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87 Camry question about Taillights not coming On

Old 03-31-2010, 12:44 AM
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Default 87 Camry question about Taillights not coming On

I have a 87 Camry 2.0 5 speed and had a problem with the taillights not coming on when the lights are turned on. The symptom of the problem is as follows. When the lights are turned on one of the taillights will not light up and the warning light comes on in the instrument panel to let you know. However the taillights do come on when you hit the brake pedal. I fixed the problem by running a ground wire from somewhere on the frame to the taillight apparatus in the back of the taillight. Both taillights when out 1 at a time though and I fixed both by doing the same thing running a ground to the taillight that was not working and was out.
My question is this to everyone what caused the problem in the 1st place and did I fix it properly? I ask this because when I was reading the forums it said somewhere that there is a relay for the taillights located in the rear of the car somewhere did not say where though. So my thinking here is perhaps a relay in the trunk somewhere went bad causing the problem of the taillights not coming on when the headlights are turned on and I did not fix the problem correctly. Can someone please advise me as to what is the proper fix and the cause of this problem with the taillights not coming on when the headlights are turned on? Thanks for you help in this matter as I am sure someone on here has gone through this problem and must know the correct answer please advise.

Last edited by hardyrxp; 03-31-2010 at 12:48 AM. Reason: forgot some of my posting to add it
Old 03-31-2010, 01:11 AM
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The tail lights are turned on by the tail light relay. The tail lights are all on the same circuit. If power is getting to one taillight bulb (including the high mounted lamp) it is getting to the back of the car.

Some bulbs have 2 filaments inside one bulb. One for a tail light, one for a stop light. Make sure you understand this.

One side of the tail light bulb filament will run to ground via a wire going to all bulbs (maybe white/black in color). If you can get the lights to work by grounding a bulb perhaps the ground connection of this wire is bad.

The trunk does not have any relays, only the lamp out sensor box. Typically a bad sensor box results in no tail lights and or no brake lights.

The AutoZone website may have a wiring diagram in the sites vehicle repair section.

Test to determine if the brake lights work.

Test to determine if the rear clearance lights and license plate lamps work.
Old 03-31-2010, 02:24 AM
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Default follow up

Hello there,
Yes I did fix the taillights by running a new ground wire to where you said. Before I did that everything worked fine in the back of the car i.e. tag lights & everything else. The taillights would even work/come on when you hit the break pedal the only thing that was not working was the taillights would not come on when you turned the headlights on. So whatever caused this to happen I am not sure that is my question to you if you know please advise. 2nd ? is did I fix this correct? Even though yes everything is working fine now (taillights) I thought perhaps if the problem was a relay or something else then it might come back in the future if I did a half way fix please advise me thanks.
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