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1989 Toyota Camry brake light problem

  #1  
Old 01-08-2014, 02:42 PM
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Default 1989 Toyota Camry brake light problem

Hi, folks, new member here. I have a 1989 Camry LE, 120,000 miles on it, 4 door, V6, automatic with cruise, ABS, power steering, power locks and windows. For some reasons the brake lights do not work; all three of them are out but every other light works perfectly. I checked the fuses (all of them! under hood and inside driver panel) also replaced all the bulbs with new. I still have no brake lights and the dash light indicator continuously shows a little car with the back light problem. What can I do? I would like to know if there is a stop light switch attached to the brake pedal and if so how do I check it and/or replace if it is bad. Can I get a diagram and directions on this part...I think it is called an actuator switch or a stop light switch? Also, if anyone has any other useful information as to what may be the culprit please let me know. Possibly a relay or a link? In the meantime...I am going learn how to stand on my head! I think that position will come in handy in checking the switch. LOL

Thanks a bunch!

P.S. I took a volt meter to all three of the brake light sockets and found no power getting to them at all even with the break peddle fully depressed. So at least I know it is a power issue.
 

Last edited by Dinner; 01-08-2014 at 02:45 PM.
  #2  
Old 01-08-2014, 04:08 PM
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OK, new update. I removed the 20amp "break light fuse" from the driver's side foot well fuse box and stuck a volt meter in the socket. I found that I am getting 12 volts in the fuse spot so I at least I have power there. I put a fresh fuse in the socket and it's still not working but at least I know we have power at that point but not power at the actual break lights themselves.

I went and bought a new break light switch at an auto parts store for $15 but I now have absolutely no idea how to install it. It looks like I will have to remove the lower part of the driver's side foot well dash cover in order to gain access but it sure would be nice to find an online guide. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Also before I go to all this work of removing part of the dash does anyone know if the break light switch is even likely to be my problem? I ask because I see the dash light which says I have break lights not working; would that light up if the break light switch at the break peddle is not functioning properly? Thanks.
 

Last edited by Dinner; 01-08-2014 at 04:10 PM.
  #3  
Old 01-08-2014, 04:11 PM
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If dash indicator is on, wiring has a light failure sensor that illuminates the indicator if problems in the brake wiring, bulbs, etc.

This is powered by the Stop and Gauge fuses, check fuses.

The brake switch (on/off) is above the brake pedal, follow the pedal arm to under the dash. Check switch operation and if power is getting past the switch if closed.

If OK find the sensor in the trunk, location drivers side toward wheel well, will need to remove drivers side trunk liner to access.

Check for power at Green/White wire when brake switch activated, if OK check for power at Green/Red wire.

If no power the sensor can be bad.
 
  #4  
Old 01-08-2014, 05:08 PM
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We're making progress! I checked the yellow "Lamp Failure Sensor" in the left side of the trunk (driver's side), it was a yellow plastic box slightly smaller than a pack of cigarettes, and I inspected the electronics board where I found a burn mark on the circuit board. I assume this means the Left Hand Light Failure Sensor is likely my problem?

I'm going to call an auto parts store and see how much a new one costs, if it is cheap I will buy new, but if not I'll have to grab one from a junk yard. I will update to say if this fixed the problem or not. Thank you!
 

Last edited by Dinner; 01-08-2014 at 05:25 PM.
  #5  
Old 01-08-2014, 05:24 PM
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Hmmm, neither O'Reilly's nor Autozone carry this item while Toyota will sell me the part for $250 new. I did find some used ones on ebay for $25 so this might be a part best picked from a junkyard.
 
  #6  
Old 01-09-2014, 01:19 AM
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Either one you get, let us know how it goes.
 
  #7  
Old 09-06-2014, 07:43 PM
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I was having the same problem. I popped the cover off of the lamp failure sensor and found a couple of burn spots on the board. I soldered where the burn spots are and the taillights started working.
 
  #8  
Old 09-07-2014, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for this input!

Given light sensor failure is a common issue perhaps the original soldering was bad allowing over heating of the connections.
 
  #9  
Old 08-27-2017, 07:40 PM
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I would like to thank you guys for the brake light problem. I have been driving around for 2 wks using my parklights for brake light and was very worried about it. After being worried sick about the cost of taking the car to have it fixed, i read your post and was so happy to have found and solved the problem. Now I have brake lights again. It was a very worrisome problem.
 
  #10  
Old 08-28-2017, 10:35 AM
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Great job. Thanks for posting with your fix.
 
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