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A Question for Any Mechanics out There

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Buckeye in Hoosier country's picture
December 17, 2017 at 4:08pm
55 Comments

Having a funny problem with the old beater, a 1998 Lexus ES300 with 210,000 miles. I’ve posted this on a couple of car forums with no response, so I thought I’d check with the 11Wers.

Symptoms: none of the lights on the trunk deck work, including the reverse lights, license plate lights, or inner tail lights. The R gear indicator on the dash comes on with ignition off if parking lights or headlights are turned on, and the R indicator comes on in addition to whatever gear the tranny is in if the ignition is on and the parking lights or headlights are turned on. And, last, a check engine light has come on a couple of times with a code P1780 neutral safety switch malfunction. I’ve cleared the code a couple of times, and it will come back.

Troubleshooting so far: checked fuses, which were all good. Removed and rebuilt the neutral safety switch. No change in any symptoms after reinstall. The car also has an aftermarket stereo and backup camera that I installed myself several years ago. They have always worked fine, and we’re still ok, but since the backup camera is wired into the backup lights that weren’t working, I disconnected it just in case there was a short or something there, but no dice.

I really thought the NSS rebuild would do it. Now I’m out of ideas, so any suggestions would be appreciated. This car still runs great, but at 20 years old, it just isn’t worth a bunch of time, effort, or money to figure this out. Anything I can’t do myself will probably be the end of her.

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