Odd license plate light wiring...


Well-Known Member
I was trying to diagnose why my license plate light didn't work so I started tracing wire and find out that the little brown wire coming out of the fuse box didn't lead back into the little black 1/2" diameter plastic sheath that leads to the trunk via the driver's side frame rail, but rather it was spliced into a wire bundle for the alarm system. Have any of you seen this before? Is this so that when the alarm is tripped all the lights are supposed to flash or something?
Possibly, but also none of the tail lights would work. The license plate light is on the same circuit/wire as the taillights, it is spliced in at the back of the car.

Not sure if that's right. When you look at that wire that comes out of that connector, the first 3 is what I was concerned with, and they are the bottom wire, yellow - LH brake/turn, the next wire up, dark green - RH brake/turn, and the wire above that, brown - license plate & tail lights. Everything back there worked fine except that license plate light. There are pictures I've enclosed here to show the three wires I'm talking about, and the big connector in the driver's side of the trunk where they all originate from.
So while diagnosing this problem I see that this little brown wire was cut and soldered (quite shittily I might add) to a white wire that was twice as thick, then the solder joint was taped over (shittily) and this wire abortion was run over the steering column and disappeared into a bigger taped up wiring mishap that leads into my car alarm box. I was like WTF?? Why does my LICENSE PLATE WIRE need to go into my ALARM SYSTEM lol... This is why I hate when other people work on this car... Nonetheless I connected the little bit of the brown wire that was sticking out of the sheath that comes from the trunk, and walaah! Working license plate light... I'm inclined to think that no one's this stupid, and maybe it should be going to my alarm lol. All I know is that when it was soldered to that bigger white wire, it got pretty hot with just one minute worth of operation. Should it get that hot?


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But what about the tail lights, which some folks call running lights. Can turn these on by flipping the small switch on the right side of the head light switch. Doing this should turn on the front running lights and side markers, along with the tail lights and license plate light.

Here is most of the tail light wiring, click to enlarge. Connector C209 is the one on the left side of the fuse block. C320 is the one in the trunk.


This is true; one flip of one switch does indeed turn all of the rear lights but not without one of those wires going in. What I mean is that if you pull any one of those yellow, dark green or brown lights, each of those prospective lights won't turn on with that switch if it's not connected.