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No reverse lights, 88 Camry wagon 2.0 auto

  #1  
Old 03-25-2018, 08:11 PM
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Default No reverse lights, 88 Camry wagon 2.0 auto

Hello forum, new member here, just purchased 88' Camry wagon with 2.0 fuel injected automatic, 191k but in gorgeous shape.

My problem is the reverse lights do not work and "lights" indicator comes on when I press the brake pedal and stays on. Also my dash indicator hardly indicates any gear except Neutral, even when giggling the shifter between gears (this also applies to reverse lights when giggling between gears) I replaced all bulbs in rear end still no reverse lights and "lights" indicator still comes on. Read the troubleshooting tips here and found a few youtube videos that said Light Failure sensor might be bad/shorted out. I removed all the rear left interior and the tailgate floor and found the grey sensor located on the left side near the bottom edge. I opened it carefully and nothing appeared shorted, fried or visually faulty. I sprayed it off heavily with contact cleaner on both sides and reassembled it.

I now have no "lights" indicator with or without lights on or with brakes pressed, but still no reverse lights. When i giggle shifter now I get occasional D, 2, L and N but never R. The Park/Neutral switch would be my next guess but I have not found any DIY on how to access it.

Does anyone have any help/advice/suggestions while I still have my interior removed? Does my light failure sensor still need to be replaced? Or do I need to have a camry-wise mechanic look at it?

Thank you all in advance!!
 
  #2  
Old 03-26-2018, 12:21 PM
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Where are the backup lights in the wagon, are they in the tailgate?

The sensor can fail and result in the "light out" icon coming on or brake/tail light issues. If the sensor is bad, it can replaced or the wiring bypassed.

The backup lights are on a separate circuit and not connected to the sensor.

The dash gear selection indicator and backup light switch are combined in a multi-position switch. This switch is locate do the trans shift lever.

Follow the shift cable in the engine compartment to the trans. The switch is behind the arm the cable is connected to.

If the shift gear dash lights are not indicating correctly, would suspect this switch or wiring to it are bad. This can also cause the backup lights not to work.
 
  #3  
Old 03-27-2018, 05:17 PM
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Backup lights are in the tailgate since its a wagon.
The sensor when i opened it looked fine, and Lights indicator went out, for the most part since it's gone on then back off several times when shifting into park after driving.

The dash gear selection is very disfunctional, and only lights up N and sometimes L when you wiggle it in gear while running. To me this would indicate the Park/Neutral switch (the term they use for the bad part?) is broken. I can get a new one on ebay for about $45 so makes sense to proceed in this direction.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Neutral...1ZU74H&vxp=mtr

You say the switch is behind the arm connected to the shift cable coming from the trans. My question to you is how specifically do I access this switch, is it from beneath the car, or from the engine compartment? Or from the inside after removing more interior.

Thank you Joey for your help!
 
  #4  
Old 03-28-2018, 11:27 AM
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Access to the switch is from above the engine. Look down at the side of the trans facing the radiator. There is push/pull cable running from the firewall to an arm attached to a shaft coming out of the this side of trans. The cable runs from the gear shift lever inside the car.

The switch slides onto the shaft the arm is attached to, then bolts to the trans. The arm is removable.

For backup lights. Also check the rear of car wiring harness where it goes between the chassis and tailgate. The movement of the tailgate can cause the harness to flex to the point that wires break.

This can cause the backup lights not to work. The broken wires in the harness can also short together, causing strange issues with the dash icon lights.
 
  #5  
Old 03-28-2018, 04:32 PM
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Thank you again Joey for your quick informative reply!

I've checked the harness between between chassis and tailgate and it appears like new with a rubber sleeve over it. The harness that runs across the back of engine compartment does not look as good though. I still feel the park/neutral switch would be the first and most likely culprit based on how the dash indicator behaves when wiggling shifter, and not terribly $$ part.

I will tackle replacing the Park/Neutral switch next week when I have both a manual and a replacement part ready.

Thanks again!
 
  #6  
Old 03-30-2018, 06:36 PM
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Hey Joey I have another question,

My camry wouldn't start the other day, and has done this before. It's not the starter motor since i can jump it with a wire to the battery. The previous owner replaced the ignition switch, so the key is new as is the ignition. I had a recommended older model toyo mechanic look at it and he says the reverse/dash lights and starter problem are all related and possibly Park/neutral switch (coming and will replace soon, but i located it thanks to you!) or the Starter Relay Switch. He was told several locations for the starter relay switch based on research, but I was curious if you knew the location on my 88 wagon?

happy Friday!

thanks again and again
 
  #7  
Old 03-30-2018, 11:28 PM
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Your stating nothing happens when you turn the ign key to start?

If so, have you tried putting the trans in neutral?
 
  #8  
Old 03-31-2018, 09:44 AM
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Exactly, nothing happens, no click or sounds, but the clock dims when I turn the key.

Also tried starting in neutral with same results.

The battery is new and has fresh charge.
 
  #9  
Old 03-31-2018, 05:29 PM
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Find the starter solenoid. This part is bolted to the starter motor.

There should be a SMALL diameter black wire attached to the solenoid. When the ign switch is turned to start, the black wire should have 12v power.

The black wire goes to the Park/Neutral switch. Then a black/white wire goes to the ign switch.
 
  #10  
Old 03-31-2018, 06:06 PM
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Really well described, I will be looking at this issue more when the park/neutral switch arrives along with the manuals. Hoping it is just the park/neutral switch causing reverse lights/starting problem.

Happy Easter weekend to you and yours!
 

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