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Old 02-19-2012, 05:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Rear light failure warning light

(Camry 1999, LE, 4cylinder)
This morning I noticed "Rear light failure warning light"
I checked
Reverse light is OK
Turns are OK
Brake lights, NO ONE is work.
So, I think it is not possible that all bulbs can burned together, and the reason is smt else.

1.What would you suggest to check?
2. Is there any wiring scheme?
3. Am I allowed to drive with failed lights and if yes how? (like may be I need to turn emergency lights?)
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would start with the bulbs. Easiest and simplest first.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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3rd brake light isn't working either? If they all stopped working at once then I'd check for a blown fuse (probably 15A and best guess would be the one to the left of the steering wheel. Open the little tray and squeeze the sides to pop it out. Try not to break your tray. Fuse should be marked 'stop'.) If that's not it then next try replacing the easiest bulb. If it doesn't work, then yes, you have a problem. Maybe start at the brake switch in case a wire got knocked loose. Or if it is a blown fuse and it blows again maybe try the 3rd brake light as older models seemed to have a problem with them shorting in the socket.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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does your dome light and dash lights work? They are all on the same fuse
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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does your dome light and dash lights work? They are all on the same fuse
If the dome light is the light on the top and middle of car's inside, yes it works.
If dash lights are the lights with different indicators, yes it also works, and that is why I knew about the failure.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Where is located fuse for STOP light?
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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behind the coin drawer/tray on left from steering column.

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Originally Posted by areg View Post
Where is located fuse for STOP light?
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If the fuses check out OK, then it might be the wiring loom in the trunk. The wires are bundled all together and then attached to the driver side hinge. Often one or more of the wires become frayed due to opening and closing of the trunk.

Once you get all the wires exposed you will see which ones are frayed right away. Tape them back up, or solder them if broken, and then re-tape the loom with lots and lots of electrical tape to be sure it doesn't happen again. Use electrical tape to re-attach the loom to the hinge as well. Don't use zip ties, they will cause the loom to kink at the attach point. Electrical tape will spread out the contact area.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Question

I removed STOP light fuse, the indicator of warning dissapeared. Then put it back, checked Stop lights are working, sometime when trunk is open the middle light don't work and when I close the trunk it start to work.
So, bulbs and fuse are working, I guess some problem with wires or some weak connection may be on switch or other place.

Is it normal that middle light turns on when I close trunk?

Last edited by areg; 02-20-2012 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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^what ajkalian said, check the wire loom at the left hinge of trunk.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Did the center stop light turn on when you step on the brakes with the trunk closed? Or did it turn on without stepping on the brakes. If the former then it's ok; if the latter then no, something is wrong.

Since the lights can either work or don't work when you move the trunk lid, then I'd check for weak wiring (physical copper) in the trunk area. It's kinda common on older Camrys.

And sounds like the brake switch near the pedal is ok for now.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Question

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Did the center stop light turn on when you step on the brakes with the trunk closed? Or did it turn on without stepping on the brakes. If the former then it's ok; if the latter then no, something is wrong.

Since the lights can either work or don't work when you move the trunk lid, then I'd check for weak wiring (physical copper) in the trunk area. It's kinda common on older Camrys.

And sounds like the brake switch near the pedal is ok for now.
Center light turn on usually when I press brake, but sometime when the brake is pressed the two side stop lights are on but middle one turns on when I open then close trunk. I do this to be able to drive.
But I noticed one thing which seems for me strange. I put mirror behind the car and when I turn on headlight with brake not pressed 4 red lights turning on (2 of them I guess for STOP light and two for night to be seen by other drivers). Two STOP light are turn weak , but once I press brake they became stronger. Is it the normal behavior?
Also I noticed that for rear lights when I turn to parking lights or to headlights the same set of 4 red lights turn on for both cases (brake not pressed). Is it regular behavior?
P.S. What lights should be turn on when parking lights activated?
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Sounds like normal behavior to me. The stop lights each have two filaments. At night with the headlights on, all the tail lights will turn on. And when you step on the brake pedal the second, stronger filament of the stop lights will also turn on, showing a brighter red. Yeah parking lights sound normal as well.

So the problem is with the center stop light then. I'd start with the wires there. It may be possible that whoever replaced the bulbs or work around in that area pinched the wires for example.

I don't know why when you pull and then replace the fuse the stop lamps started working again. Maybe the fuse had bad contact? Dunno.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Question

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So the problem is with the center stop light then. I'd start with the wires there. It may be possible that whoever replaced the bulbs or work around in that area pinched the wires for example.
So, what exactly am I need to do with that wires? Can I take it our from car and check by multimeter is there any cut inside? I see there is two cabels, one has thick tube with groves in it (I don't know correct English word) and other also black and with thick (I guess) isolation.

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I don't know why when you pull and then replace the fuse the stop lamps started working again. Maybe the fuse had bad contact? Dunno.
I think it is just coincidence, the problem is in the trunk, there is I guess weak connection.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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So my guess would be you have a problem with the brake wire(s) where they flex when opening and closing the trunk. If you can expose the individual wires from the cable wrap and you don't see any bare wires you can grasp a wire in one spot and with the other hand grasp it a few inches away. If you pull fairly hard and there's a break in the wire the insulation should stretch and thin to the point you can tell the wire inside is broken. It may even break the insulation. Then you can strip back the insulation on each side and splice the wire back together. It's unlikely you'll find it the first try so keep moving your grasp points until you've covered the complete suspected area. If you don't know which wire you can repeat for each one. This method MAY be easier than attempting to find an intermittent break with a meter. As for the fuse working after re-seating, it's pretty unusual (IMHO) but sometimes that type of connection can quit conducting. The connectors may look dark and/or dull. Re-seating kind of scratches thru a thin 'film' and it starts working again. An eraser or some other cleaning method can be used to clean the contacts. Good luck.
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