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Q: My taillights don't turn on when I turn them on

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My taillights and license plate lights don't turn on. All my other lights work l, I checked the fuse box under the dash and the one under the hood on the drivers side. But I heard there was a third one somewhere under the hood? Could that be it? Or could it be the switch by the steering wheel?

My car has 152000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2005 Nissan Maxima.

According to the information system I use, there is a tail lamp relay mounted in the intelligent power distribution module at the right front of the engine compartment. This relay is turned on by the CPU (central processing unit). Fuse 41 powers this relay. This is where I would begin diagnosing this issue.

To clarify, the right front of the engine compartment is on the passenger side of the car.

Your car uses a number of modules to turn on the various components of your lighting system. This means if you don’t find a bad relay or fuse, you will need a scan tool to communicate with a number of modules on your car. Unfortunately, this is a result of the tendency to use computers in every system of a modern car.

If it is not the relay or fuse, I would recommend having a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, inspect your lights in order to make the correct repair.

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