Tail lights?!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Poetg65, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Poetg65

    Poetg65 Junior Member

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    I am hoping someone(anyone) might help me out with a tail light problem? Scenario: Ummm OK, well, I accidentally backed my 2005 Prius into the back wall of my house. (no, really, I did. I know, stupid.:( ) Be that as it may, I have already: 1) checked all the bulbs in the tail light 'array" none seem 'broken/blown'. 2) TRIED to check out the corresponding fuses for the tail light assembly... got stymied at that point.

    For reference: The right(passenger) tail light works on the bottom only, IE: the bottom red light. everything else: NADA. I am not even certain the turn signal indicators are working at this point... should have checked that, I know...

    So, given all the above, does anyone have any advice for me BEFORE I take it to the gosh darn dealer and they charge me a mint for: labor & whatever the heck.. and if its fuses, gee, I can PROBABLY buy new & replace them my darn self, am I right? ;)

    Thanks ever so much in advance, any ideas, etc are most welcome!

    OH! And Happy/Merry Christmas to all who celebrate... (I just happen to be Jewish, so ...:) )
     
  2. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Poetg65,

    You need to isolate the electrical fault(s).
    Right off the top there are three possibilities:
    1. the lights themselves are faulty (both filamented and LED types are involved)
    2. The connector between the car's circuitry and light assembly is bad
    3. The car's circuitry is bad

    As a first fault finding step, consider removing the passenger side tail light
    assembly, then disconnecting the driver side assembly (leave in place). Use
    the search function to find threads about Gen II tail light assembly removal.
    This is not at all difficult. Just removing the access panel and a few thumb
    screws. You can do this for sure. Just screw up your courage and go for it.

    Plug the passenger side into the diver side connector. Run some light tests
    with a friend and see which lights works. Report results here.

    There are all kinds of possible outcomes. Rather than discuss them all,
    let's wait until you have something specific to report.

    As a heads up, should you discover that the LED brake lights have gone
    ka-floo-ie, the only reasonable step is to replace to entire light assembly.
    IIRC, they go for something like $150 from a reputable Prius salvage yard vice
    ~$350 new.

    Ball's in your court. Ho-ho-ho.
     
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  3. salguod

    salguod Member

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    A collision would indicate to me that you've likely got damaged bulbs. Bulbs are cheap, unless they are LEDs which I don't think they are (I guess some are). I'd start there. My Alldata manual indicates there's an access panel on each side so you can get to the bulbs. There's a post on removing the taillight here, but it is more elaborate than my manual indicates. According to my manual you can remove the taillight bolts from the access panel.

    As far as fuses, there looks to be 2 fuse blocks under the hood. One at the base of the windshield the other behind the driver's headlight. There appears to be one under the dash as well on the driver's side. I would imagine the one for the taillights would be labeled "Tail" or "Taillamp" or something similar.
     
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  4. Zedhomme

    Zedhomme Member

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    I like to check the easy fixes first.
    First, was the lens damaged? If not maybe, the lamps just came loose. See attachment and try pushing the lamps firmly back in.
    The three lights you can easily change from top to bottom on each side are:

    Top - Turn signal (7440A); Fuse#38 10-amp under hood
    Middle - Back-up Light (7440LL); Fuse #8 10-amp under dash
    Bottom - Tail Light or Parking Light (2825LL); Fuse #15 10-amp under dash.
    The lamps run about $2.50 each for a two-pack at any automotive parts store.
    There are usually a couple spare fuses and a fuse puller in the box under the hood.
    Have to be a contortionist to change the fuses under the dash.

    The lamp sockets are covered by a plastic cover that easily removes on each side in the trunk. See attached file.
    These 3 lamps have a wedge base, so they just pull out and push back in until you feel a snap. Use a soft cloth or glove. Don't touch the new lamps with your fingers.
    Try replacing the lamps first.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. vskid3

    vskid3 Active Member

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    How did you check the lights? I'm pretty sure only the bottom red light comes on when you turn on the lights, the brake, reverse, and turn signal lights only come on when they're used. I would have someone else watch while you try everything and see what works and what doesn't. From what you've posted, I'm not sure if there is even a problem.
     
  6. Zedhomme

    Zedhomme Member

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    Agree with vskid3. You can check the parking lights and turn signals yourself by getting out and looking while they're on, but a little tougher to check the brake lights and backup lights without help unless you have a nice blank white surface behind the car in the dark to look at while you check them.
     
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    If you find the lights are bad in your testing



     
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