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7th Generation (1993-1997) Specific discussion of the 7th generation

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Old 07-07-2013, 09:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Dash Lights Dim When I Brake

Whenever I brake in my 1997 Corolla, the dash lights dim. It was intermittent but now it seems to be permanent. I also noticed that the 3rd brake light at one point was staying on. Lastly, when the car is in Park, I hear a loud switching sound coming from the center console when I apply the brakes. Any ideas?


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Old 07-07-2013, 10:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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the clicking is the park lock solenoid, that's normal.
the 3rd brake light staying on is not normal, the brake switch on the pedal could be defective or missing the little rubber pad
dimming lights indicates low system voltage, could be a failing alternator.

You need to do some diagnosis to determine the causes for the issues and if they're related.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A couple of things: the clicking seems very loud. I had never noticed it before this started happening. Also, I had forgotten one thing in my original post. If I have my foot on the brake peddle and the car is off, when I open the door, the dinging sound that normally let's me know the keys are in the ignition or the headlights are on, starts sounding even though the keys are out and the lights are off. It almost seems like a short somewhere.


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Old 07-10-2013, 01:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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start with the easy stuff ... check and clean ground leads.

If you have a bad ground someplace then current might find some other unfavorable path to ground.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check the contacts on the taillight bulbs to make sure they haven't melted and shorted the tail and brake circuits together. I had that happen to me with similar symptoms.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OK, so something more definitive has happened. The last few days I noticed a couple of other things. It wasn't the dash light dimming just the clock (I don't drive much at night so when I saw the clock dimming I assumed the dash was as well). Then, the other day, I was driving as it was getting dark and I hadn't turned my headlights on yet. I noticed that, as the clock faded, the dash lights actually came on when I put my foot on the brake. That is, unless I turned the headlights on and then everything behaved as it should. Until tonight. I was driving home this evening and my dash lights went out altogether (the clock stayed on) whether I was braking or not. I got home shortly afterward and pulled in in front of my truck and noticed I had no tail lights or brake lights working.
I put it in Park and now it will not come out of Park. I don't know if something shorted out finally and caused it to stick or of there is an issue having to do with the shifter that was causing all the weird light symptoms. I no longer hear the clicking under the shift console as well. Does all of this point more specifically to anything?


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Old 07-14-2013, 11:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like you've blown a couple of fuses. I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago. Still check your tail lights for shorts as that's what happened to me.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That was it! A couple new fuses, a couple new bulbs and all is well again. Thanks for the tip! Now for the brakes...


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Old 07-31-2013, 11:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iToaster View Post
Check the contacts on the taillight bulbs to make sure they haven't melted and shorted the tail and brake circuits together. I had that happen to me with similar symptoms.
This...^...
My sons 97 lights were doing all kinds of crazy stuff... I checked the tail lights and one of the bulbs contacts had worn down enough that they touched one another... replaced the bulb and fixed..
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