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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did the wires at the trunk lid about a year ago in my 1999 4cyl CE Camry, but I wouldn't rule them out as not being the problem as to why my 10 AMP fuse immediately keeps blowing out as soon as I turn on the headlights. Also, when I put a fuse in there it stalls out my car and reeks all kind of havoc.

The fuse I'm talking about is the 10 amperage tail light fuse which is behind the flip out change tray inside the cabin to the lower left of the steering wheel .

I've already started to redo the wires the trunk lid with soldering to make them a little better but I'm really just poking around in the dark I'm not very good with electrical at all . I have checked all of my fuses and I'm definitely sure whatever is blowing the fuse is directly related to when I turn on the headlights .

So my question is how many ground circuits or wires are involved with my tail lights, and where are they ? please don't give me a wiring diagram, they mean nothing to me. I don't know how to read them, and I don't care to learn, I'm just looking for the long but sure way of finding where the short is, but I want to make sure that I'm checking all the right stuff..

I've checked every other fuse and all the other ones are good . if I leave the tail light fuse out I have no other problems with the car whatsoever. My brake lights will actually work, and so will my reverse lights, so it's just the tail lights in the tail light fuse itself that I'm having problem with . Thanks for anyone that has any real help they can offer to me with this problem.
 

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Narrow the location of the short down. Find the light failure sensor ... which powers the tail lights. Get a few 10 amp fuses so that you can test out some possibilities. The LFS is located in the trunk on the upper left side. You have to pull back some of the trunk fabric. It is an electronic module. Pull the electrical connector out and turn on the tail lights. See if the fuse still burns out. ... There are one or two other lights on that that fuse, so ...

This is the Light Failure Sensor:
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/oHIAAOxyaTxRPQck/s-l1600.jpg
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Blue box LFS

Narrow the location of the short down. Find the light failure sensor ... which powers the tail lights. Get a few 10 amp fuses so that you can test out some possibilities. The LFS is located in the trunk on the upper left side. You have to pull back some of the trunk fabric. It is an electronic module. Pull the electrical connector out and turn on the tail lights. See if the fuse still burns out. ... There are one or two other lights on that that fuse, so ...

This is the Light Failure Sensor:
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/oHIAAOxyaTxRPQck/s-l1600.jpg
Excellent reply. Yes, I have read that somewhere on here, tried it, and fuse blew right away anyhow.
 

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Excellent reply. Yes, I have read that somewhere on here, tried it, and fuse blew right away anyhow.
That means the short is upstream from the module. Follow the wire bundle from the module forwards looking for the short.

To your original question, I doubt there's a problem with the grounding wires. If there was, the lights wouldn't work at all if there was an open circuit, and if a gnd wire is shorted to ground... well, that's how they're supposed to be.
 

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One thing to check is whether any of the bulb sockets are getting warm immediately after you get a fuse to blow. That would indicate a bad socket. I have only seen one of those, but it can happen I guess. The front parking lights, the corner tail lights, the license plate lights, and the rear side marker lights by-pass the light failure sensor.
... Just hope you don't have the problem in this thread ...post #17.
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...use-problem.html?highlight=tail+light+blowing
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a power probe I'm just learning to use. I checked a couple common grounds with it, one in the trunk near the latch catch and one on the body near the cooling reservoir, and all good.

I have a long tangled wire near the trunk lid I'm going to cut out and test for continuity, and I'll check the bulbs like you suggest.

The last big job I did on the car was timing belt and water pump, I swear something around there started this.... then again, when I last fixed the trunk lid wires I used the ball and smash method. Twist or ball wire up, insert into connector, and smash it down.. worked until the pump and belt job was done...

I read that other thread, sounds like a nightmare
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One thing to check is whether any of the bulb sockets are getting warm immediately after you get a fuse to blow. That would indicate a bad socket. I have only seen one of those, but it can happen I guess. The front parking lights, the corner tail lights, the license plate lights, and the rear side marker lights by-pass the light failure sensor.
... Just hope you don't have the problem in this thread ...post #17.
http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/1...use-problem.html?highlight=tail+light+blowing
Excellent reply. Yes, I have read that somewhere on here, tried it, and fuse blew right away anyhow.
That means the short is upstream from the module. Follow the wire bundle from the module forwards looking for the short.

To your original question, I doubt there's a problem with the grounding wires. If there was, the lights wouldn't work at all if there was an open circuit, and if a gnd wire is shorted to ground... well, that's how they're supposed to be.
Thanks! , I'll try to apply these tips to troubleshooting .
 

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I have a power probe I'm just learning to use. I checked a couple common grounds with it, one in the trunk near the latch catch and one on the body near the cooling reservoir, and all good.

I have a long tangled wire near the trunk lid I'm going to cut out and test for continuity, and I'll check the bulbs like you suggest.

The last big job I did on the car was timing belt and water pump, I swear something around there started this.... then again, when I last fixed the trunk lid wires I used the ball and smash method. Twist or ball wire up, insert into connector, and smash it down.. worked until the pump and belt job was done...

I read that other thread, sounds like a nightmare
When you say you connected the wires in the previous repair with ball and smash what do you mean? A crimped connector? So your soldering them now?

I'd double check that the wrong wires weren't connected together. Probably not this if it wasn't shorting after the repair.

Also how are you covering the connections? Electrical tape over the crimp ons and/or soldier? Or heat shrink tubing?
 

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A test rig can be made with a blown fuse and a small 12 volt lamp, with pigtail socket for the lamp if necessary. Solder one lamp lead each to one each of the fuse prongs. You can figure out how to do this and still plug in the fuse to the original socket location. Or use two probes of the proper size into the fuse socket.
Now as long as there is a short circuit, the lamp will light. When the short is located and eliminated, the lamp will not light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I have a power probe I'm just learning to use. I checked a couple common grounds with it, one in the trunk near the latch catch and one on the body near the cooling reservoir, and all good.

I have a long tangled wire near the trunk lid I'm going to cut out and test for continuity, and I'll check the bulbs like you suggest.

The last big job I did on the car was timing belt and water pump, I swear something around there started this.... then again, when I last fixed the trunk lid wires I used the ball and smash method. Twist or ball wire up, insert into connector, and smash it down.. worked until the pump and belt job was done...

I read that other thread, sounds like a nightmare
When you say you connected the wires in the previous repair with ball and smash what do you mean? A crimped connector? So your soldering them now?

I'd double check that the wrong wires weren't connected together. Probably not this if it wasn't shorting after the repair.

Also how are you covering the connections? Electrical tape over the crimp ons and/or soldier? Or heat shrink tubing?
No I didn't connect the wrong wires I'm not sloppy like that. I first crimped them using a little mini cone I guess you could call it. That worked for a long time with no issues. I've recently started to solder them, only two done, and then covered with heat shrink tubing to look professional. I read somewhere the previous method might be causing resistance...plus it really left the wires looking a mess with all the cones and splices. I figure I might get lucky and fix the short. I'm testing the wires for continuity as I go ....
 

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The tail light fuse powers a lot of other things, including the parking lights, radio and dash illumination, instrument cluster, etc.

You need to narrow it down by circuit to see where the short is coming from. Consult the electrical wiring diagram for the routing of that fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The tail light fuse powers a lot of other things, including the parking lights, radio and dash illumination, instrument cluster, etc.

You need to narrow it down by circuit to see where the short is coming from. Consult the electrical wiring diagram for the routing of that fuse.
Not true. Instrument cluster, radio,and dash illumination all work with the fuse out. I don't use diagrams.
 

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Not true. Instrument cluster, radio,and dash illumination all work with the fuse out. I don't use diagrams.
I may be mistaken but when my tail light wiring shorted out it blew the fuse and the instrument cluster and dash lights stopped working. I'm wondering if there is something usual with your wiring. I know you've said you don't use wiring diagrams but maybe its a good time to sit down with one and try. They are overwhelming at first (I was reluctant also to learn) but can be very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm just going to go to a junk yard and rip a Camry apart and see what goes where. If after I fix the trunk lid wires I may have to get intimate with a wiring diagram. There's also a lot of stellar tools for locating shorts these days. I might go that route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Not true. Instrument cluster, radio,and dash illumination all work with the fuse out. I don't use diagrams.
I may be mistaken but when my tail light wiring shorted out it blew the fuse and the instrument cluster and dash lights stopped working. I'm wondering if there is something usual with your wiring. I know you've said you don't use wiring diagrams but maybe its a good time to sit down with one and try. They are overwhelming at first (I was reluctant also to learn) but can be very helpful.
I own a power probe, that's a big start for me. Once I'm on break from school, maybe a little one on one with a diagram....
 

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... Many times, when something is seriously wrong, like a fuse blowing, there will be a clue ... something visual, like a discolored plastic socket or maybe insulation. It might be inside a socket, or wrapped up in some tape ... not easy to get to. As much current as it takes to blow a fuse, there is going to be some sort of mark or evidence. ... It's just a matter of locating it. So, get a light ... keep looking.
 

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You can also figure out if its upstream or downstream of your light bulbs by pulling the bulbs out of their sockets. That will eliminate a portion of the circuit.

On my 2006 tacoma, only 6 bulbs, two parking lights (front), two tail light (combo with turn/brake light), and two license plate lights. Also, the lights on indicator on the speedometer is powered off that fuse. And finally, do you have trailer wiring, this is the most common cause of failure.

If you pull all of yours out, and turn on the lights, and the fuse does not blow, its between the sockets and the grounds.

Put one bulb in at a time, see which bulb blows the fuse. Then investigate between there and the ground point.

If it blows without any bulbs, its before the sockets, or in the speedo light path. I don't know where your wires are routed, mine go from the drivers knee area, under the drivers side towards the rear, not sure if inside our under.

If you have trailer wiring, that's 90% chance the fault point, especially if aftermarket. The installers usually do a very poor job.
 
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