Just registered, first post. I recently purchased an '87 hatchback and have been fixing it up to make it legal, one of which is the taillight on the hatch not working. I've replaced the bulbs and the wiring seems fine so I'm not sure what the issue could be, was wondering if anyone knew what could be up.
It would help to post the exact model you have, Cavalier, Sunbird, Skyhawk and Firenza were all available in hatchback that year and the wiring could vary a little between each model.
Also what part is not working exactly. There are several different functions of bulbs in the tail lights, so being specific will help us to help you.
Whoops, forgot to mention that. It's an '87 cavalier RS hatchback, as for the part that's not working, I don't know specifically. It must be something with the wiring because I already changed the bulbs and the other two taillights work when i step on the brake, but not this one.
So... it's the brake light not working?
Which specific part is not working? There' are several bulbs and functions in each tail light...
Yes the brake light does not work despite the changing of the bulbs. To clarify this is the middle light mounted on the hatch itself is the one in question, the others work as intended. I'm don't understand how I can be more specific. Is the light powered by the wires attached to the supporting struts? There's nothing else connecting it to the rest of the car electrically. Would a break in the rear defogger lines baked into the back glass cause a short that would make it not work since they're powered from the same wires? Could it be the 5 prong connector thing thats on the bottom of the hatch? What should I be looking for.
Ok, well. a 3rd brake light is very different than the tail lights...
That's more specific...
There's a contact plate on the right side of the hatch opening that a plunger contact system on the hatch itself contacts. It's quite common for one or both of these parts to develop problems, especially the plunger assembly on the hatch itself. The flexible braided wires inside will break over time from the many times opening and closing the hatch.
Thank you, I will have to go and inspect it, I feel that is most likely the issue