I used to make my meager living as a dealership mechanic, but that was a really long time ago. I don’t even know what cars made in this century use for taillights. This being the age of multiple simultaneous Star Trek TV series, it probably involves tachyons.
But in the olden days, when men were men and cars burned gasoline, we used good old-fashioned 1157 filament bulbs. This guaranteed hilarity for cops who had the excuse of regularly pulling us over (and occasionally shooting us dead) when we forgot to check to see if all the bulbs were actually burning.
The Jeep has seen pavement probably five times in ten years. Maybe a few more, definitely not as many as ten. Frankly, I don’t give the taillights much thought. But there was talk of using the Jeep to haul some trailerloads of trash to the county dump, and that will definitely involve pavement and could conceivably involve imperial entanglements. So, just as a precaution, I backed the Jeep up to a shinyish surface to see if it had any working brake lights.
It really didn’t.
Again: I used to do this a lot. Automotive filament bulbs had a reputation for frequent failure, and so if a car had zero brake lights that didn’t necessarily mean a scary electrical problem. Most commonly it just meant you hadn’t checked your bulbs lately.
And so it proved to be in the Jeep’s case.