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SolaraGuy.com • View topic - Audio Fading in and out - 2004 convertible
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Audio Fading in and out - 2004 convertible

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 1:48 pm
by thestevo44

I have a 2004 Solara Convertible. As many or all of you know, the convertible has an amplifier that kicks on when the top is lowered. There is supposedly a switch or relay behind the back seat, that engages the amp, and subsequently fades the audio out then back in, while it turns on, or off. ANYWAY, something has gone wrong with it, and now, top up or down, CD Radio, whatever.... the audio is intermittently fading out, then in. Sometimes worse than others, sometimes not at all.

Does anyone have experience with this issue? I need a part name and number, so I can replace it, and I need a location. This evening, I am going to remove the back seat, and seat back, as I have been told the switch (or relay or whatever) is back there. Where is the amplifier? Is it part of the radio head unit or separate? So far, the only part I have found, without removing parts is the large Convertible relay unit, or at least what I think is the convertible relay unit. It is about the size of a computer hard drive. ANYWAY, any help is appreciated.

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:20 pm
by Gadgetjq

I'm not going to tell you there's no relay or other audio control integrated with the bass thumper (behind the rear seat) but none of the diagrams or text in the factory service manual mention one.

The amp for the convertible (with JBL system) is directly behind your glove box. If you remove the box (like you were going to change the cabin air filter) you can see it.

Read all the text and check the drawings in the factory service manual: http://cns-design.ru/files/solara/pdf/A ... Visual.pdf before going to all the trouble of removing the back seat.


PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:14 pm
by thestevo44
Thanks for the reply. I do have a fear that this switch I've been told about and read about does not exist. I too, found that there was no such thing in the diagrams. However, someone with my year and model indicated it fixed their problem, when they had the same issue, and then a local Lexus shop found something called the Convertible Courtesy Amp Relay. Thanks for that link, I'll check it out, and I'll also check out that amp, as I have changed my cabin air filter a couple of times. Maybe there is a connection loose.

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:22 pm
by thestevo44
Hey, check out page 13. See that courtesy light switch? Apparently that is the switch that has caused this problem in other cars. It says courtesy lamp, but I guess it has multiple functions?? Anyway, even thought the part "name" doesnt make sense, it wouldnt be in this diagram if it didnt do SOMETHING, right? I hope it is the problem. Because it looks cheaper than an amplifier. wink wink. Thanks again for sending this. This is very cool. I'm also pleased to find out that the wierd looking box I found in the trunk in front of the felt padding was a woofer box. I have always been impressed with the stereo in this car, even though it is stock. I expected the sound to be crappy with the top down, but even at 75mph, it is full sound.

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:32 pm
by thestevo44
Ok, got it, check page 51 of your link. That is the problem circuit. Dude, you have helped me in a huge way. I know what part I need to find, and change. THANK YOU. Courtesy Light Switch. Bam. Apparently, you can see it from the trunk, but believe it or not, it is easier to access with the seat panel removed, accessing from the front.

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 6:56 pm
by Gadgetjq
thestevo44 wrote:Ok, got it Courtesy Light Switch. Bam. Apparently, you can see it from the trunk, but believe it or not, it is easier to access with the seat panel removed, accessing from the front.

Well who'd a thunk? :think:

In reading the text I kept focusing on the courtesy light switch on the windshield header. I'd completely spaced out switches for the trunk lighting.

Frankly I still can't quite figure out what part the switch plays in determining whether the top is up or down but the schematic seems to show it's plugged right into the amp. Maybe your original thinking was correct, maybe that plug has been loosened at the amp? Worth a look.

Cheers :cheers:

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:30 am
by thestevo44
I called the two dealers in my area last night, and one of them had the switch. When I got there, I asked if his database indicated where the switch was, and it was the switch in the door jamb to turn on the interior lights when the door opens. I told him about the diagram from your link, and commented that maybe it was the same part #. He found the diagram in his database, and turns out it is a different part # and it needed to be ordered. Will be in Wednesday.

Bottom line, is that the switch has NOTHING to do with the trunk light. It is just the name of the part used by Toyota. It is the same type of switch used for a trunk light, in that it has a plunger that engages ground to a circuit. When the top completely opens, it depresses the plunger and applies ground through the circuit to the amp. What confuses people like us, is the name they used for the part. Apparently it confuses Toyota employees too, because this guy was the first to successfully locate it for me.

I will check that amp connection too, since it is so easy to get to. But since the switch is only $17, I am going to go ahead and replace it too.

Thanks again. I checked out your solara page too, I like a lot of those little upgrade suggestions. I have been wanting a K and N air filter for a while. I had one in my 2000 4 cylinder Solara, and it did help SLIGHTLY. I added a billet grille to the lower opening in the front of ours, looks pretty good. Also added body side molding, from Toyota. They look good, and I had just spent $150 having the 7 dings removed, so I didnt want to go through that again.

convertible amplifier switch

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 10:52 pm
by thestevo44
I'm just following up on my own post, just in case anyone else with a convertible encounters this issue. I replaced the switch and the problem has not resurfaced (knock on wood). The issue was intermittent, but it has been a week and half now.

The switch is a plunger activated switch that remains depressed while the top is fully in the down position, applying ground to a circuit, enabling the radio amplifier. To access, follow these steps.

1) Lower the top. This is mainly to make it easier to work in the back seat.
2) Remove the back seat lower pad. This seat pops in and out of place, just underneath there are two places where you can insert a flat head screwdriver and lever the seat up, and then out.
3) Remove the rear seat back by removing the two bolts in the lower corners.Then pop the covers off of the back of the headrests. Remove the two bolts on the backs of each, separate the halves and remove. Be careful to unhook the fabric thing with the clip. You can then slide the seat back cushion up and off. This also gives you an opportunity to clean the seats and under the seats, and so forth.
4) Remove the passenger side upper interior panel. First unscrew the screw in the upper seatbelt retainer. Next remove screw in cupholder, under felt and remove the cupholder assembly. Remove bolt unerneath that next. Remove forward seatbelt retainer, and then remove bolt underneath that. The rest of the panel is secured with poppers. Be careful not to break anything. Disconnect the light plug.
5) With that panel removed, you will see the convertible top motor and mechanics. Look for a white plug snapped into a bracket. Near that is the switch, and you will see a metal bar, part of the mechanism, pushing down on the switch. To remove the switch, you will need to close the roof. You will also need a #20 torx bit driver. Remove the 2 screws, and pull out the switch. NOTE: There will likely be one or two or three little spacers that look like little horseshoes used as washers. Do not lose these. My guess is that these are there as shims so that that bar lines up perfectly and depresses the plunger perfectly. Every car probably lines up differently, and therefore they used shims. Reinstall the new switch and reinstall the shims. Once the screws are in, lower the top, and make sure the switch is lined up correctly. HAVE A SECOND PERSON STAND NEAR THE BACK OF THE CAR, AND KEEP THE INTERIOR PORTION FABRIC OF THE TOP MAINTAIN CLEARANCE OF SHARP EDGES. wITH THE PARTS REMOVED, THE TOP WILL BE RUBBING SLIGHTLY ON PARTS THAT IT USUALLY DOES NOT RUB ON.
6) If everything checks out, reinstall all parts, bolts, nuts, etc in same order you removed them. The toughest part it lining up the plastic plugs that hold the side panel on.
7) One more note..... this is how I did it, partly because I was unsure of exactly how to get to the switch. If you can remove the side panel without removing the seats, fine. But it does give you more room to work, and gives a chance to clean up some. ALSO, BE CAREFUL of the woofer. It is exposed behind the seat. You dont want to drop a screwdriver through it.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:05 pm
by thestevo44
I got an e-mail about this post, from someone with a similar issue. They were in need of the part number, so I thought I would go ahead and add a post with that part #, just in case someone else needs it someday.

Courtesy Lamp Switch
Toyota Part # 84231-06010
Cost, approximately 20 bucks, new.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:51 pm
by PXLpainter
Thanks for the info Stevo! :up:

Hopefully I'll never need it, but your efforts in research and info are greatly appreciated! :D

PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:15 pm
by Down2TheC
props on the fix.
One question... did you test the old one when you got to it? Or did you just swap it. It could have just been misaligned, right?

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:56 am
by thestevo44
Well, I did not put an ohmeter on it or anything like that, but before I removed it, I did raise and lower the top while visually checking to see if the plunger was depressed properly. It seemed to be lined up correctly, so I think the switch was in fact bad. Also, when I removed it, in comparison to the new switch, the bad one was quite loose and wobbly.

I'm just glad it only cost me 20 bucks to fix. So many electrical issues seem to get way into the $100s if you cant figure it out yourself.

Re: Audio Fading in and out - 2004 convertible

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:24 pm
by Christobal
Stevo! You just made my entire week!!!



Re: Audio Fading in and out - 2004 convertible

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:01 pm
by twopabs
Own a 2005 SE convertable. Had this problem for 6 years which dealer attempted to resolve on several occasions. They replaced 2 radio/cd units, switches, amps etc., and finally on October 11 last year got it right. It seems the problem was a wire from the chassis to the amplifier. The technician said it was the wire on the harness.

It's been four months since the repair and so far so good (In the seven years I've the car I've never had four months without this problem) The tech told me this was a common problem with Solara convertibles.

Hope this helps.


Re: Audio Fading in and out - 2004 convertible

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 3:28 pm
by joe3855
These instructions worked great for my 2007. The toughest part was getting the rear seat cushion up. I elected to just disconnect and remove the courtesy light switch (and not replace it). This leaves the radio in a permanent amp'd mode which is just fine. Now the radio does not cut out when the top goes up or down since the switch is not installed. thanks for the detailed steps!