Tail lights on 1998 Toyota Corolla

My tail lights suddenly went out. The fuse pops when I replace it. How do I find the short? Could it be from cargo in the trunk?

by in Grain Valley, MO on April 03, 2009
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1 answer 2 comments
ANSWER by , April 03, 2009
There is a short of some kind. The license plate lights and tail/brake lights in the trunk lid have the wires running along the left trunk lid hinge. Check that the wires are not broken in the harness as it runs along the hinge or a couple inches back along the harness. They brake from the constant flexing each time the trunk is opened or due to damage if cargo in the trunk fouls it. White with a black stripe is a ground wire. Try disconnecting the harness where it plugs into the left rear lamp and replace the fuse see if blows if the fuse doesn't blow the problem is in the left rear lamp harness or bulb holders, if it still blows plug back in that electrical connector and disconnect the connector at the right rear lamp and see if the fuse blows.
COMMENT by , April 04, 2009
autoechpat: Okay, I unplugged both connectors, stil blows fuses. Tells me it's somewhwere else. Blinkers work. Brake lights too. *****Nevermind, found it. My son put in an after market stereo, it was the illiumination wire on the installation kit.
COMMENT by , April 04, 2009
Toyota wiring is usually pretty bullet proof with the exception of the wiring at the rear trunk hinge. If there is a wiring problem it is usually after the car has been in a body shop, or had a stereo or aftermarket alarm fitted. Glad the fix was easy.