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Old 08-11-2014, 06:30 AM   #1
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Brake light function seperate turn signal lights.

I have a question about how the bake/tail lights should function. I have a 1998 Winnebago Chieftain and it has separate brake light and amber turn signal lights. When I turn the lights on Iím getting all the marker lights along with the rear red marker light. Blinkers work as I think they should with the amber light blinking.

My question is about the brake function. When I hit the brakes the amber lights light up along with the center light that is red.

I would think that the brakes should make the red light brighter not turn on the amber light.

I looked at the wiring and it all looks completely stock and doesnít appear to have been messed with by the previous owner.

Any insight on if this is fine or something that I need to correct? Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:53 AM   #2
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I never heard of amber brake lights. Brake lights should be red. Amber is for turn signals.

If you can get to the bulbs, take one of the ones out of the socket from behind the red lens. The socket and the bulb should each have two contacts on the bottom - one for the tail light and one for the brake light. If they do, then someone has changed the wiring. If they don't, then it's possible someone has changed the sockets.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:58 AM   #3
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I guess I should mention that the lights are LED so they have been changed.

also there are 3 wires going to the red lights, and 2 wires going to the amber lights.

to me that would mean that the brake signal and the turn signal are carried through the same wire as they trigger the same light similar to how a trailer light works.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:05 AM   #4
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Does it look like this?



Doesn't sound like it's working right. Have you looked at the auto lamps wiring diagrams?

Swapping the orange lights to red could be a simple solution. But that would sort of assume whatever is wrong is going to stay that way.

I see in your profile you have a diesel. That would be the Freightliner chassis. The diagram above doesn't go too far, might need some Freightliner diagrams to figure it out.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:08 AM   #5
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You haven't specified if your lamps are actually red and amber, or if your lamps are white and your *lense covers* are red and amber.

Regardless, if you have LEDs in a '98, and some amber lights are triggered by the brake pedal, then someone has modified your lighting system, and done a shoddy job of it.

I believe Winnebago has all their electrical diagrams available online. That may help.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:10 AM   #6
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I would be looking carefully to see if a trailer lighting adaptor , for common signal brake light bulbs has been added and is wired in properly or perhaps defective.

I have this site for Winnebago wiring back to 1990, don't know if it's just for trailers or covers every product.

http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/Wiring.htm
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankstan View Post
I guess I should mention that the lights are LED so they have been changed.

also there are 3 wires going to the red lights, and 2 wires going to the amber lights.

to me that would mean that the brake signal and the turn signal are carried through the same wire as they trigger the same light similar to how a trailer light works.
Three wires to the red lights should be brake, turn signal and ground. Two wires to the amber should be turn signal and ground. Someone has changed something upstream of the lights so the signal from the brake light switch is feeding the wire that should be only for the amber turn signal. As Skip426 says, maybe its an improperly wired adapter that is supposed to combine separate brake lights and turn signals on the coach to combination brake/turn signals on the toad. That, however, should be wired in after the MH lights, not before.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briankstan View Post
I have a question about how the bake/tail lights should function. I have a 1998 Winnebago Chieftain and it has separate brake light and amber turn signal lights. When I turn the lights on Iím getting all the marker lights along with the rear red marker light. Blinkers work as I think they should with the amber light blinking.

My question is about the brake function. When I hit the brakes the amber lights light up along with the center light that is red.

I would think that the brakes should make the red light brighter not turn on the amber light.

I looked at the wiring and it all looks completely stock and doesnít appear to have been messed with by the previous owner.

Any insight on if this is fine or something that I need to correct? Thanks for the help.
briankstan,
Well Sir, there's all kinds of possible "issues" or, even remedies here. First off, it would be nice if you displayed a picture of the rear of your particular coach's tail lights. This is just for reference. Winne and Itasca constantly changed tail light assemblies over the years. One year both or, even independently, they'd have all red tail lights back there. The next year, they'd change to amber turn signals and red tail/brake lights. Then, even later, they'd revert back to all red. It kind of seems that either it's cost driven or, someone in the design department, just changes their minds, from year to year.

In any case, as I understand it, (I've got no legal preference to prove this) it is illegal for brake lights, in this country, to be AMBER! Again, I've only been told this but, cannot really substantiate it. Second, in your case, is it possible that, maybe someone, for some odd reason, has changed two of your lenses, i.e. two of the red ones, for two amber ones, just trying to segregate the turn signal colors??? Stranger things have been seen and done.

Now, in all reality, no, your amber ones should not light up when the brakes are applied. With all the "three filament" systems I've ever dealt with, cars, trucks, motor homes, motor cycles, and more, I've never, ever seen, FROM THE FACTORY, "Amber" tail lights light up, when the brakes are applied. Utilizing one wire for both brake and turn lights, has been done for eons and eons of time. It was the standard for American cars and trucks, since the darn near when Ford rolled his first one off the assembly line.

But, the Europeans, and other foreign auto makers, started the "amber" or, third filament systems way back when. Eventually, that thought/system migrated to our industry. Hence, there's been American (Domestic) vehicles with THREE FILAMENT systems, or,
1. One filament for tail/marker
2. One filament for brakes
3. One filament for turn (amber)

for quite a few years. But, like I stated, it's not always continuous. It changes from year to year, vehicle to vehicle, model to model.

So, with yours, it's possible that,
1. someone "May" have changed lenses, if the two are interchangeable on your coach.
2. Someone goofed around with the wiring


There are "Tail light Converters" out there that, when towing toad, that has a different tail light arrangement than the coach, i.e. your coach has a two-filament, and your toad has a three filament, can separate and alter the way the toads lights work, against your coaches lights. And, vice versa, you can also get a converter that, will convert "down" or, change a three filament system to a two filament system.

It would be interesting to know what was done to yours, to make it act the way it is.
Scott
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:51 PM   #9
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thanks for posting all these suggestions. with the led lights the lenses are sealed so I don't know if the lights are white or colored. the lenses are colored.

I have the old lights with the bulbs, I'm going to put them back in and see if I"m still getting the same issue, if I'm not I think there is and issue with the way the lights are wired and the way the LED lights are working with the signals.

from what I can tell from the posted diagram (I did download them already ) and the picture that was posted above that looks just like the back of my coach that everything looks to be wired correctly on the back end anyways.

I'll report back with what I find. Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:19 PM   #10
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Update on my issue. I put in the original bulb lights and they didn't solve my problem. Temporarily I installed another set of red light into the center light hole. So now I have red blinkers and red brake lights. I'll have to dig into the wiring and see if I can figure out what is going on.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:57 AM   #11
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don't no if this will help but it was asked to post a picture of the tail light assembly on the back. Here it it.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Update on my issue. I put in the original bulb lights and they didn't solve my problem. Temporarily I installed another set of red light into the center light hole. So now I have red blinkers and red brake lights. I'll have to dig into the wiring and see if I can figure out what is going on.
Let us know what you find. We're all curious.
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