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Discussion Starter #1
So I searched and searched, but couldn't find a thread on this - please help.

Tonight I was alerted by another motorist that my rear taillights were not working, to my surprise. I have done a bit of troubleshooting, but unfortunately nothing has worked. Both left and right taillight are not working.

Here is what I tried:
- Checked Fuse #27 / 7.5amp - Back Light, also swapped with another 7.5amp, both good.
- Looked for any other fuses related to rear light, taillight, back light - none found; is there relays for this?
- Disassembled the rear light to check the bulb - looks good, have none to swap with at this time, will pick some up tomorrow.

Things to note, both the brake light and turn signal light do work. The information on the rear taillight is - Toshiba 921 12V W16W A12V18W

I thought back to the most recent thing I changed about the car and the only thing I did was install a stereo. So I took back out the stereo to check to see if that was the culprit (my only real suspension was the blue power antenna wire that is supposed to boost the am play back & thinking the orange dimmer wires that weren't hooked up - I thought this because I thought the a/c panel has backlights as well, do they?), unfortunately this was not the culprit.

Please help, my only hope left before electrical is that both lights quincidently went out at the same time, I doubt it, but hope.

-Dustin

Key Search Words: Rear , Tail , Light , Rearlight , Taillight
 

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AFAIK your right Dustin. There have been no posts on this topic.

So to help prevent looking too foolish the first thing to check is that the bulbs aren't burned out. Nothing "exotic" about them. Like the old standard 1157's used for years they are a newer "greener" design, #7443 and are widely available. Twin filament one for tail the other for brake. So its possible that both tail filaments are burned out, but both brake are OK.

If you accidentally shorted something and blew a fuse during the radio installation then on this circuit the _front_ parking lights will also be out as should be all the little button back lights on the dash. The fuses to check are #15, 10A in the under dash box. And less likely its main branch fuse #16, 30A in the under hood box. If one or both of these fuses are blown then also make sure that there is no damage to the Red/Blk wire on the radio pigtail connector (short to ground). And that it is connected to the radio correctly. Also occasionally there can be an internal radio failure on this circuit branch so disconnecting this one wire may be a needed diagnostic step.

Like most other Hondas the radio illumination is fused on the taillight circuit. And since the dash is digital its looped through the dimming controller in the gauge assembly. Fuse #6, & #15 in the under dash fuse box. Because of this use _extreme_ caution when hooking up any aftermarket radio. Incorrectly connecting this lead or adding too much load could fry some expensive parts in the gauge cluster assembly (not available separately) :!:

The wires to watch out for in this situation on the radio harness are the Red & Red/Blk.

HTH! :)
 

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Well, my two cents, if your still getting regen when you press the brake pedal then your at least getting a brake signal to the ecm and the brake/horn fuse is ok (long story).

Question: does the center mounted brake light still work, or do you have nothing? If it doesn't I'd check out the wiring between the brake switch and the back of the car. If no fuses have been blown then it's likely a bad connection somewhere rather than a short.

Also, as you may have seen while taking the tail lights off of the car the wiring goes through a grommet in to the rear of the car behind the carpet you have to move to get to the back of the mounting bolts. You could start there and work forward, get a test light and start poking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fixed: Rear Taillights Have gone out, HELP????

Alright so first off, Thank you both for your response.

Good News is it's fixed - the #15 (under the dash) fuse was in fact blown.

My theory on how this happened. During the stereo installation there were the two orange wires for the CD - Player Dimmer, unfortunately my deck does not use these dimmer wires as it must not be adjustable. So the wiring harness I purchased just has these two orange wires hooked up but not going to anything. As a luxury feature of the harness they already splice the wire for you and leave a little bit exposed (about 1/16 of an inch). I of course did not think ahead and clip the exposed piece off, which I believe must of ground itself out shorting the #15 fuse. I have fixed this problem, so I will cross my fingers that this doesn't reoccur.

Question for yall - I suspected the panel lights to be blown as I noticed the backlight to the a/c buttons were not illuminated (yet all the guages still worked), but when I went to look up in the owners manual what the panel lights fuse # was I couldn't find it -as #15 fuse is labeled as "small light". So where do I get a manual worth while that will tell me detailed information about this car? Sorry if this is already posted somewhere I am just being lazy I guess ;-).

To answer some of the questions that were asked (in hopes to help someone troubleshoot better in the future -

- Front Parking Lights did not work (fuse #15)
- Brake Light and Horn both worked
- Center mounted brake light worked when braking
- Side Note - The lights on reminder "ringing" was also not working (fuse #15)

Thanks Again for the quick responses, this website / forum is great!

-Dustin
 

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fuse

The first thing that should "always" be done when checking for any electrical malfunction is to check "the fuses".


A long time ago, Govt. regulations requested a "safety factor" to all automobile manufactures in that the electrical circuits were designed in all vehicles so that the "dash lights" would go out when the tail lights were lost.

Lesson learned?
 

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Re: Fixed: Rear Taillights Have gone out, HELP????

Ullearn said:
<snip>

Question for yall - I suspected the panel lights to be blown as I
noticed the backlight to the a/c buttons were not illuminated (yet all
the guages still worked), but when I went to look up in the owners
manual what the panel lights fuse # was I couldn't find it -as #15 fuse
is labeled as "small light". So where do I get a manual worth while
that will tell me detailed information about this car? Sorry if this is
already posted somewhere I am just being lazy I guess ;-).

<snip>
Two sources for the factory Service Manual and the Electrical
Troubleshooting Manual (ETM): eBay and
http://helminc.com/helm/homepage.asp?r= . There are a couple on eBay
right now :!: Search eBay for "Honda Insight".

As good as your description for the problem was in your earlier post we
*might* be able to figure out whey the dash lights aren't working, but
then you'd not have any motivation to get the manuals for yourself. And
you'll really need them sooner or later :!: ;) In this case #1, the problem was rather straightforward and simple. #2 you accurately and clearly described it.

If / once you've got the manuals it's somewhat easier to simply quote a page number for the rest of the story. As problems get more obscure it can become almost impossible to repair "blindfolded" and by remote control. So I think I'll go out on top of my form on this one. I hope you understand.

Hint: (I'm worried now about the dimming control internal to the gauge cluster, but check the remaining fuses first :!: ;) :p ).

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: Fixed: Rear Taillights Have gone out, HELP????

Sorry I miscomunicated earlier -

panel lights to be blown as I noticed the backlight to the a/c buttons were not illuminated (yet all the guages still worked), but when I went to look up in the owners manual what the panel lights fuse # was I couldn't find it -as #15 fuse is labeled as "small light"
What I meant to say was -

Yes the rear taillights and a/c panel lights are both on fuse #15, so once I fixed fuse #15 everything is working again.

My complaint was that the owners manual gives just a generic description of the fueses. How was I supposed to know that fuse #15 labled "small light" really meant tallights, dimmer, and panel lights?

Sorry for the rant, but thanks for all the help! Insightful Trekker - your still 1 for 1 with my problems, Hope I don't have to bother you again, except for gas mileage tips and how to break 70mpg on average.

-Dustin
 

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Re: Fixed: Rear Taillights Have gone out, HELP????

Ullearn said:
Sorry I miscomunicated earlier -

<snip>

Hope I don't have to bother you again, except for gas mileage tips and how to break 70mpg on average.

-Dustin
See what I mean :?: ;)
(commumication of complex problems)


Many hyper MPG tips have been answered in past posts. Try the forum search feature (Hint: limit the search to the MPG forum) :!: :D

And your very welcome :!: :D

HTH! :)
 

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... Because of this use _extreme_ caution when hooking up any aftermarket radio. Incorrectly connecting this lead or adding too much load could fry some expensive parts in the gauge cluster assembly (not available separately) :!:

The wires to watch out for in this situation on the radio harness are the Red & Red/Blk.

HTH! :)
I recently purchased a 2000 insight and just realized I have the exact same problem. But, none of the fuses are blown. Ive checked all the referenced fuses and a few extra just to be sure and nothing appears wrong. The 7.5 fuse for the dome lights was blown, I replaced but none of the others were blown. Some of them did appear lightly blackened. Is this normal "corrorsion" or something for a 10 year old car. Also, there is an aftermarket stereo, but it was plugged in with one of those make it easy style adapters and I can see the orange wire marked "illumination" and its not exposed or anything. But, my parking lights, dash button lights and tail or rear lights arent working.

It seems like when I was test driving the car, the radio backlight wasnt working but i heard a sparking/grounding noise and then it lit up. I just figured I imagined it and moved on.

But, my brother recently pointed out that the tails werent working and now ive been trough all of the associated fuses and stereo wiring. I also removed the stereo and its adapters and tested, but the tails still didnt work. I am quoting Trekker from earlier because he briefly mentions that the guage cluster may be bad, but im not sure if I should look into replacing that or if I should just suck it up take a roll of the dice at the stealership.
 

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I forgot relays existed

bad relay. fuse box under the dash, 3 relays, top one bad. mitsuba rc-5001 12v no 073, had to pull it with some needle-nose pliers
 

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So I searched and searched, but couldn't find a thread on this - please help.

Tonight I was alerted by another motorist that my rear taillights were not working, to my surprise. I have done a bit of troubleshooting, but unfortunately nothing has worked. Both left and right taillight are not working.

Here is what I tried:
- Checked Fuse #27 / 7.5amp - Back Light, also swapped with another 7.5amp, both good.
- Looked for any other fuses related to rear light, taillight, back light - none found; is there relays for this?
- Disassembled the rear light to check the bulb - looks good, have none to swap with at this time, will pick some up tomorrow.

Things to note, both the brake light and turn signal light do work. The information on the rear taillight is - Toshiba 921 12V W16W A12V18W

I thought back to the most recent thing I changed about the car and the only thing I did was install a stereo. So I took back out the stereo to check to see if that was the culprit (my only real suspension was the blue power antenna wire that is supposed to boost the am play back & thinking the orange dimmer wires that weren't hooked up - I thought this because I thought the a/c panel has backlights as well, do they?), unfortunately this was not the culprit.

Please help, my only hope left before electrical is that both lights quincidently went out at the same time, I doubt it, but hope.

-Dustin

Key Search Words: Rear , Tail , Light , Rearlight , Taillight
If you can afford it, your best investment is the Honda Service manual for your year of car. It can save you hundreds if not thousands on repairs. It is for sale at HelmInc.com for about $70.00. It makes it easy to replace bulbs, fuses, whatever. If not mechanically inclined, maybe a friend can help you...
 

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The first thing that should "always" be done when checking for any electrical malfunction is to check "the fuses".


A long time ago, Govt. regulations requested a "safety factor" to all automobile manufactures in that the electrical circuits were designed in all vehicles so that the "dash lights" would go out when the tail lights were lost.

Lesson learned?
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I never knew this about the dash lights. My white dash lights went out about two days ago, but the instrument leds stayed on.
I didn't realize the tail lights (and the parking lights) were out until I used the key-less entry from behind the car. Nice feature.
Fuse # 15 was blown, a 10 amp mini spade type.
Autozone (love those guys) replaced it for the cost of a five pack ( ~ $4.00) of fuses. Just the thing for an old fat guy.:)
Fuse #15 is on the under dash fuse box, bottom rear, second slot (near the door). The #14 fuse slot next to it was empty. First blown fuse I've had with the car in 11+ years.
 

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For people installing aftermarket stereos, you have to be very careful with those two dimmer/illumination wires (orange/orange-white on aftermarket harnesses).

Sounds like the OP got lucky and blew a fuse. Older Civics didn't have a fuse and would instead fry all kinds of things in the dash if you picked the wrong one.

Double check both wires coming from the body harness. One should give +12v when the parking lights are on (solid orange on my Metra 70-1721 harness). That's usually what you connect to the radio (orange with white stripe on my Kenwood).

The orange w/white stripe "Dimmer" wire on the car harness normally does not connect to anything - especially not the orange-white wire on the radio. This wire's voltage should vary when you press the +/- dimmer buttons on the cluster.

Any wires that you don't use should either be taped off or de-pinned (removed from the harness) to prevent shorts. I concur with the OP's suspicion that a short could have caused his issues.
 

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Thank you

bad relay. fuse box under the dash, 3 relays, top one bad. mitsuba rc-5001 12v no 073, had to pull it with some needle-nose pliers
That's it! Thank you. Friend's car had that problem. I had been through all the fuses, tried a different multi-switch and no fix. Found your note on the relay, problem solved.

Tim
 
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