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Steve
Steve, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  25+ yrs experience as a professional working technician; ASE L1 master technician
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1990 Toyota Camry: cylinder..acceleration..in 1st gear..tail lights

Customer Question

I have 1990 Toyota Camry 4 cylinder 135k miles with 2 problems #1 transmission overdrive light is flashing and have very little acceleration in drive gear,if I start off in 1st gear and then manualy shift to 2nd and then drive I'm ok.2Nd problem tail lights stopped working,fuse was ok I did have front and rear side makers.I ran a "jumper" from side makers to tail wireing and it now works. thanks for your help
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.
I'm not sure if this will be helpful or not, but I'll give it a try...
   I don't have a wiring schematic for your vehicle available here at home, but if teh 2 problems became evident at around teh same time they may be related.
   The flashing over drive light on an electronically controlled transmission usually indicates that the transmission control system ahs detected a failure in either one of it's inputs (range switch, speed sensors, gear switches, or related wiring)or one of it's outputs (reverse light circuit, shift solenoids, speed signal output, or any related wiring).   When a transmission of this type detects a failure, the programming strategy usually causes it to enter what is called "limp in" mode; often this is a default to second gear to allow the vehicle to be driven in for repair.    If youa re starting out in second gear that would account for the lack of power you are experiencing.
   The loss of tail lamps without blowing teh fuse would seem to indicate an open circuit somewhere in the wire leading from teh light switch to the rear of the vehicle. If it were grounded, the fuse would blow.    I am assuming you had to jump to the front side marker lights, as teh rear ones are on most vehicles on teh same circuit as the tail lamps.

   The reason I was wondering if teh 2 problems occurred at around the same time, is that might be an indication of a problem in some area where both systems (rear lighting and transmission electronics) come together; such as a corroded electrical plug in the transmission area underneath the vehicle.    It would not be unusual to find such a failure on a 90's toyota; try unplugging and inspecting any electrical connectors you may see which lead iin that direction, paying particuar attention to any which look at all discolored or have green corrosion started.
   If you cannot locate the problem this way, it is likely that you will need access to a scan tool with asian transmission diagnostic software to be able to correctly diagnose this one, as you will need to retrieve failure records and be able to view transmission data to know what circuit teh problem is in.
Good luck!
Expert:  Steve replied 11 years ago.
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