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Honda Civic Plate Lights

Four lights are out on the trunk lid of my wife’s 2004 4 door Honda Civic. Two lights for the license plate and two parking lights. The brake lights and parking lights and turn signals on the body of the car are fine. Trunk interior light is ok. Bulbs are new. All fuses look good under the hood and dash.
Is there a fusible link somewhere that I am missing? Thanks in advance.

You most likely have a wiring problem if bulbs and fuses are OK. Have a mechanic check out the wiring as well as the sockets where the buls are mounted in.

-If there was a fusible link gone that fed that circuit, you wouldnt have parking ot tail lights on the body.
Take a test light and see if you have power inside the parking light socket in the trunk lid with the parking lights on.
If you do, you have no ground.
If you don’t, you have a broken wire going to the lights in the trunk lid.

Those don’t normally go bad on a civic. Are these LED bulbs or the usual incandescent ones?


Regular incandescent type from the factory. The bulbs themselves were bad–smoky on the inside. I replaced them but have no power to any of the 4 bulbs on the trunk lid.

I had the exact same problem with my 2005 Civic LX. In fact I didn’t know the bulbs were out until I was stopped by a state trooper! It turns out that when the trunk was closed, the bulbs were out. But I found that as I slowly opened the trunk, the bulbs lit up. Hmmmm. It turns out that the wiring harness for the bulbs is attached to the trunk hinge inside a black plastic wire loom. Apparently as a result of opening/closing the trunk over the years, there was a wire break at the bend in the wire. I simply cut back the loom a few inches near the wire bend and the wire break was apparent. I just used a crimp splice to reattach the wires, electrical tape to cover it all up and its been working fine for the past few years.

HSW thank you–I will check it out asap.
By the way ever notice how many “Cops” high-speed chases begin with an officer noticing a broken taillight/plate light/etc?

Fixed! It was exactly as hsw described.

Same problem here! On a 2005 Civic SE. Got pulled over by a cop today and he told me my two break lights were out. The top mount break light was fine however. Checked all the fuses and bulbs then I notice that the plate lights were out as well.

Saw this thread and decided to check wiring harness near the trunk hinge. Sure enough, when I unwarped the electrical, inside the black plastic wire loom, some wire was detached.

You guys just saved me a great deal of money! My local Honda shop is $100/hr!

I had almost the exact same problem on my Corolla. Wiring harness broke where it flexed w/trunk opening and closing.

Yeah, that’s because they need to have probable cause to stop someone. They may want to stop the car but need to have a reason first. On the other hand, rear lights often go undetected by drivers so it is a reasonable thing to be stopped for. When I was a kid I got into a lot of trouble by having a flickering rear light on my motor bike. That’s why to this day I take a realistic view of the court system, privilege, and less than blind application of the law.