Rear Running Lights Don't Light Up

I discovered a problem with my rear running lights (bumper lights) tonight while out driving. Here are my lighting conditions:

Car running, handbrake on, lights on, rear bumper lights work.
Car running, handbrake off, lights on, rear bumper lights don’t work.
Brake lights work in all conditions.

The rear bumper lights don’t come back on until I turn the car off, turn the lights off, pull the handbrake and then turn the car back on.

My guess is that there is something with the handbrake that is causing the rear bumper lights to go out. Obviously the bulbs are good, because the problem is intermittent given the conditions explained above.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? (I ran a search but didn’t find anything). Any ideas as to what the problem could be??


Bumper lights? Are you refering to the license plate lights?

No, not the license plate lights, the actual rear red lights that are integrated in with the brake lights and run when the headlights are on.

Tail lights/park lights, let me ask you this, do all the other park lights work properly, rear side markers, front side markers, and front park lights and the license plate lights, with the exception of the front side markers, all the rest of the lights should be on the same circuit, fused at fuse 11 - 15A or fuse 1 - 15A, [different only on 90 g2 with or without “Daytime Running Lights” on a 90 with “DRL” the “DRL” relay supplies the power to fuse 1 - 15A, on a 90 without “DRL” power is supplied to fuse 11 - 15A directly from the “Headlight Switch”, again power then going to the park lights after the fuse. On Canadian models there is also a connection from the “DRL” relay to the “ICU” and on both Canadian and US models, “Parking Brake Switch” goes to the “ICU” and it looks like on a Canadian and maybe a US 90 g2 the “DRL” are the park lights and on the Canadian 91-93 g2 the “DRL” are the high beams, through the “Daytime Running Lights Resistor” module.

Soooo, the question is is it a 90 g2 and does it have “DRL”?
If so I would say there is a problem with the “ICU” as it is what controls the “DRL” and park light system, getting "signals from the “Parking Brake Switch” and the “Headlight Switch” and the way it should work is with the lights off and the “Parking Brake” on, when you start the car, no lights should come on, [90 g2] the high beams should not come on, [91-93 Canadian g2s] once you “release” the “Parking Brake” the tail/park lights will come on, [90 g2] the high beams will come on, [91-93 Canadian g2s] if park or head lights are turned on “DRL” are cancelled.
What seems to be happening on yours, is when “ICU” no longer “sees” the ground from the "Parking Brake it will not keep the “DRL” relay on at all. :sipread: 94

Thanks for the very detailed response fcm. I’m not 100% sure if the side markers or other park lights are affected, but I do know that the car (a 1990 g2 RS) does not have daytime running lights. I will check out the other lights when I get home tonight and post back.

OK let me know, in the Haynes manual wiring schematics there is one for "Exterior lighting system (except headlights) - Integra (1 of 2) it’s the one that shows the diff. in wiring for a 90 g2 except w/“DRL” and a 90 w/“DRL”, that’s why it shows fuse 11, [except w/“DRL”] and fuse 1, [w/“DRL”] without “DRL” fuse 11 - 15A, [park light fuse] gets it’s power directly from headlight switch, with “DRL” fuse 1 - 15A, [park light fuse] gets it’s power from “Daytime Running Light Relay”, (2 of 2) is schematic for all the exterior lights in back of car.
So it looks like in 90 the “DRL” were the park lights and 91 and up they are the head lights, [high beam] on both the “DRL” are controlled by the “Park Brake”, it must be off for the “DRL” to be on, again no mention is made, if only on Canadian models but it gives you Canadian an US “Headlight System” schematics, one for 90 - 93 US, one for 90 Canadian and a 3rd for 91 - 93 Canadian.

Maybe you have a Canadian 90 g2. :idea:
Should be easy to check, pull fuse 1 and fuse 11, [if you have a fuse in each spot] one at a time, see which one turns off the park lights. :shrug:94

do your lights come on without using the light switch(turn signal)?
if so you have a blown DRL relay
there are two ways to solve this problem
1: you can replace the relay with a new/used working one
2: you can remove the clip with the small wires (disable DRL)
only prob with #2 is the hand brake light will not work unless you loop it
i hope you understand what im saying.
it took me quite a while to figure this out with out fring anything in the process
now my 90gs CDM lights act like USDM system

heres my relay and the plug you have to remove and loop

OK … I just checked it out again. All running lights die when the handbrake is in the “off” position (released). This includes both front marker lights, rear marker lights, and the license plate lights. I also checked the fuses and it is fuse #11 under the dash that controls these lights in my car. Pulling fuse #11 results in no lights whatsoever, whereas pulling fuse #1 does not kill the marker lights.

BTW … I have a copy of the Haynes manual and am looking at the page you are refering to fcm (page 12-29), but I’m not really understanding it. Any idea as to where the problem lies or what needs replacing?


do your lights come on without using the light switch(turn signal)?

Nope … lights only come on when I turn them on using the turn signal stalk. That’s all lights, not just the headlights.

Well if it’s fuse 11, the why I read it means you do not have “DRL”, but because the “Park Brake” has an affect in them tells be it does :dunno: I’m so confused :think:
What I would do is check for power at the fuses, [1 and 11] with “PB” on and the lights off, then with the lights on, then release “PB” and check again.

If you have the Haynes manual, you must already know that it is far from complete and is even wrong some times, anyways, the only other mention of fuse 1 is on page 12 29, power for signal lights and backup lights on 91-93 g2s, [fuse 23 on 90 g2s] so I would ask, what is fuse 1 for on your 90 g2? :shrug:94

PS, you say, pulling fuse 1 does not kill the marker lights, do you mean the side markers stay on but the rest of the park lights go out, or did you mean none of the park lights go out?

PS, you say, pulling fuse 1 does not kill the marker lights, do you mean the side markers stay on but the rest of the park lights go out, or did you mean none of the park lights go out?

Pulling fuse 1 doesn’t affect any of the lights that are affected when the parking brake is released, so all marker lights (fronts and rears) as well as the license plate lights are not affected by fuse 1.

Thanks for the input guys … it gives me a better idea as to where to start looking for solutions. Will post back with the outcome.


just wondered if you have auto seat belts?

just wondered if you have auto seat belts?

Nope, no auto seatbelts.

jaysteven … can you point me the proper direction of that relay. Where exactly should I be looking for it? I’m pretty sure I don’t have DRL, but I want to take a look just in case.


hope this helps

Finally got the lights to work with help from jaysteven. Had to bypass the DRL relay (turns out my teg does have DRL afterall) and now everything, except the DRL of course, works as normal.

For anyone interested, I found this link:

i have the same problem as you did, just curious of what exactly you did that made your tail lights work properly again.