Tail lights working intermittently

Tiny
TGRAFIX05
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE
  • 38,000 MILES
When start up no tail lights. Sometimes will light when shutting driver door. Been at least week. Pulled over when notified leaving restaurant. They were on.
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Sunday, April 1st, 2012 AT 5:57 PM

18 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
Connections are what sounds like your issue. Check the back sockets and the connector on the headlight switch.

Roy
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Sunday, April 1st, 2012 AT 6:32 PM
Tiny
KDBARBARICK
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE
  • 70,000 MILES
My left tail lights are not working. What are the possible causes? I replaced the bulbs.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
The power wire to the L/Side tail light is open or a bad ground
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
MIKEDEROUIN88
  • MEMBER
All general motors are wired the same the brown wire is power for the tail lighys. However the passenger side runs through the drivers side there for I don't think that's the problem. I would check the tail light circuit board. Dorman part # 923-012
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGALLOYMAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE
  • 5.2L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 271,000 MILES
My tail lights were out and when I went to change the bulb the lens unit was filed with water. I found a crack on the lens so I put new bulbs in, but only the top brake light works no tail or back up lights.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The water may have gotten into the wiring itself and caused the harness to fail or the sockets to corrode internally. The harness is an easy plug and play replacement item.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGALLOYMAN
  • MEMBER
Thank you, the tail lights worked a week earlier. Could all that damage have happened in that short of time frame? Should I check for power just before the socket and maybe just change the socket? The reason is it would take me about a week to get the part delivered. Is there a quick fix so I do not get a ticket for no taillight on my way to work?
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The wires may have been corroded for a while and just failed now. You can just change the sockets if you wish.

Back-up lamps are + light green and - black.

Tail light will be + brown or brown with white stripe (depends on option package) and - black.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGALLOYMAN
  • MEMBER
Thanks again I just ordered new lights lens w/ harnesses
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
No problem, Test the wires and see what you find. There is a junction block that the harness plugs into that sometimes causes trouble but I doubt that's your issue.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DRMSFG
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE
  • 130,000 MILES
I had a radial tire de-laminate, and while the tread portion of the tire was flopping around, it pulled loose the wiring harness that appears to run from the main fuse box under the hood, along the frame, to a junction box on the right side of the truck bed just in back of the right rear wheel. One of the plug-ins will plug back in, but the harness that connects to the front fuse box has the plug pulled loose. It appears that I need the whole harness from the fuse box to the junction box, as mentioned above. Is this plug-and-play at the front fuse box? It looks like the right side taillight assembly plug is also missing. Would these wiring harnesses be available from a salvage yard? It looks like everything is designed to simply plug in. Am I oversimplifying?
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You're lucky you weren't hurt. Yes, I would think you could get the parts at a salvage yard. If you have a place where you pull the parts yourself, you could get exactly what you need.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGALLOYMAN
  • MEMBER
Thanks I thought about that, I was going to replace it just in case. My voltage when tail lights were on was 1.6 volts.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Both sides are fed from a common point inside that junction block so if one side is working the other side "should" get the same voltage. But corrosion and crud seems to love getting into these things and causing problems. When you put it all together apply some dielectric grease to the terminals to cut down on that issue.

Post back when you get it back together.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BIGALLOYMAN
  • MEMBER
Thanks, i'll try that.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Please let us know what happens so it will help others

Best, Ken
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JUDYKRYAN
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CHEVROLET AVALANCHE
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 11,400 MILES
Both right rear tail light bulbs are out and the check engine light is on the dash. We have changed the bulbs, but the lights are still out.

The engine sensor does not work when plugged in.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Hi, if the data link connector doesn't work, check pin 16 for voltage. That voltage comes from cigar fuse. Pins 4 & 5 are grounds.
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Monday, November 11th, 2019 AT 6:17 PM (Merged)

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