highlander tail/brake light problem
liner

Bronx, NY

#21 Dec 17, 2009
joe mcverry wrote:
he wants to replace the light chassis or bracket.
Sounds like smoke and mirrors. Not sure why you would replace the whole tailight assembly without trying to fix it, it's not that complicated. But if it needs to be replaced, a used unit would seem to be the way to go.
Berto in Cali

B M Goldwater A F Range, AZ

#22 Jan 16, 2010
I figured out the problem to this issue yesterday. I had been having my right rear tail/stop lights going out and then coming back on. I figured that it had been something related to the wiring or a connection that might have not been good. Sure enough when I took off the main socket and looked at the metal contacts that are supposed to be bent out, there was one that was bent in and obviously wasn't getting a clean contact. I then bent it out to match the others with some needle nose pliers. It now works fine. The contacts probably get bent inward after replacing a bulb or maybe just from time. SO check that out and I bet it will fix most of your problems. :)
Hygain

Pasadena, TX

#23 Apr 20, 2010
Thanks Breto, had same problem for several years, tried your fix and IT WORKS, Bent each of those little tabs out reinstalled socket and I have brake lights on both side now. Give it a try folks it works.
rob

Memphis, TN

#24 May 28, 2010
I have a 2002 Highlander with the same problem. The passenger side brake lights going out. Replacing bulbs not the problem.
Jeff Long Island

Hicksville, NY

#25 Jun 1, 2010
Same problem last week with 2003 Highlander, Passenger Side. I disconnected the Plug that mates with the main connector on the taillight assembly, and tested each contact on the plug with a voltmeter to see if there was voltage on it when the appropriate circuit was activated (tail light, stop light, flasher, back up light). I measured about 10-11 volts (6-7 for the flasher) between each circuit and ground when the circuit was activated. Each circuit was good at the plug. I figured the brake light contact on the plug wasn't making good contact with the matching pn on the socket. I plugged, unplugged, and replugged a few times to try to clean the contacts. I then tested the brake lights,and they were fixed. If it happens again, I'll get some contact cleaner spray at Radio Shack or other supplier, and spray the contacts before re-plugging. For reference, the wires leading into the plug were color coded with the following main/stripe colors: Backup Light: Red/Black; Flasher: Green/Yel; Tailight: Green (solid); Brake: Green/White; Ground (-): White/Black.
BTW, if making voltage measurements isn't your thing, a friend or neighbor who is into electronics should have the equipment and expertise to help you.
bill hamilton

United States

#26 Jun 12, 2010
Bill, did you ever figure this out? Sounds like my problem is exactly like yours.
bill hamilton

United States

#27 Jun 12, 2010
Bill,
Did you ever figure this out? Sounds like I'm having exactly the same problem.
Jeff B

Pinellas Park, FL

#28 Jun 26, 2010
Berto in Cali wrote:
I figured out the problem to this issue yesterday. I had been having my right rear tail/stop lights going out and then coming back on. I figured that it had been something related to the wiring or a connection that might have not been good. Sure enough when I took off the main socket and looked at the metal contacts that are supposed to be bent out, there was one that was bent in and obviously wasn't getting a clean contact. I then bent it out to match the others with some needle nose pliers. It now works fine. The contacts probably get bent inward after replacing a bulb or maybe just from time. SO check that out and I bet it will fix most of your problems.:)
You rock Berto. Pulled the main socket going to the driver side tail light asembly and slightly bent out each contact. Brake lights are working fine now. Your post saved me much time and cash by avoiding a trip to the dealer. Thanks again!
GJK Madison WI

Madison, WI

#29 Jul 3, 2010
The right side brake lights do not work. All other lights work when I turn the lights on. Replaced the bulbs but still didn't fix the problem. The bulbs are good. Swithched the right and left ones. Left side works(old right side bulbs)...right side does not. I'm baffeled...any suggestions?
GJK Madison WI

Madison, WI

#30 Jul 4, 2010
To Berto in Cali...followed your advice and it works now!!!! Thanks a million.
Rob

Tempe, AZ

#31 Jul 24, 2010
I bent the contacts up as they had become flattened and the brake light works now.
Norlando

United States

#32 Aug 20, 2010
clara wrote:
I have a 2003 highlander. When I press the brake, only the right rear side of the tail/brake light becomes brighter. I checked the light bulb on the left side, seemed the filament is fine. When I turned on the front light, the left rear light is normal. Anyone knows what might be the issue? Thanks
I had the same problem: The seat where the bulb goes in has three prongs, one of them is way to flat to the seat surface (too close to the plastic), check all of them out and pull them up so as to they will be about 1/16 inches separated from the seat or plastic. This will make the prongs to have a better contact with the electrical parts when you insert the seat with the bulb in it on your highlander.
Norlando

United States

#33 Aug 20, 2010
I had the same problem: The seat where the bulb goes in has three prongs, one of them is way to flat to the seat surface (too close to the plastic), check all of them out and pull them up so as to they will be about 1/16 inches separated from the seat or plastic. This will make the prongs to have a better contact with the electrical parts when you insert the seat with the bulb in it on your highlander.
Karen Gainesville FL

Gainesville, FL

#34 Sep 27, 2010
Jeff Long Island wrote:
Same problem last week with 2003 Highlander, Passenger Side. I disconnected the Plug that mates with the main connector on the taillight assembly, and tested each contact on the plug with a voltmeter to see if there was voltage on it when the appropriate circuit was activated (tail light, stop light, flasher, back up light). I measured about 10-11 volts (6-7 for the flasher) between each circuit and ground when the circuit was activated. Each circuit was good at the plug. I figured the brake light contact on the plug wasn't making good contact with the matching pn on the socket. I plugged, unplugged, and replugged a few times to try to clean the contacts. I then tested the brake lights,and they were fixed. If it happens again, I'll get some contact cleaner spray at Radio Shack or other supplier, and spray the contacts before re-plugging. For reference, the wires leading into the plug were color coded with the following main/stripe colors: Backup Light: Red/Black; Flasher: Green/Yel; Tailight: Green (solid); Brake: Green/White; Ground (-): White/Black.
BTW, if making voltage measurements isn't your thing, a friend or neighbor who is into electronics should have the equipment and expertise to help you.
Thanks Jeff Long Island! I had the same problem with my 2002 Highlander in that the passenger side brake lights would not work...changed the bulbs, checked fuses, etc., no luck! Then I just unplugged and plugged the main connector a few times and now they work!
TJ - San Jose CA

United States

#35 Jan 21, 2011
I've got a 2002 Highlander V6, 4wd. The brake lights on the passenger side are not working. I replaced with genuine Toyota bulbs but still no luck. I took the vehicle to Capital Toyota, San Jose,CA and they are running a diagnostic test which cost me $140.00.
Will post the outcome soon.
Todd- Goffstown NH

Boston, MA

#36 Jan 24, 2011
I have a 2002 Highlander 4cyl 4wd. Same issue that's been described in previous posts: passenger brake light does not work. Everything else works on that side: regular lights, blinker, hazzards, backup. It doesn't brighten when I hit the brakes. I've taken it to the dealer 4-5 times replacing sockets and more. It still doesn't work. It works for a couple days then goes back to not working. I looked at the sockets and contacts going to those sockets for all bulbs on that side. Nothing abnormal. They all looked the same. I bent out for good measure, but still nothing. I will take back to the dealer printing out these posts. Maybe they will have better luck. I will post the outcome.
Chad

United States

#37 Jan 26, 2011
Same problem as well. Right Brake Light will not light up when depressing the brake. Toyota should recall this!
Fabian

Los Angeles, CA

#38 Feb 27, 2011
Tanya wrote:
I guess no one figured out the problem? I am having the same problem on an 02 Highlander, passenger side brake light only. Help!!
Did you ever get the problem fixed? I'm having the same exact problem. if you did, please let me know what I need to do to fix it. Thank you. [email protected]
Jeff Kujath

Seattle, WA

#39 Apr 10, 2011
Berto in Cali wrote:
I figured out the problem to this issue yesterday. I had been having my right rear tail/stop lights going out and then coming back on. I figured that it had been something related to the wiring or a connection that might have not been good. Sure enough when I took off the main socket and looked at the metal contacts that are supposed to be bent out, there was one that was bent in and obviously wasn't getting a clean contact. I then bent it out to match the others with some needle nose pliers. It now works fine. The contacts probably get bent inward after replacing a bulb or maybe just from time. SO check that out and I bet it will fix most of your problems.:)
Thanks Berto, this worked for me. My brake lights would not brighten when I pushed on the brakes. After bending the metal contacts on the light sockets they now work.

I've taken pictures of this with the procedure and posted them at: http://toyota.kujath.com in case anyone has any difficulties.
It's not a blog and there's no ads... just the fix for this issue with pictures.:-)
Clydette

Long Beach, CA

#40 Apr 23, 2011
Hi I too am having issues with my driver side brake lights, changed the bulbs,the fuse and still nothing!! any good referrals for a good dealership in long beach or fullerton?

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