The 3rd Brake Light

Greetings! On your install day, was the 3rd brake light already pre-installed on the V2 camper back panel from GFC? Also, did you have any issues after wiring them to your 3rd Gen Tacoma? Thanks!

GFC Installer doesn’t wire this for you? Seems like a DOT safety concern. Maybe I am wrong?

Yes, third brake light is preinstalled on camper. No, it is not wired. There are tons of vidoes online and in forums that explain how to wire on a tacoma. Very simple.

I’m sure the installer can if you request it ( for a fee of course ). I plan on wiring mine myself when I get my camper in mid February. Been hearing some issues with tacoma owners though, and wondering if they ever fixed what ever issues they had.

What issue? I have a DCSB Taco, my install isn’t until August.

I read somewhere here about “brake override malfunction” which in Tacos can apparently cause your truck to just shut off completely even while driving. And apparently according to a member here a dealership/s had determined that it’s an issue with the GFC LED light causing a short that blows a specific fuse.

Well that’s not good. Definitely seems like something they need to address and fix with how much we pay for these.

If you’re concerned with tapping into the factory wiring using the standard taping kit that comes with the GFC you can grab one of these aftermarket harnesses from FBC

2 Likes

Will this still work with MESO Customs Taillights?

If it uses the factory harness and wiring i dont see why not but i don’t have aftermarket taillights

1 Like

I have a 2022 Tacoma and it was an easy hook up with no negative effects like blown fuses or truck shutting off.

I might just go this route as im not a huge fan of splicing into factory wiring. Looks legit :+1:

I’m getting my rig soon and this may be a dumb question, but why do you need to connect the 3rd brake light? Is it a regulation in various states? My taillights will be visible once the GFC is installed.

Not sure if any state requires it, but it DRAMATICALLY improves rear visibility when you hit the brakes.

Not sure if it applies to most states, but in CA it is required to have a third brake light (center high mounted stoplight) per California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 25102.

Howdy folks, just wanted to update y’all on my recent install/3rd brake light situation. Got an install mid December 2023 on a 2020 Tundra but its similar and involved a couple hiccups mentioned above. Purchased a mid 2021 camper from the original owner and swapped at the GFC installer, awesome experience at the professional install, original owner never used the 3rd brake light(it was still coiled and zip tied.)

@supersaijan4 The 3rd brake light comes pre-installed on the panel and routed for easy install yourself into the driver taillight housing.

Installer is not allowed to hookup 3rd brake light(I asked), its an insurance thing and because electrical can be screwy and insurance/training has to be done for every different vehicle model, it’s just not worth their time. Understandable. Had no issue once he explained, seriously helpful guy.

I was running another errand and had 20 minutes to kill a couple hours after the camper install, went to install the pigtail 3rd brake light as it was only going to take 10 minutes. Well turns out there was a short in the light (my bad for not thoroughly inspecting.) It gave me the dreaded brake override malfunction code I had never heard of but knew I never wanted to see again when I tried to start it up(dash suggested I take it to the dealer, that wasn’t an option) did a quick google, found out its a 15a fuse under the dash(i recall labelled STOP, easy peezy fix except I didn’t have any spare 15a fuses… nor did the fuse box, fortunately was able to walk to a Napa 2 blocks away. Came back, disconnected my attempted light install, replaced the fuse, no need to go to the dealer. Called GFC and they instantly offered to replace my 3rd brake light no charge, went back to GFC and the installer efficiently removed my old light(which I inspected while he was installing the new one, finding a couple plausible locations for shorts, it was a manufacturing sloppy solder, not GFC.) Asked if this was a common issue and he said there was a batch of poorly soldered 3rd brake lights but the replacements appeared much higher quality control. Took the 5 minutes to install the wiring at the GFC garage while he was cleaning up(knowing I had extra fuses in the glovebox at this point) and the light worked on start up, no issues.

Lessons learned: 1) Don’t screw around with electrical when not at home/definitely not in a random parking lot… 2) GFC backs their shit up and are unquestionably good folks. 3) Carry some extra fuses in the glovebox… REALLY sucks when you don’t have them. 4) Google and a conveniently located auto parts store can save you a shit load of headaches.

To expand on @supersaijan4 findings, if there is a short in the 3rd brake light, it blows the STOP fuse under the dash which turns out, will immobilize your truck until the fuse is replaced sending you a message to go to the dealer. The 3rd brake light replacement I got from GFC was pretty clearly higher quality control than the one with the short. not sure if there is a way to test for the short without sacrificing a truck fuse(I am naive in the ways of electrical witchcraft)

Long story short…(no pun intended) I believe GFC learned there were a few lights with QC issues during the peak of the pandemic sourcing issues, they offered to replace mine for free at the installer or send me a new one in the mail if swinging back by was to inconvenient. They made it right and it was mainly a learning opportunity for me with minimal headache all said an done.

I like having the 3rd brake light high, especially in snowy wintery conditions here in Wyoming where road grime and ice/snow can cover the backend of your vehicle/hinder road visibility.

3 Likes

This is possible. With a multimeter in continuity mode (which usually beeps when there is an electrical connection) connect the multimeter leads across the two pins of the 3rd brake light inside the little black connector. If there is a short, the multimeter will beep.

Of course, the chance that you’ll have a multimeter is lower than the chance that you’ll have a spare fuse. I drive an old truck so I keep a beat up meter in there for troubleshooting in the field.

2 Likes

Awesome post brotha​:+1::call_me_hand: I’ve been looking for information on this issue. Many thanks!