Backup lights on constantly

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Backup lights on constantly

Postby Rhino » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:50 pm

Another driver pulled up beside me last night and told me that my backup lights were on, even though I was driving forward at the time. I thought that was weird but managed to confirm that by getting my passenger to hop out for a minute and tell me if they were on; sure enough they were. (I put the truck in neutral and put on the parking brake then got out myself and confirmed that the backup lights were on.)

Does anyone have any idea how the backup lights get triggered on a 2007 XTerra? I would have thought that a sensor in the transmission would determine that the truck was in reverse and would then put on the backup lights. I'm hoping this does not mean I have to go to a transmission shop and spend big bucks getting the transmission assembled and dissassembled just to replace a sensor.

I should mention that I have the 6 speed manual transmission, NOT the automatic transmission.
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Bow_Tied » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:35 am

Has there been any recent work done with a trailer harness? I have seen that do screwy things on different vehicles.
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Rhino » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:58 am

No, nothing like that. I replaced the sway bars this past week but I have reason to believe my backup lights have been on constantly for a while. (I had another driver tell me about the backup lights about a month ago but when I had a friend look at my lights later that day, he said they weren't on. I figured the driver had either been pranking me or that I had an intermittent problem.)
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Bow_Tied » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:30 am

So they are on all the time, even when your headlights are off? Sounds like a faulty switch, I'd expect it would be mounted to the trans itself. Pull the harness off the switch and see if they go out, if so, I'd guess the switch is bad.
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Rhino » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:46 pm

I just went outside, started the engine, then put it in neutral and set the parking brake. The headlights were on (presumably daytime running lights which I can't turn off as far as I know) but the backup lights were off. So maybe it's an intermittent problem?

When you suggest pulling the harness off the switch, I assume you mean the switch that activates the backup lights. Do you have any idea where that would be? Inside the passenger compartment? Under the truck? Under the hood? I haven't any idea where to find it.
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Bow_Tied » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:42 pm

Did you turn your lights on and see if it lit? Just wondering if the bulb harness got switched.

Mostly on manual trans the switch is a two wire switch that screws into the side of the trans case. You'd have to google your specific model to be sure.
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Rhino » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:58 pm

I went out earlier today, put the truck in neutral and started the engine (and set the emergency brake). The daytime running lights were on. I walked to the back of the truck and the backup lights were off. I turned on the headlights and checked the backup lights again; they were still off. I turned the headlights back off again; the backup lights stayed off.

It seems to be an intermittent issue. I hate intermittent problems: they never seem to happen when you show them to the guy who's supposed to fix the problem and he sends you away thinking maybe you're out of your mind ;-)

I suppose I'll find a mechanic and see if he can figure this out....
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Snafu » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:17 am

Also reverse to confirm the lights come on then put it back into park/neutral and confirm that they go off. It could be a faulty switch when putting it into reverse that is causing the problem.

Easiest fix is to pull the bulbs from the light housing and add reverse lighting on a switch...a nice set of led lights :D
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Re: Backup lights on constantly

Postby Miner » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:50 am

Bow_Tied wrote:Has there been any recent work done with a trailer harness? I have seen that do screwy things on different vehicles.


Every time I've seen backup lights on when they shouldn't be its been trailer wiring, or the vehicle trailer harness causing it. Generally the marker lights shorted to the backup lights or the the ground wire. When you have the problem again pull the trailer marker light fuse to confirm. After that work your way from the plug forward until you find the fault.
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