front and rear brake lever doesn't do anything. What is wrong?

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Did the tail light that came on the bike work fine?

Edit: I thought you just bought the bike as well. What I mean is did the 04 light work fine before you put the 06 light on?

Edited by Wogger

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Probably 1 of the brake light switches is activated. Test for live wire with a volt meter or test light

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Did the tail light that came on the bike work fine?

Edit: I thought you just bought the bike as well. What I mean is did the 04 light work fine before you put the 06 light on?

Yeah, previous owner had a DRC tail light. It was working before I put on the new tail light. I checked all the wires and it was using 3 wires, and the wiring harness doesn't seem to be cut or anything as it still has all the OEM clips.

Probably 1 of the brake light switches is activated. Test for live wire with a volt meter or test light

What would I be testing? I put my volt meter on the wires and it was getting readings when turned on.

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If the old tail light worked fine and the new one doesnt it looks like there is something wrong with the new tail light.

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If the old tail light worked fine and the new one doesnt it looks like there is something wrong with the new tail light.

Only thing I can think of is checking the bulb.

Also checking the brake levers and see if it needs adjusting. I can feel the clicks when I press down on both the front and rear so I don't think it's that but I will check it.

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If both brake switches worked with the old light they will still work with the new one, that eliminates them from being an issue.

If you plug in the old light again does everything still work fine?

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If both brake switches worked with the old light they will still work with the new one, that eliminates them from being an issue.

If you plug in the old light again does everything still work fine?

No it does not.

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So you are saying that now both tail lights do not work?

Yes, both the brake lights are on all the time whenever I turn the ignition switch.

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If the old light worked fine, then you put the new light on and it didnt work, then you tried the old light again and it now doesnt work then something has changed.

Hopefully you didnt fry something, I would think if you wired it wrong it would blow a fuse before frying something. Check to make sure the rear brake switch is not stuck on. If its adjusted wrong the switch will think the brake is applied.

This doesnt sound like an adjustment issue though as it worked fine before. I couldnt tell you how to check to see if the switches are functioning properly though, so hopefully someone can. Electrical devices are definetly not my specialty.

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As far as checking the switches you could start with basic continuity checks. The switch should perform like a basic open/closed circuit. Get out a multimeter and check with the switch in both positions to see if it has continuity in one position and not the other. If there is continuity in both positions then the switch is bad.

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As far as checking the switches you could start with basic continuity checks. The switch should perform like a basic open/closed circuit. Get out a multimeter and check with the switch in both positions to see if it has continuity in one position and not the other. If there is continuity in both positions then the switch is bad.

Yeah that's what I tried already with a multimeter, there are two power sources with a ground. Continuity is good for sure because swapping the power wires around, it'll be on or brake lights on only, just pressing the brake levers don't do anything. Can't be a blown fuse because it's still getting power. I am thinking it's the switch (or relay) but I don't know how to test that.

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I would think it would be fairly odd that the switch decides to go at the same time as changing the tail light but maybe you blew the switch by wiring the tail light up wrong.

I wish I could help you more but I dont know what is going on there.

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Whatever you do, don't do what I did. My tail light was staying on and I had done some wiring work a few months back - just figured I'd botched it. So I take eeeeverything apart again and resolder/retape. Now I'm blowing fuses! Screwed it up that time for sure. Fixed it again... turned out my brake lever was just stuck on my handguard, enough to activate the light but not enough to apply the brakes. Oi.

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Whatever you do, don't do what I did. My tail light was staying on and I had done some wiring work a few months back - just figured I'd botched it. So I take eeeeverything apart again and resolder/retape. Now I'm blowing fuses! Screwed it up that time for sure. Fixed it again... turned out my brake lever was just stuck on my handguard, enough to activate the light but not enough to apply the brakes. Oi.

I was on the verge of going this route and pullin' apart my bike. Was so frustrated I almost wanted to sell it or take it to the shop and wait 1-2 days and pay $60 for such a easy job. Obviously both were stupid ideas. I went ahead and checked the bulbs to make sure they are OK and they are since they light up in normal and brake on mode. Then I checked the front and rear brakes to make sure they are not stickied. I could hear the click for the rear brake engaging but when I press down on the front brake levers I did not hear a click. That's when I realized it could be the front brake lever so I pulled the front brake lever all the way out and voila it was getting stuck on the hand guards. It had finally worked! Thanks all!

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