I am having quite the issue with my otherwise perfectly mint 1991 Camry. My tail lights will not work.
We trouble shot by checking the bulbs, fuses etc. Even gave a tug on the parking brake to see if this was part of the issue (which subsequently snapped that cable too). Nothing worked.
I found a burnt module in the lamp fail box inside the rear panel of the car and was sure my troubles were over, I swapped out the module, and made sure all the light bulbs are where they are supposed to be. When I did this the tail lights finally came back or so we imagine, we are not entirely sure because now all of the brake lights stay on (including the third one in the window). There is a VERY minimal spike/change in brightness when stepping on the brake. I went to recheck the module within 10 minutes of replacing it and found it was burning out in the same spot the first one did, but with a different failure result.
In a nutshell, here is the problem
1. Markers, license plate, reverse and brake lights all functional --- Rear running lights/tail lights NON functional.
2. Running lights functional ---- light does not get brighter when switching to regular headlights.
3. Module keeps burning out (model #89373) in the spot slightly up and to the left of the number in the center of the panel.
4. When the old (burnt) module is in -- the tail lights will not come on
5. When the new (now also burnt) module is in -- the brake lights will not shut off.
Electrical problems are never easy so don't feel bad you are not alone. I will tried my best to help.
First check to see if you have a short. You can do this by doing the following. Preform this test before replacing any parts
1) disconnect the postive battery cable.
2) Connect a 12volt test lamp in series. ( One end to the Postive battery terminal the other end to the postive cable)
3) Make sure all everything in the car is off.
4) If the lamp lights up bright ( dim is normal because certian items you can not shut off) you have a short in the car some where.
The hard part is now locating it. Now remove each fuse while observing the test light untill you pull the right fuse. When you pull the right one the test lamp will go out. Remember we suspect the brake/tail lights start there first.
If you don't have a short(I have a feeling this is more likely your problem) I would suspect the brake switch is defective. I say this because you say the brake lights remain on all the time after you replaced the module. Then the module burnt out as a result of the brake lights remaining on. I am not sure but I don't think the module was designed to say on constantly and this is why the new one burnt out.
Good luck : idea: Backyardmechanic
December, 4, 2006 AT 9:11 AM
Thanks " backyard mechanic" Unfortunately I did have my car in the shop for 2 days under the assumption there was a short. Fortunately it was only a pinched wire and took him 12 hours to find (which he also only charged me for a couple hours work - phew).
Again, thank you for the response. I hope that perhaps this exchange will help someone else figure out a similar problem.