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Toyota Pickup Tail Light Assembly

How to Diagnose Toyota Pickup Tail Light Assembly Problems

The Toyota pickup tail light assembly is as uncomplicated as any light with an on and off switch: brake lights will come on when you press the brake pedal; the lights will go off when the pedal is released. Hazard, turn signal lights, and reverse lights work on the same principle. If something goes wrong though, information below will help you save a lot of time, trouble, and money:

Hazard lights don't work, but turn signals do

The problem is obviously neither the bulbs nor the turn signal switch. First, check if the fuse is busted. If the fuse is good, check if the hazard switch is creating a proper ground. Usually you can fix the ground by spraying WD40. Or, if you find this process messy, an electrical cleaner is a better alternative.

The brake lights don't come on

Check if the third light comes on when you depress the brake pedal. If the third light doesn't come on, the problem may be a bad fuse, brake light switch or unplugged harness. Check the emergency flashers if it turns on. Flashers will not come on if the problem is bad wiring the since they use the same wiring. If the flashers are working, check the fuse. Change the fuse if busted. Change the bulbs if the fuse and the wiring are okay.

No brake light on one side

Since the other brake light is working, the problem is likely the harness or the bulb. Check if the wiring is loose or if the bulb is busted. Repair the wiring as needed. Check the socket for corrosion and clean it if necessary. Test if the bulb is busted by using the bulb on the other headlight and test it to the side that's not working. If it comes on, the bad bulb has to be replaced.

The lights don't come on after changing the fuse

Check the fuse again. Most likely, the fuse is busted again because the electrical circuit is shorted to ground. This rarely happens, but when it does, you have to manually check the wiring. Refer to the car repair manual for the wiring schematic of the brake light circuit. Once you locate the problem, repair as needed and replace the busted fuse.

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  • Basic Toyota Pickup Tail Light Assembly Maintenance 27 February 2013

    The Toyota pickup tail light assembly is composed of several lights, each with an important role to fulfill. If one of the lights is busted or if the lens is cracked or damaged, you have to repair it right away. If the lens becomes hazy or scuffed, it must be restored. And if the lights are dull and flickering, you have to replace them immediately so that it may not endanger other drivers. That said, here are some basic Toyota pickup tail light assembly maintenance tips:


    Change the bulbs when necessary.


    Driving with busted tail light bulbs is dangerous not only to you, but also to the people behind you. So if you notice any of your tail light bulb is no longer working, replace it right away. How you change the tail light bulbs depends on how your Toyota pickup tail light assembly is constructed. On most models, you have to remove the tail light assembly from the vehicle before you can change the bulbs. Some models only require you to remove the tail light lens.


    Replace the tail light bulbs with manufacturer's recommended replacement bulbs.


    Replacing the tail light bulbs with a new one is a smart move to help keep the tail light assembly well maintained, but you have to use the correct bulbs for the following reasons: an incorrect bulb may cause dim brake light operation; it may not work at all; it may toast the fuse; it may burn the tail light lens; and it may prove to be a safety risk to you and to the vehicles behind you.


    Clean your tail lights as you clean your pickup.


    There is nothing special about cleaning your tail lights. Just wash and wipe them dry as you do to your vehicle. But if the lens are already becoming swirled, hazed, and scuffed after years of being exposed to the elements, you have to do some restoration job. Remove the tail light assembly from the vehicle or unscrew the lens from the assembly and clean the lens using automotive soap and water, sponge and a 1500-grit sandpaper.