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Parking Lights Come On Randomly

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by rufusleeking, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Jul 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM
    #1
    rufusleeking

    rufusleeking [OP] Member

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    West Fargo, ND
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    Hi all,

    I just got a 2009 Double Cab (TRD Offroad if that matters). I'm coming from a 2005 4Runner and had a local shop move my auto start (Compustar) from the 4Runner to the Tacoma about 3 days after I took delivery on the new vehicle. I was happy.

    Then, one day one of my kids went to the garage and told me my lights were on. WTF!? I went out and sure enough, they were. I clicked the Toyota (not the auto-start) fob's lock/unlock and they went off. Strange.

    Then at work, I had people coming by my office to tell me my lights were on. Again, WTF!?

    I went back to the shop that installed the auto-start and told them. They apparently called Compustar's tech support and did something (who knows) that they were told to do. Thought it was fine. It wasn't. Possessed lights happened again.

    About this time I started watching closer and closer. When they were on, I didn't jump right in and click them back off -- I just watched. After 5 minutes or so, they'd go off, then on.... pause.... onoffonoffon....pause... off... -- totally random patterns. It's not like a debugging signal of 3 flashes. The timing is different every time.

    Took it back to the guys who did the auto-start install and the ordered/installed a new brain. Thought that would do the trick. Nope, keeps happening.

    Went back to them again, they pulled the fuse from the Compustar brain that controls the parking lights -- that would help ensure it wasn't the auto-start. But the problem still happens.

    Completely bummed that this new vehicle which I really like is plagued by this problem I made an appointment with the local Toyota dealership. They've had it all day and I got a call a short time ago, "We've watched it all day and never saw the lights come on. Not sure what we can do about it." Seriously! I would have almost been happy to receive a $500 bill for their work so long as the problem was found and identified.

    There is literally no pattern. The lights come on at work here when the doors are locked. They come on at home when it's in the garage and not locked. The flashing lights do not happen in tandem with any kind of locking or unlocking of the doors. The only thing you hear is a faint relay clicking in the hood area and the lights turning on or off. I don't think it's the auto-start remotes because they're in a box put away (since it's summer). The only remote I've been using is the Toyota one to lock and unlock the doors.

    There have been sometimes days in between catching this thing acting up. Then, like last night, it's like all night long and even greeting me when I wake up and take a peek out in the garage to see if it's happening.

    I suppose it's my own fault for taking something 3 days old (to me) and having the auto-start installed. Who knows if this problem was present prior to my buying the vehicle or not.

    I've uploaded a short clip to flickr. See it here: http://flic.kr/p/a7G6wh

    Has anyone seen anything like this before? I really like this truck, but this parking lights stuff is driving me crazy. I've had it less than a month and the problem is really starting to get to me.

    I suppose the logical next step is to have the auto-start guys completely remove the unit altogether. Seems really suspicious to me that (as far as I know) I have something installed which does fiddle with parking lights and begin to notice problems. Just not looking forward to a potential $200 re-installation bill from them. Then again, if the problem goes away completely I guess that means they'll owe me a correct re-install at no charge.
     
  2. Jul 27, 2011 at 6:46 PM
    #2
    JKD

    JKD Well-Known Member

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    As I recall, when people have done some things to make either parking or fog lamps come on any time, they have taken the power from a circuit that the computer will activate sometime after the truck is shut off. The lights come on and then shut off on their own while the truck is parked.

    I suspect something similar is going on here. If it were me, I would be testing the circuit and seeing if there is someplace that I needed to rewire or add a diode. If you aren't comfortable debugging circuits, then I would have the shop completely uninstall the auto-start unit, and ENSURE that they fully reverse all of the installation steps.
     
  3. Aug 20, 2011 at 9:30 PM
    #3
    rufusleeking

    rufusleeking [OP] Member

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    UPDATE: The lights have stopped misbehaving.

    I broke out the multimeter, joined the TechInfo site for $15 and printed out a ton of schematics. Wasn't making a lot of headway but I did happen to notice the license plate lights in the rear bumper weren't working/or coming on when this happened. Strange, considering they're on the same loop as the rest of the parking light system. Went under the truck and I see they've been pulled (maybe the previous owner was running from the law) -- they were working just fine, but setting in the bumper area. I re-inserted them into the bumper sockets and am now on the 9th day so far with no recurrence. Go figure. Seems a little too simple of a fix if you ask me. Obviously I won't be surprised if I go out to the garage one day and find them on again, but it is promising that it's been 9 days now...
     
  4. Aug 21, 2011 at 9:36 AM
    #4
    VanCity4x

    VanCity4x The shit show

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    I get the same thing, neighbours telling me my lights were on last night. I have all my lights, just replaced license lights with LEDs. Mine stay on for about 20min then turn off. Not a huge issue for me, I just make sure i have jumper cables.
     
  5. Aug 21, 2011 at 10:06 AM
    #5
    joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

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    X2

    There have been many people who have done the fog light mod and found their fog lights come on by themselves later.

    Every electrical issue I've ever had on a Toyota has been due to something aftermarket.

    If it keeps happening, get that alarm all the way out and see if it stops.
     
  6. Aug 21, 2011 at 10:16 AM
    #6
    Warhorseforever

    Warhorseforever Will The Thrill

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    If it keeps going or come's back, maybe it's something with your trailer brake connecter if you have tow pkg? That's usually where problems arise with lighting.
     
  7. Aug 21, 2011 at 10:36 PM
    #7
    VanCity4x

    VanCity4x The shit show

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    I have no after market lights, trailer breaks any stuff. Straight factory. Did it before i installed license LEDs. Weird.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2011 at 6:52 AM
    #8
    rufusleeking

    rufusleeking [OP] Member

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    Hi all, been a while but I figured I would update this thread. Finally had the guys remove the remote start yesterday. Was going to have them do a complete uninstall of wires and everything, but we all decided it was maybe a better first step to just remove the unit itself and leave wiring in tact for easier reinstall, if necessary. Of course, if the lights continue to turn on by themselves, the wiring will have to go too.

    That said, I noticed something different IMMEDIATELY. When I got home from getting the autostart removed, I pulled into the garage. Shut the car off. My dash (speedometer, etc) lights remained on until I opened the door. I believe this is normal behavior but I'm 99% certain that this was NOT occurring with the auto-start in place.

    So, I've got a couple questions for you all:

    1) In a 2009 (or probably other similar model years) is the normal behavior when turning off the vehicle for the dashboard illumination to remain ON until the door is opened?

    2) Assuming that I am correct that this was NOT happening with the autostart installed, this is a pretty good indicator that there was something wrong with the install all along. Right?

    #1 I probably should have noticed right away when the unit was installed, but the vehicle was only 3 days old to me at that point. Lesson learned, never mess with something "new" like this until you've had a good month or two to get a handle on any quirks.

    Thanks for reading. Appreciate any feedback.
     
  9. Sep 7, 2011 at 8:57 PM
    #9
    rufusleeking

    rufusleeking [OP] Member

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    Nevermind my previous post. The dash lights are on until the door opens because the goldarn parking lights are now ON whenever the vehicle is running.

    I guess this is.... progress. At least it's repeatable and this new behavior showed up when they pulled the auto start brain from the vehicle. So, I'll go back to the auto-start guys tomorrow and fill them in on what's happening now. If they still claim no clue, it'll be easy enough to take to the toyota dealer now because it always happens.

    That said, I would be hard pressed to believe that, after removing the brain, seeing different parking lights behavior, would indicate anything other than the auto-start guys having something wired wrong.
     
  10. Sep 8, 2011 at 11:57 AM
    #10
    rufusleeking

    rufusleeking [OP] Member

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    And now today it's back to the usual. Parking lights are no longer ALWAYS ON when the vehicle is running. They do, however, come on at random times during the day when it's parked in the lot/garage.

    Remote start installers are removing all their wiring as I write this. We'll see where things go from here.
     
  11. Oct 12, 2011 at 9:13 AM
    #11
    rufusleeking

    rufusleeking [OP] Member

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    I realize this is an old, tired discussion but I figured I'd close it out with the resolution. It was a problem with the parking light switch assembly itself. I ended up having to go on some work travel and just left my truck at the dealer for a few days. Thankfully the lights came on and they were able to trace it to this switch. Problem resolved and covered by warranty. They even threw in a free oil change because of all the hassle.

    Two weeks now with no lights coming on by themselves. I'm going to keep watching it for another month and then (maybe) proceed with getting the remote start re-installed. What a frustrating journey this was but very happy it's over with.
     
  12. Oct 23, 2012 at 6:36 PM
    #12
    tacoloco08

    tacoloco08 Member

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    could you tell me exactly the problem with the switch...did they replace the whole assembly....ive been living with this ghost for 3 yrs now...
     
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