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Old 02-21-2011, 11:18 PM   #1
Ubie
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1999 SL2
Default Reverse lights 1999 SL2

Having a little trouble with the reverse lights on my 1999 SL2. I've changed both bulbs and verified that the fuse is fully viable, yet no lights for me.

I'm figuring the only only things it could be at this point are a bad sensor or a break in the electrics. The electrics are easy enough to test for, but assuming they're whole where is the sensor to turn on the lights?

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Old 02-22-2011, 12:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Reverse lights 1999 SL2

The switch is on the tranny. Is this an automatic or manual?

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Old 02-22-2011, 12:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: Reverse lights 1999 SL2

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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
The switch is on the tranny. Is this an automatic or manual?
Ah, yeah, should have mentioned that. It's the 5sp manual.

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Old 02-22-2011, 12:22 AM   #4
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1996 SW2
Default Re: Reverse lights 1999 SL2

5-speed makes it easier. There are only two electrical connections on the tranny. The lower one toward the back, near the axles, is the VSS. The one on the top of the tranny, more toward the middle (near where the shifter linkages go in) is the reverse light switch. Disconnect, put a jumper wire between the terminals on the connector, turn the key to RUN. If the reverse lights light up, remainder of circuit is good and you should R&R the switch (it just threads into the tranny case).

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Old 02-22-2011, 12:27 AM   #5
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Reverse lights 1999 SL2

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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
5-speed makes it easier. There are only two electrical connections on the tranny. The lower one toward the back, near the axles, is the VSS. The one on the top of the tranny, more toward the middle (near where the shifter linkages go in) is the reverse light switch. Disconnect, put a jumper wire between the terminals on the connector, turn the key to RUN. If the reverse lights light up, remainder of circuit is good and you should R&R the switch (it just threads into the tranny case).

Thanks! I'll dig in there this weekend and let you know how it goes.

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Old 02-22-2011, 05:56 AM   #6
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1997 SW2
Default Re: Reverse lights 1999 SL2

It's a large socket you need if it turns out to be the switch. Something like 22mm or 23mm & a deep well. Even now I'd probably have to go to the nearby farm to borrow a socket even though I've spent a couple hundred on tools since I last did one.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Reverse lights 1999 SL2

I have this same problem on a 2001 SL1 with a 5-speed. I have verified that it isn't the bulbs. So I jumped the harness at the backup lamp switch, and the lights came on, so I thought it was the switch. But I tested the switch and it has continuity. So is my next option the little "fork" inside the transmission being bent that connects the circuit? If so, it looks like I will be without reverse lights from here on out. This is one of those "who is designing this stuff" moments. Why is the switch mechanically linked to something inside the transmission? Why is the switch not at the shifter, where if something fails it is very easy to access?

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Old 03-14-2011, 11:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Reverse lights 1999 SL2

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivingColour View Post
I have this same problem on a 2001 SL1 with a 5-speed. I have verified that it isn't the bulbs. So I jumped the harness at the backup lamp switch, and the lights came on, so I thought it was the switch. But I tested the switch and it has continuity. So is my next option the little "fork" inside the transmission being bent that connects the circuit? If so, it looks like I will be without reverse lights from here on out. This is one of those "who is designing this stuff" moments. Why is the switch mechanically linked to something inside the transmission? Why is the switch not at the shifter, where if something fails it is very easy to access?
It's not on the shifter because the shifter is more likely to fail than the transmission. There's nothing in the tranny connecting the circuit. It's just a plunger switch, pushed by some lever or a part of the reverse blocker itself. If there is continuity at the switch whether the tranny is in reverse or not, then it's faulty. If the continuity goes on and off with the gear, then the connection is faulty. Continuity across the terminals of the switch is the same as jumpering the connector.

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