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Prius Tail Lights Not Working. Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Orin Shaheed, Feb 9, 2024.

  1. Orin Shaheed

    Orin Shaheed New Member

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    Feb 9, 2024
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    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Hi everyone.

    I bought a 2012 Prius Plug In Advanced and have been driving it for almost three years. Suddenly, my tail lights (the dim lights that glow at night, not the brake lights) went out. I went to the dealership 4 times and they still have not been able to identify the problem.

    First, they told me the tail light assembly needs to be replaced and gave me a quote for a thousand dollars. I can't afford that kind of fix, so I bought the lights from an online seller (credible) and then got it replaced. Even after that, the night time running lights were not working and I brought it back. They said there was an issue with the bulb, and a faulty fuse. They fixed everything (or tried to) and we even saw the light work before I took it out of the store. However, at night, the lights just did not come on. I keep the lights on AUTO always to ensure they switch on by themselves when it gets dark.

    My dad is an electrical engineer, and I spoke to him about what could be the problem. He believes that the parts are not faulty, since the issue persists even after a full replacement. He's saying that there seems to be a current surge, for which the fuse in use is insufficient. Does anyone have any idea why this is happening or how it can be fixed?
     
  2. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Mar 19, 2013
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    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    If I were trying to fix the tail lights not working, I would turn off the auto on feature, than using the headlight switch manually, turn the switch to it's first ON position and check which front and or rear lights come on. Than move the switch to it's second position and check which lights are on. Than move the switch to it's third position and check the lights again.
    I'm getting in way over my head because I don't know how the auto on switch works since I had the base 2014 Plugin.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Put a volt meter on the wires to see if you’re getting 12 volts at the tail lights
     
  4. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    I think the taillights are LED and are permanently fixed to the taillight assembly.
    The turn signal and brake lights are replaceable bulbs.
    Todd the owner of Tampa Hybrids Inc will know for sure.
    @jerrymildred can tell you more about Todd and his shop.
    Hybrid FAQ - Tampa Hybrids Inc.
    Tampa Hybrids has been a recommended shop at priuschat for a long time and I believe he still does service and repairs along with Prius Sales.

    I looked up part numbers for your 2012 Prius Plug-in Advanced and they look to me like
    right side taillight assembly is 81551-47220
    left side assembly is 81561-47230

    but you should always double check using your cars VIN number before ordering parts.
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Two
    Yes, the tail lights are LED. I have seen individual lights within the assembly go out and the others all still work.

    Check with Todd or Mike at Home - Tampa Hybrids Inc.. They have lots of used tail light assemblies. I was helping them organize their used parts storage a month or so ago.
     
    vvillovv likes this.
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    @Orin Shaheed hasn't come back to check for responses, so I sent a DM.
     
    vvillovv likes this.