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No tail/gauge lights unless remote started

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by exminnesotaboy, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Jun 22, 2011 at 9:03 PM
    #1
    exminnesotaboy

    exminnesotaboy [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Odd scenario that I am hoping someone may have some experience with:

    No parking (tails & front corners) lights and no gauge lights with or without key in ignition. Everything else works perfectly(including headlights and brake lights).

    Here is where it gets interesting: All parking lights/gauge lights work fine when I use my remote start(DEI/Avital 5103) to start the vehicle:
    - parking lights flash when arming/disarming
    - parking lights/dash lights remain on when started remotely as they are supposed to

    However, when I put the key in the ignition and step on the brake(steps required to disarm security once in vehicle), the vehicle continues to run and function, but the parking and dash lights go out.

    Steps I have taken to attempt fix, with no changes in behavior:
    - replaced light switch(on steering column)
    - replaced alarm/remote start 'brain'
    - removed alarm brain altogether
    - all bulbs are good(verified by remote starting)
    - replaced fuses under dash and under hood 2x that would apply to circuits affected(none were burned out)
    - replaced taillight relay under hood
    - removed trailer hitch wiring
    - verified rheostat works fine(verified by remote starting)

    Note: the remote start has been in the vehicle for approx 18 months with no issues

    Some basic TWorld and Google searches came up with a few other folks having similar issues (with Tacomas and other Toyotas), but no real solutions.

    any insight anyone can provide would be appreciated!
     
  2. Jun 22, 2011 at 9:06 PM
    #2
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    That has to be an internal error in the remote start, I'd contact the manufacturer about it.
     
  3. Jun 22, 2011 at 9:26 PM
    #3
    exminnesotaboy

    exminnesotaboy [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 5100's / OME 881's / Wheelers 5 leaf pack / ProComp 1069 wheels / 265/75-16 Michelin LTX tires
    Thanks for the response.
    That's the first thing I thought, so I replaced the brain with no difference. Then I removed the brain altogether and the dash/parking/tails are still not working. Color me confused....

    I tried contacting DEI to see if they had any insight - they won't talk tech unless you are a dealer. Frankly, I probably couldn't speak on their level as I am not a 12 volt guy so this didn't surprise me too much.
     
  4. Jun 23, 2011 at 4:06 PM
    #4
    MowTaco

    MowTaco Well-Known Member

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    I've seen several screwy electrical problems stem from trailer wiring... but yours seems to be pretty closely related to your remote start. I guess if you have a trailer plug it's worth a shot...
     
  5. Jun 24, 2011 at 5:22 AM
    #5
    exminnesotaboy

    exminnesotaboy [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bilstein 5100's / OME 881's / Wheelers 5 leaf pack / ProComp 1069 wheels / 265/75-16 Michelin LTX tires
    Yeah, I am with you on that about the trailer hitch wiring. That is the first thing I disconnected. It was a simple "T" connection so it was easy to remove, but it didn't make a difference :(
     
  6. Jun 24, 2011 at 5:40 AM
    #6
    skinny

    skinny Member

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    I would check the wireing where the remote start taps into the parking light wire. The conection might have come loose where you are only getting 12 volts from the remote start but not from the switch side.
     
  7. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:08 AM
    #7
    EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia Well-Known Member

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    The critical clue probably isn't the ignition key at all - it's stepping on the brake to disarm the alarm.

    You've probably got a bad bulb or short in the taillight area. The front corners and dash illumination lamps are powered off the taillight circuit.

    If the alarm is totally 'gone' (disconnected) now, try this ... Start the truck *without* stepping on the brake pedal (use the parking brake if need be). See if the front corners and dash lighting work. If they do, then step on the brake pedal. If that kills them, it's an electrical fault with the rear lighting.

    If you've not already done so - replace the TAIL fuse just to be sure.
     
  8. Jun 25, 2011 at 5:42 AM
    #8
    exminnesotaboy

    exminnesotaboy [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Maple Grove, MN
    Vehicle:
    01 Tacoma 4x4 V6 Xtra Cab
    Bilstein 5100's / OME 881's / Wheelers 5 leaf pack / ProComp 1069 wheels / 265/75-16 Michelin LTX tires
    Thanks to all for your responses!

    I broke down and brought it to a local stereo installer. I cost me a couple of hours of labor(and I tipped him $20), but he got it figured out.

    It seems the OEM wire that runs from the headlight switch on the steering column to the taillight relay under the hood is bad. We never found the break in it, but after running second wire to verify, it was clearly the culprit. Now everything works fine. It was just a freak occurrence and not associated with the alarm/remote start at all.

    Thanks again,
    exminnesotaboy
     
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