License plate lights are not working

Tiny
INOTBEKNOWING
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 SATURN SL2
  • 1.9L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 160,000 MILES
Found this connector (driver side) in the trunk, three wires (two black, brown) are broken off.
Please Help, I have no idea what goes where!
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Monday, May 27th, 2019 AT 5:07 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome to 2CarPros.

You found the reason the license plate lights don't work. I have to ask you a favor. Can you take a picture of the wires in questions and upload them for me to see exactly what you are dealing with? The brown wire should have power to it when the parking lights or head lights are on. If you could check that for me it would be very helpful. The black wires should be grounds for the lights in question.

It is really easy to test for power. All you need is a $3.00 test light or voltage meter. I am going to provide directions for checking. There are three links I will attach. The first explains how to use a test light, the second relates to a volt meter (or multi-meter), and the third simply shows how to check wiring.

Here they are:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-voltmeter

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-wiring

Okay, please don't be worried about the testing. It's hard to do it wrong, and the worst thing that may happen is a fuse may blow.

Now, I attached three pictures for you to look at. These are portions of the wiring schematic for your vehicle. I circled everything that relates to what you are dealing with. As you will see, power is supplied via the brown wire and ground is supplied via the black. Take a look at them.

Next, if you found a broken wire, there should be two sides to it. Is that correct? If it is, chances are you will have to do nothing more than rejoin the wires to the correct colors. Again, worst case is you blow a fuse. There are a couple ways to fix the wiring, but the easiest way is to simply use a butt connector. Take a look at picture 4.

I placed two sad looking arrows toward where the two wires enter. You simply remove a small amount of the insulation from the wire (approximately 1/2"), push the wire into the end of the connector, and crimp it with pliers. Just make sure it is tight and can't come out.

Also, the connectors come in different sizes. The picture I attached shows a yellow one which will be too big inside to work for these wires. Most likely, you will need red or even blue.

If you could upload a pic of what you found, I can help you through it. Please feel free to let me know if you have questions or need help. Also, note that the wiring in the pictures is located on the left side (driver's side) trunk area.

Take care and I'll watch for your response.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Monday, May 27th, 2019 AT 8:32 PM
Tiny
INOTBEKNOWING
  • MEMBER
Thank you for responding, I'm uploading (hopefully) pictures of what's happening.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 27th, 2019 AT 10:12 PM
Tiny
INOTBEKNOWING
  • MEMBER
I just noticed that on the female end it has letters A=brown B=black C=brown D=black so that tells me where the loose brown wire goes (A=brown because C=brown is still attached). You said the two black wires are ground? So can I put either one in B=black and D=black?
Also, how do I stick them back in or do I need to do something else?
Thank you so much!
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 27th, 2019 AT 10:55 PM
Tiny
INOTBEKNOWING
  • MEMBER
I'm sorry, I should've said the letter's A B C D are on both (male and female) ends of the connector.
I hope all this makes sense.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 27th, 2019 AT 10:58 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
All you have to do is identify (on the opposite plug) where those wires go to. Then, just use the butt connectors to put those two wires together.

Let me know if I can help.

Joe
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 AT 4:47 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides