highlander tail/brake light problem
Thanh Vu

Center Point, LA

#81 Sep 16, 2012
I got the same problem on my Toyota highlander 2004. but first change the light bulbs and then do Mr Berto, Tuscon, Chatworth and Jeff Kujath advise.
Good luck!
Jamil Lotia

Dallas, TX

#82 Sep 30, 2012
I have a 2002 Toyota Highlander and I am having the same problem. Driver side brake light will not brighten. I've replaced all bulbs.
Big John

Allison Park, PA

#83 Oct 10, 2012
Thank you Berto in Cali (#22),Jeff Kujath (#39), Burnt Orange (#44), and Gary in Tucson (#56). I bent out the small tabs on both the individual brake light sockets and on the socket at the main wiring harness. Once I did this the brake lights began working perfectly.
Karen Ohab

Knightdale, NC

#84 Nov 3, 2012
Jeff...Thank you so much for your informative fix for the brake lights!!! My husband followed you exactly....pictures and all....and bam!!!! they now work...can't thank you enough!!!
Jeff Kujath wrote:
<quoted text>
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.:-)
Rene

Sugar Land, TX

#85 Nov 21, 2012
Joe Da Fixa wrote:
RE: 2002 Toyota Highlander 2.4cyl. 4X4 Base Model
I am a Certified Technician and have basic knowledge with electronics in electrical wiring. I searched the web and discovered this is a common problem.
I fixed the problem and it was a simple procedure...
The problem is with the reverse light socket at the side with no brake light. This socket functions as a hub to direct current to the brake bulbs.
Remove reverse light socket and re-seat bulb. Check for loose or broken prongs. Replace if necessary.
Swap the reverse socket with the other side.
Thank you. Followed your advice and it worked. But I decided to replace both socket plugs (p/n 90075-60036)for peace of mind. The cost of each plug is around $14. Thanks again, Joe.
Kevin P

Herndon, VA

#86 Nov 24, 2012
Outstanding! It really worked...and a few days before my annual vehicle inspection no less! The mechanic shop would've charged me $100 just to look at it. In my case (Highlander 2003) the driver's side brake light had a burnt filament...there're two in the bulb. I switched out good and bad bulb combinations to determine if it was the wiring or the bulb. I ended up changing the brake light...but it initially didn't work correctly. I inspected the reverse light and re-inserted, but still nothing. Before taking it into the shop I swapped the left and right reverse lights and vuala...brake light restored. The seating of the reverse light and a burnt driver's side brake light were the problem. By the way...I did check the stop light fuse as a matter of course and to be sure not to leave any stone unturned, but I didn't think that was the problem considering that the passenger brake light was operational.
Thanks to everyone, especially Joe Da Fixa, for their contribution.
captrd

Mobile, AL

#87 Nov 30, 2012
Left-side brake lights out and tried everything. Then I went inside and Google the problem and got the great hot tips below.

Lilo: "So I've went through this whole post, trying to do the "Bento" method,( http://toyota.kujath.com/

Lilo, The website above was a great help. Photos always make it easy. I cannot thank you enough.

And also Berto in Cali thank you as well for the great hot tips.
Rkit

Pensacola, FL

#88 Jan 24, 2013
I had the very same problem. Driver side brake lights would not light up. Changed the bulbs, switched then with the passenger side... nothing worked. The blinker and reverse lights worked without fail. So after reading the above, I tried the "fix" of bending the prongs up. That one did not work for me. Then I tried Lilo's "fix" of turning only a 1/4 of a turn (not quite all the way in) and taa daa... that did it. All lights are working now. I am so thankful for this site and all of those that shared their comments. I am hoping that this "fix" will last! Good Luck everyone!:)
jschmidtt

New Haven, CT

#89 Feb 6, 2013
Andrew in VA

Fredericksburg, VA

#90 May 5, 2013
Bending the terminals on the gray socket fixed it for me, too. I had the brake light out on my 2003 Highlander on the driver's side, and had tried bending the tabs on the brake light socket, with no luck.

Took the gray socket out, bent the terminals out, put it back, and voila! Works a treat!

Thanks!
KB in CA

Diamond Bar, CA

#91 May 12, 2013
thanks to all of you - this same thing just happened today on my 2002 Highlander on the driver's side. Bending all the tabs including the grey main connector did the trick. many thanks again.
Rush

Lithia, FL

#92 May 28, 2013
Any remedy's for the Brake Light Issue?
Rush

Lithia, FL

#93 May 28, 2013
AMAZING!!!

Followed Bert from Cali's suggestion (#22)

30 seconds ... FIXED!!!

It's the little metal contacts that surround the socket on the outside!

Is even one of them is "bent in" your Brake Lights will fail...

Simply adjust them ...gently. I used a pair of needle nose plyers..and bend them back OUT!

Problem SOLVED!!!!

God bless

(Hear that?)
...all the dealerships and mechanics are crying!
Allison

Saint Petersburg, FL

#94 May 30, 2013
Joe Da Fixa wrote:
RE: 2002 Toyota Highlander 2.4cyl. 4X4 Base Model
I am a Certified Technician and have basic knowledge with electronics in electrical wiring. I searched the web and discovered this is a common problem.
I fixed the problem and it was a simple procedure...
The problem is with the reverse light socket at the side with no brake light. This socket functions as a hub to direct current to the brake bulbs.
Remove reverse light socket and re-seat bulb. Check for loose or broken prongs. Replace if necessary.
Swap the reverse socket with the other side.
Thank you SO much for this post!! Ive had this issue with my 2003 Highlander for almoat a year and was literally going TODAY to have the housing replaced- according to Firestone, this was the problem. You've saved me $250.00 :)
Anthony P

Colorado Springs, CO

#95 Jun 12, 2013
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
The main plug is bad where the harness plugs in ,you have to buy the whole tail light to replace it ,move it and it may start working.
Anthony P

Colorado Springs, CO

#96 Jun 12, 2013
Lkq has whole tail lights for 85.00 each with
connectors .
Harris

Cumming, GA

#97 Jun 21, 2013
I had the same problem. I solved the problem by checking all your metal prongs where the plugs seat themselves. One of mine was flat and needed to be slightly pryed out in order for the bulb to get a proper connection.
Brett

Waikoloa, HI

#98 Jun 27, 2013
Rkit wrote:
I had the very same problem. Driver side brake lights would not light up. Changed the bulbs, switched then with the passenger side... nothing worked. The blinker and reverse lights worked without fail. So after reading the above, I tried the "fix" of bending the prongs up. That one did not work for me. Then I tried Lilo's "fix" of turning only a 1/4 of a turn (not quite all the way in) and taa daa... that did it. All lights are working now. I am so thankful for this site and all of those that shared their comments. I am hoping that this "fix" will last! Good Luck everyone!:)
THAT WORKED, I had been "fiddling" with the stupid thing for 2 days. Finally came across this post. I rotated the 2 brake lights, no luck. Then I had my wife keep her foot on the brake and I rotated the main bulb (with the wires) and "taa daa...." Thank you so much for the rotate idea!!
chris

Yuba City, CA

#99 Aug 8, 2013
Brett wrote:
<quoted text>
THAT WORKED, I had been "fiddling" with the stupid thing for 2 days. Finally came across this post. I rotated the 2 brake lights, no luck. Then I had my wife keep her foot on the brake and I rotated the main bulb (with the wires) and "taa daa...." Thank you so much for the rotate idea!!
Used a fine flat head screwdriver to slightly lift each prong on the tail light side of things and the harness side of things. BINGO!

Thank you all for trying to fix things before buying into the game of "we got you now".
Brian

Camarillo, CA

#102 Aug 22, 2013
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
The problem is the junction, where all the wires plug into at the main input. It's the one holding the reverse light. Sometimes the metal tabs don't connect to the main plate. Clean and slightly bend the tabs so contact can be made.

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