No tail light license plate or trunk release

98 lesabre. I had problems w the starter last winter/fall. I haven’t driven it since march. With winter here soon I got it out. I have no tail light. But also license plate light or trunk release in the car. The release works on the key device. When i first hooked up new starter I put in opposite polarity and blew a fuse for stating it. I found that last winter. I knew the trunk wasn’t opening but just now seen the tail lights. The tail light fuse is good.

I don’t think it b a wire problem. What do I do to determine what’s the problem

I do think it is a wire problem. A ground wire problem. A ground wire in the truck that all these lights use.

Check that, and post back.


I did notice on the wire diagram in book the tail and license lights are both on the same wires. The backup lights do work. If the ground was bad wouldn’t that be on the same ground?

But if it is a ground problem in then couldn’t I tap into the black ground wire and run it to a nut on the top of the trunk?

If you have a wiring diagram you should know what is wired to the same ground.

Just go open the trunk and look. Pull the liner back and search for a ground screw with wires. I’d bet there is corrosion or even a broken wire. There is likely more than one ground screw.


Any lighting fixtures on the car’s trunk, wires have to pass from the body to the trunk lid. Every time you open the trunk lid it flexes those wires, and eventually they’ll break. Check the wire harness in the body/trunk lid area. I had to re-wire that section on my Corolla for that same reason. In corolla’s case only lighting on the trunk lid is the license plate light bulb.

This may not resolve the entire problem but seems like a good place to start your investigation.