Brake Light Failure on 2002 Toyota Highlander

The brake lights will not work although all of the taillights function properly including turn signals and reverse lights. I have already replaced the brake light switch and the fuse appears to be okay. What next?

by in Angier, NC on February 27, 2009
5 answers 2 comments
ANSWER by on February 27, 2009
Please recheck the 20 Amp fuse marked "Stop" in the fuse box. Then check that you have 12 volts present at the green/black wire at the brake light switch. With the brake pedal pressed you should have power at the green /white wire at the switch. Next there is a junction where the brake light switch wire sends power to the rear brake lights. With the brake pedal depressed there should be 12 volts at the green white wire at the connector found in the left rear panel somewhere between the fuel filler lid and rear left tail light, it is at this connector the power splits and feeds the tree rear brake lights.
COMMENT by on July 25, 2011
Patrick, Thank you for this post. I used it today to troubleshoot why my right brake light did not come on when the brake pedal was pressed. Using the information you provided I was able to determine everything up to the connector at the taillight was working properly. I had a bent terminal on the brake light socket. Thank you! Harold
COMMENT by on August 09, 2011
Mine also had a weak terminal connection in the right side that the wires plug into.
ANSWER by on February 27, 2009
I see a tail light relay available Airtex 1R1477 should be available at your local auto parts store, Call ahead because only some stores carry Airtex brand.
ANSWER by on October 29, 2014
This is a common problem on these vehicles. A poor design with a single point of failure. 99 % of the time it is caused by the connection between the bulb that has the wiring plugged in to it and the housing it plugs in to. Since the power for all the bulbs in the housing (except the one with the wires plugged in to it) is distributed by the housing itself, the connection between the bulb with the wiring and the housing must be good. The housing for this bulb has several contact points that don't work well after a few years pass. My wife's 2003 brake lights on the drivers side would work randomly. I have seen this problem on other forums and the problem almost always has to do with a poor connection between the bulb with the wiring plugged in to it and the housing itself. So much for that "good Toyota quality".
ANSWER by on August 10, 2015
The issue with brake or stop lights on Highlanders 2001 thru few years is the poor connection between the grey wiring housing and the point that connects to both the stop lights on that side. I have uploaded few pictures on other sites, but since this site doesn't have that option - else it would be lot easier to understand. a) Do the routine checks - like stop-light fuse and the bulbs if they are not burned out. If stop lights on the other side work - then fuse is fine, check both the bulbs on the side it is not working. b) If both the bulbs are not working on that side, most probably it is the connection point. c) Turn and remove the grey wiring housing unit with the backup bulb, scrape the four connector points and pull them up a little, so that they connect when you put it back and close properly. See the pictures in other sites - on how to do it.
ANSWER by on October 05, 2015
2002 Toyota highlander's rear tail lights won't work, although the brake, backup, and turn signals work. All bulbs work, but we keep blowing a fuse. Any suggestions?
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