Reverse lights not working

Tiny
NJALVARE
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 245,000 MILES
Hello, when I place the reverse gear, the lights do not go on, I checked the lights and fuses are okay could there be a problem on the reverse stick shift?
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Monday, August 9th, 2010 AT 12:07 PM

36 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Hello,

It sounds like the transmission park-neutral switch is out here is a diagram to help you see what location so you can change it out. Check out the diagrams (Below). Please let us know what happens.
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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 AT 4:32 AM
Tiny
OIDAVEY
  • MEMBER
Thanks for this post I got a new switch for $78.00 all fixed! I love this site.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:03 PM
Tiny
JAKEDUDE13
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 350,000 MILES
I own a 1998 Toyota Camry XLE, v6. I recently ran into a problem, neither of the reverse lights come on when I put the car in reverse. In addition to this, when I turn the headlights on, the reverse gear is lit up on the gear selector on the dash display, even if the car is actually in drive or any other gear. I have checked all the fuses, and none of them are blown or damaged. Also, the bulbs have been changed and it made no difference.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Jake Hodgson
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Check the ground circuit at taillights.

Test the Red/Black wire at taillight for battery voltage when reverse is engaged with ignition turned on.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
OLDCAMRY
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 TOYOTA CAMRY
Where is the backup light switch located?
Thanks.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARTECH_SAVVY
  • MEMBER
First, check the bulbs and the fuse for continuity.

If you have an auto, it's got to be on the shifter lever on the transaxle.

Unless you got a lift or a set of ramps, you need to jack the car up at the front (left side) and take the wheel off. You might also need to pop off a couple of splash guards to get a good view of the trans. It's inside the shift lever mechanism that's attached to the cable that comes from the shifter inside the car. It's hard to miss cause it's got a plastic connector with wires coming out of it.

It'll be similar with the stick shift, except for the 2 or more levers instead of just one on the auto. Your best bet is to look up a repair manual online for a more detailed description.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WHOLFSAGA
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 230,356 MILES
Plane and simple when I put the car into reverse the lights do not come on
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Make sure the bulbs are good. If they are, check the reverse light switch.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ALLEN1350
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 123,000 MILES
SOMETIMES MY OTHER GEARS DO NOT "RECEIVE" THAT THEY ARE BEING USED?

Okay. This has been an ongoing and VERY obnoxious issue with my car, and I cannot figure out what is causing the problem! I have heard different "opinions" from auto mechanics about what it could possibly be, but I want to ask someone that will HEAR OUT EVERY DETAIL OF WHAT IS GOING ON AND GIVE ME A REALLY POSITIVE ANSWER!

What happens is when you start the car & PUT IT IN REVERSE, the backup lights do not come on, and simultaneously, the orange "R" (reverse gear indicator light on the dashboard) does NOT come on. At the EXACT same time that this light decides to come on (I MUST jiggle the gearshift handle around for a LENGTHY amount of time, before it will BARELY start making contact. Usually, to get my backup lights to STAY on, I have to apply a little bit of pressure to the gearshift handle towards the "neutral" slot [without putting it in neutral] to make it work), my backup lights SIMULTANEOUSLY WORK! This, alone, causes me to believe I have some sort of connectivity issue, but I don't know what or where it is.

Now, at the same time, when I am having all these issues with my reverse function on my car, the "neutral" light seems to reliably work for the most part without a problem (there is no real problem in that gear), but sometimes, this problem occurs with the "Drive" gear as well. It does not cause any functionality issues with the car, but the "D" on the dashboard does not light up at times, and again, I usually end up having to "lean" the gearshift handle back a little ways to get the light to come on.

Now, for a SERIOUS issue that is ALL related to the above: if I put my gearshift in the "2" slot, and the "2" on my dashboard does NOT come on, my car WILL NOT GO INTO SECOND GEAR. The fraction of a second that the light DOES come on, the car will shift into second gear. As SOON as the light goes back off, though, the car will shift back into third AND NEVER FOURTH WHILE THE GEARSHIFT IS IN THE "2" POSITION.

THIS HOLDS THE MOST CONCERN, THOUGH: when I shift down to the "L" slot, THAT LIGHT ON THE DASHBOARD MUST COME ON, OR WEIRD CRAP HAPPENS! If I take my foot off of both the accelerator pedal and brake pedal, and that "L" light does not come on when I shift down, the car WILL SHIFT INTO FIRST GEAR NO MATTER HOW FAST I'M GOING. I discovered this because I know my "L" gear only shifts down below 35 MPH (NORMALLY, THAT IS!). Well, I was going about 40 MPH, I put it down into "L" (I was slowing down gradually), and WITHOUT MY EXPECTATION, THE CAR JUST SHIFTED ALL ON ITS OWN. As soon as I applied the gas pedal, though, the car shifted back into second, and commenced to shift AGAIN down into first gear, and back into second again! Then, if the gearshift handle is in the "L" position, and the car is going LESS THAN 35 MPH, when that dashboard light DOES come on, the car will briefly shift into second gear, and stay in first gear after that, PROVIDED THE LIGHT STAYS ON.

On a brief side note, the overdrive switch occasionally will not do anything when I push it. I have to push it in again, and push it back out again, and it will usually work after that. Connectivity issue, of some sort, I assume. Again, I'm not an expert, I'm just guessing.

As you know, I have a 1994 Toyota Camry. When this particular problem occurs, it is when the car has NOT been used very much. If the car is CONSTANTLY being used, after about 25 miles of driving, the problem almost totally disappears. If I go in and out of about 20 parking spaces in a parking lot (parking, reversing, and driving each time), the problem would just about fix itself, BUT ONLY FOR A VERY SHORT TIME, IF I DON'T KEEP THE CAR RUNNING. After leaving the car off for about ten minutes, the connectivity has already "degraded" considerably, and I usually end up having to jiggle that handle to make my backup lights come on. If I leave the car parked for an hour, that's even worse. Everything is just like the car just got started for the day.

THIS TOOK ME A WHILE TO TYPE. I hope you take as much time reading this as I did typing it, because I WANT MY PROBLEM FIXED.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's two things to suspect. The backup light switch is relatively inexpensive at about $25.00 and could be intermittent.

The neutral safety switch has a transmission range sensor built in and is fairly expensive. There is likely a computer involved with running the lights on the dash but given the description of the symptoms, I'd be looking at that sensor first. You'll need to find a mechanic who specializes in electrical diagnostics to test the operation of the sensor. The alternative is to just toss in a new sensor and hope that solves it but that is not how we like to find problems, especially when the part is so expensive.

Also, I got dizzy trying to follow your shifting description but you shouldn't be downshifting manually when slowing down except in unusual circumstances. The transmission operates differently when it downshifts by itself and it protect itself from undue stresses and engine over-speed. Your observations however, if done when the car is standing still, further points to the range sensor. There's too many different but related symptoms to suggest corroded wiring or connections. That's where testing of the sensor will show if it's intermittent.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Doc, I got side-tracked half way-I was gonna give the BU switch and the TRS to check and test but you came in with the silver bullet-Good Job-Always nice to have an electronic doctor in the house. As for me I'm old, obsolete and superseded-much obliged compadre
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ALLEN1350
  • MEMBER
Thank you so much for your answers. I'll take the suggestions deeply into consideration. Any other answers are appreciated, to those else who read this!
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Check the gear shift cable and range switch. Try adjusting them first.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BECKS_BABE303
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 TOYOTA CAMRY
1991 Toyota Camry Automatic

I just bought this car and it needed some work. While working on it we realized that the back up lights don't work. We replaced the bulbs and fuses but it still won't work. Any help?
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Check and test the light failure sensor and park/neutral switch
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BECKS_BABE303
  • MEMBER
How do I do that exactly? Haha
The car used to light up the LIGHTS alarm but now it seems not to. Maybe because I replaced the bulbs? It still won't work though.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JOHNNYFMX
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 170,000 MILES
My 96 Camrys check ebgine light is on due to the cade P1780 which failed my smog check, I replaced this part and am still having the same problems. The car will start in any gear and the lights in the dash dont light up, also when I step on the brakes the light that signals you have a brake light out will light up and I have no back up lights. I need to pass smog please help
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BILLYMAC
  • EXPERT
Hi did you just get this car? If so then most likely someone has bypassed the nss, look for a jumper wire in the harness where it plugs into the neutral safety switch. If this harness is ok. Remove the switch move the switch manually one click. Try and start vehicle if cranks trans selector shaft prob if not or still starts in gear electrical prob. This usually happens when a car fails to crank and something is bypassed. Check this out and let me know if we need to do more research. Please vote billy mac
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BABYATESY
  • MEMBER
  • 1985 TOYOTA CAMRY
Electrical problem
1985 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic

Hello
Mt back-up lights do not work. I've checked the fuses and the bulbs and they are fine. Can you tell me what the problem could be?
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
  • EXPERT
If the fuses are good, then you probably have a bad transmission range switch AKA, Neutral Safety switch but that would need to be tested to confirm that.
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Sunday, November 4th, 2018 AT 12:04 PM (Merged)

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