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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so I know there are some rather old posts out there on this subject with the most recent replies dating back to 2015 so I'm hoping there are some people out there that has addressed this issue. I have a 06 Avalon XLS where the center mount stop light has stopped functioning, actually wound up failing a safety inspection as a result. Most of the older posts indicate that most often the problem is a bad solder joint. I probably have the same issue as I did as was suggested and banged it and the light came on but went right back out. My question relates to anyone who has actually had to replace the bulbs themselves and what bulb was used. Hate to take the entire thing apart only to find a bad bulb and not have one handy to solder back in. I refuse to pay the dealer $400+ to replace the fixture when it appears to be a .50 bulb and some labor which they estimate at 2+ hours. I've never seen a design this bad except maybe where they located the cigarette lighter at the bottom of the console.
 

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05Avalon, 03Mustang
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No bulbs; just an array of LED chips soldered to a printed circuit board.
This thread is probably the most comprehensive on the subject:

You can thank overzealous environmentalists for the banning of lead in solder, which results in weaker solder joints that fail frequently under thermo-mechanical stress. On the bright side (pun intended), we no longer have to worry about toddlers who climb up there and mistake the center brake for a lollipop.
 

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There's an LED fixture on the back deck and that's where the problem is. It may be a cold or weak solder joint that's simple to touch up, or it might be worse, but you bave to remove the seat back and rear deck to access the light module. $400 seems to me more than it should cost to fix the light, so a DIY looks better. Work carefully after watching a few youtubes on it. So many electronic devices today are poorly assembled with the least solder. Good luck.
 

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a $5.00 part that is jacked up replacement $$$ for a crappy solder. This is why lawsuits need to happen. If it is possible just resolder. I have not yet had to work on my 3rd light in y Camry (not braggin about Camry, just as fact). I hope they made it fixable! I hope all those go to the official website and list the issue where people list car complaints! it will help everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all for the responses. I'm aware that getting to this light is probably the most difficult part and have viewed videos on how best to do it. I was concerned as to how to type of lights. I had a similar problem on a 05 Impala where the climate control lights went out and the recommended solution was to replace the device. However, I found threads indicating this was an easy fix, but it did require removing incandescent light bults and soldering in new LEDs. I was concerned I might find the same here.
 

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2010 Avalon XLS // 2015 Highlander XLE AWD
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I replaced my third brake light in 2019 on my 2010 Avalon. First attempted to do what you're doing (e.g. find/fix bad solder joint or replace lights), but after the labor to get to the light and remove it, I decided to just replace it altogether. I didn't want to go back in because I missed the solder joint.

So here's an Amazon link to the 3rd brake light I used. It was like OEM and have had no problem since 2019 installation. I suggest that's the way to go if you can spring for the $85. Hope they have one compatible for your 2006.

My 2 cents. Good luck. If you need any tips re: the process to get access to the light, or putting it all back together, then hit me up with a DM.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I replaced my third brake light in 2019 on my 2010 Avalon. First attempted to do what you're doing (e.g. find/fix bad solder joint or replace lights), but after the labor to get to the light and remove it, I decided to just replace it altogether. I didn't want to go back in because I missed the solder joint.

So here's an Amazon link to the 3rd brake light I used. It was like OEM and have had no problem since 2019 installation. I suggest that's the way to go if you can spring for the $85. Hope they have one compatible for your 2006.

My 2 cents. Good luck. If you need any tips re: the process to get access to the light, or putting it all back together, then hit me up with a DM.

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Just finished the job. Took about 2 hours with the hardest part being getting the seat backs to align with the hook behind them during reinstallation. Turned out my issue was a loose connection at the plug. Found I didn't have to remove the bench seat. Once the seatbacks were free, I held them forward with a bungy cord from the seat belt loop to the front headrest post. It was tight but still had enough room to work. Only problem I ran into was the tab that holds the housing in place toward the front was really flimsy and while it didn't break off it wasn't stiff enough to hold the light in place. Used a little hot glue to resolve that. I actually found an OEM part at Alamo Toyota for $65 and probably would have ordered it and just replaced the unit if it didn't take two weeks for shipping. Since the car failed inspection on this and the inspection expires at the end of September, I decided to give this a try. Luckly, it worked.
 
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