2002 Toyota Highlander Brake Light

josiah

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#1
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MAKE:Toyota
MODEL:Highlander
YEAR:2002
MILES:142,000
ENGINE:v6
DESCRIBE ISSUE....Last year early 2016 the rear brake light, passenger side, would not work on my Highlander. (Note the driver side brake light works good.) If I disconnected the wiring connector, removed the bulb holder, twisted the holder around, eventually it would work, but only maybe a few days, but later stop working.
Last year around April 2016 to fix the brake light I disconnected the wire connector, removed the bulb holder, and cleaned all contacts. I cleaned the 5 silver contacts which go around the bulb holder; and I cleaned the 4 copper contacts in the opening that the bulb holder screws into. I cleaned all with cotton swab with baking soda and vinegar. Also I bent the bulb holder 5 silver contacts, bent them up to make a better contact with the copper contacts. After doing this the brake light worked fine. I check it periodically and all was good. FIXED so I thought.
Last week the same side brake light stopped working again. It worked fine from around April, 2016 until now, for OVER A YEAR. I did a few twists on it last night and it is now working, but I know this is only temporary.
Please provide trouble-shooting steps so that I can fix this once and for all. I have a volt-ohm meter if that will help.
Thanks in advance, Josiah
 
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#2
areas to consider
Bulb plugs into SOCKET socket plugs into harness - R&R gray socket*.
Socket plugs into lamp assy and twists the contacts on assy are bad the 'rivets' get loose and corrode - clean and reset rivet "gently" tap not womp.
Dielectric grease !

* pretty sure its gray could be tan - NAPA, Dorman parts If not a fan of dealer prices
 
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josiah

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#3
Please fill out the following to ask a question.

MAKE:Toyota
MODEL:Highlander
YEAR:2002
MILES:142,000
ENGINE:v6
DESCRIBE ISSUE....Last year early 2016 the rear brake light, passenger side, would not work on my Highlander. (Note the driver side brake light works good.) If I disconnected the wiring connector, removed the bulb holder, twisted the holder around, eventually it would work, but only maybe a few days, but later stop working.
Last year around April 2016 to fix the brake light I disconnected the wire connector, removed the bulb holder, and cleaned all contacts. I cleaned the 5 silver contacts which go around the bulb holder; and I cleaned the 4 copper contacts in the opening that the bulb holder screws into. I cleaned all with cotton swab with baking soda and vinegar. Also I bent the bulb holder 5 silver contacts, bent them up to make a better contact with the copper contacts. After doing this the brake light worked fine. I check it periodically and all was good. FIXED so I thought.
Last week the same side brake light stopped working again. It worked fine from around April, 2016 until now, for OVER A YEAR. I did a few twists on it last night and it is now working, but I know this is only temporary.
Please provide trouble-shooting steps so that I can fix this once and for all. I have a volt-ohm meter if that will help.
Thanks in advance, Josiah
6/21/17 Additional info: overall the light is fine, all the following lights work ok->tail light, backup light, direction signal. The only problem for that passenger side tail light has always been the BRAKE LIGHT. That' it.
 
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#5
The "clean and tighten" job lasted a year; it would probably still be working if you had also used dielectric grease, as Kev has now suggested.
 

josiah

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#7
Mobile Dan and Kev2 I appreciate the replies. However in 2016 I did use dielectric grease.
Update->since I tighten the bulbs and connectors on Tuesday 6/20/17 the light has worked. But I don't think it's fixed, so I will keep monitoring it.
 

josiah

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LIGHT IS NOT FIXED. Today 6/26 informed by wife that the brake light did not work (same light on passenger side). So again I cleaned electrical contacts (1. silver contacts around brake/taillight bulb holder (the main bulb holder with all the wires), 2. the copper contacts that the bulb holder screws into, 3. the brake/taillight bulb holder, and the 4. copper contacts in the opening that it screws into) with vinegar with cotton swabs. Also applied baking soda and water. Note I know one is supposed to remove corrosion and the other is suppose to neutralize but I forgot which one does what. Lastly I finished with dielectric grease. Reinstalled all. My wife applier the brake and the problem brake light still did not work.
But note this, while my wife was pressing the brake, when I turned the main bulb holder (one with the wires) clockwise to a lock position the brakelight did not work, but when I turned it back counterclockwise just a hair, felt like 1/16 inch the brake light flickered and came on BRIGHT. It appears that in order for the brake light to work the contacts (silver bulb holder contacts to the copper contacts in the opening)must all match perfectly. Does this make any sense? I cannot understand how something so important could be that precise? Thanks.
 
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#9
Precise? How about a product of budget engineering, on the brink of another failure? It's unfortunate that the bulb holder has so many possible points of circuit failure without available access for testing.
 
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#10
Precise? How about a product of budget engineering, on the brink of another failure? It's unfortunate that the bulb holder has so many possible points of circuit failure without available access for testing.