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Old 02-24-2009, 01:30 AM
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Smile Brake lights or tail lights stop working / solution

After many failed attempts to fix my brake lights by following previous posts I have found throughout the web, I thought I would save some of you some serious frustration and headaches.

If your brake lights stop working and you can't shift:

If your car won't shift out of park without pushing the shift interlock override then you need to replace the brake pedal switch. it is at the top of the brake pedal lever, and although it is a pain in the a** to get too, it only takes a few minutes to change, and you will be able to shift and your brake lights will work. (hint: mark the new switch at some point to align with a point on the plug, as you will be plugging the connector back in without being able to see it.

IF the lamp out indicator is lit up on your dash and you lose your tail lights or your brake lights, and you have checked and replaced your bulbs, and checked your fuses then it is probably the stupid lamp failure sensor. My car is a 1992 LE wagon, and although your wiring colors may not be the same on other years, the basic procedure is the same, as well as the way that I tested and found the correct wires.

First you must locate the lamp failure sensor. On the wagon, you have to remove the drivers side rear interior moulding panel. It is a pain, as you have to remove the back floor, as well as the seat edge which only has one bolt. After you remove the several screws and other peices of moulding that you find in the way, you will see a purple box mounted near the electric antenna. (This is on my 92, so you may or may not have the rear wiper relay depending on year, and sedan or wagon.) Despite the model, it seems that the sensor that you are looking for is always on the drivers side, rear interior of the vehicle behind carpet or trim. On my wagon, if you look toward the rear from the purple wiper relay, you will find a small yellow clip mounted almost up behind the upper moulding. This is the mounting clip for the lamp failure sensor. Push it through with a screw driver and a small yellow box, (pack of smokes size) will fall down. This is the sensor. Unplug the wire harness from it and throw this peice of crap in the trash. If you are interested, open it up and you most likely will find a burn, or burns on the circuit board or resistors. This is the light problem culprit. (Keep in mind that if you discard it, then you will no longer have the indicator light on the dash to tell you that a tail lamp is out, but hell, after you get to this stupid thing you will never want to deal with a bad one again, so you be the judge of what you do. (new from toyota, 190$, junkyard, 25$ or so but who knows how long it will last.)

To bypass on my 1992:

cut the dark green wire, the dark green with a red stripe, the red wire, the light green wire, and the green with white stripe wire. Splice together the dark green and the light green. Then splice together the red, the dark green with red stripe, and the green with white stripe. Now you will have tail lights, and brake lights, but remember you will no longer have the sensor.

If your wires are different colors:

Cut the wires except for the yellows, the white with black stripe, and beige. You should end up with five wires. Use a test light, to determine which are your two feed wires by having someone turn on the tail lights and find your tail light hot feed. Do the same thing with the brake pedal.
Now that you know which wires activate which lights, you can connect the red to the brake light activated wire, (the red is ussually the third brake light wire - wagons obviously. ) Push the brake pedal to confirm this. Next splice one of the two remaining wires to the tail light hot feed. Turn on the tail lights. IF the tail lights look very bright, then remove the wire you just spliced to the tail light hot feed, and splice the remaining wire to the tail light hot feed instead. If the tail lights work, and they are dimmer now, then connect the remaining wire to the brake light hot feed and the red, and you should now be in business.

Good luck, and for me anyway, good riddens to that stupid tail lamp failure sensor!!
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:14 PM
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Thumbs up Alternate way to bridge the light failure sensor

Thanks for the tip on where to find the Light Failure Sensor; we looked for about an hour before reading your tip, and found it in seconds after. Same location, color, and wiring instructions apply for a 93 Camry Wagon.
Because I'm adverse to burning bridges and am handy with a soldering iron, instead of cutting the leads at the connector, I took apart the senor module and shorted the corresponding pins on the circuit board.
To do this, open up the sensor module by popping off the plastic cover (pushing in the tabs with a medium sized screwdriver). Mine had the burned traces and leads, as described above. Look carefully into the white connector, and, in the right light, you'll see the pin numbers printed there.
To start, I popped out the IC on the circuit board (just to make sure it wouldn't be drawing any power) - just prying with a screwdriver was enough to get it to come out. I also cut the trace (with an Exacto knife) coming from pin 8 to keep the 12V from powering the board.
Solder a wire to short pins 3 and 9 together (for the taillights). Solder another wire to short pins 1, 2, and 7 together (for the stop lights). All connections made on the wiring side of the board, of course, since you're going to be putting this back together and snapping the connectors together again when done. Fortunately, the positions are close to each other. Take care not to short to the other pins.
For your reference, the schematic in my Haynes manual, and the wiring diagram I found online for the 1994 Camry, show the pin numbers and the wiring colors as supercoolang described them.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:48 AM
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Default Running lights too?

I also have a 93 LE Wagon. Does this sensor also control the rear running lights? My brake lights work fine but my rear running lights don't work at all. Please help! I don't have much more hair to pull out...unless rogaine wants to sponsor me.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:23 PM
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Y dont u lok for ur car brakelights at ,i bought mine last week.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:35 PM
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Thanks for this information and fixes. I was looking everywhere for that yellow box. I guess I really didn't want to take that left side panel off.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:54 PM
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Default Alternate way to bridge the light sensor

elTombre gave good advice. I did it his way, using my soldering iron, and restored the tail light. One trouble: when I turn on the headlights, the third brake light illuminates as well. Other two brake lights perform normally. My Camry is a 93 sedan model, and elTombre's is a 92, and that could be the reason. Otherwise, everything is exactly as he and supercoolang described. At least I can now be seen at night from behind. ONe more thing: when your tail lights fail, you can be pretty sure it is this sensor if your car smells like something's burning or melting! This sensor is a pain, and an unecessary luxury. I took photos of this sensor and fried PC board. Photos were taken BEFORE I soldered the pins. This may help others with this annoying problem.
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Brake lights or tail lights stop working / solution-pa060005.jpg   Brake lights or tail lights stop working / solution-pa060007.jpg  

Last edited by Santaanacanyon; 10-07-2009 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:01 PM
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This worked for me. See my post below
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:52 AM
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Default no dash lights, tail lights, parking lights

I have a 1993 Camry LE 4cylinder and recently I had all these lights, the dash lights (gauges and temperature control lights), my tail lights, reverse lights and parking lights all go out. The fuse is fine. We did find the lamp failure sensor box which had some corrosion and broken wires and replaced the wires and cleaned a couple other connections, but still no lights. Any suggestions? Would bypassing the lamp sensor box help? BTW, my lamp sensor box didn't have any black parts, like the photos above, just a little corrosion that easily cleaned off.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:55 PM
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Hey, Supercool! Your solution worked like a charm. Followed your instructions for the bypass and my lid brakelights work for the first time in a long time. The dealer here wants $275 for the sensor; and my car isn't even worth that much! I love it. though. '92 LE 247 thousand miles. runs great and now safe to drive in town! Thanks for your advice!
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:39 PM
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Soldering where the burned pins were worked for me. Thanks for the help!
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