Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What Temperature Do My Headlights and Taillights Reach When On?

If you mean the actual temperature of a halogen headlight bulb, it’s approximately 300C (572F) according to lighting experts at HELLA Automotive. However, you may be referring to the more commonly used color temperature ratings used to express the color...

Q: Fuel pressure

Hi There, it sounds like you may still have a fuel delivery problem. You may want to check to be sure the fuel pressure regulator is working properly. The fuel pressure regulator is a device which controls the pressure of...

Q: No energy in the car - 1999 Nissan Maxima

Hi and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. If all fuses and the battery check out, then it sounds like there is a ground issue. Check for corrosion on the black ground cable for the battery. Make sure all connections are...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...