Taillights not working

Tiny
97 CENTURION
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET 1500
  • 5.7L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 15,600 MILES
Tail lights do not work. Rear blinkers and brake lights work correctly.

Things I've done to attempt to fix the issue:

-I checked the ground on the rear harness and cleaned and reinstalled.
-Pulled a light switch from my truck and put it in my Tahoe and it worked fine.
-Replaced relay under hood.
-Replaced tail lights with the tail light from my Tahoe.
-Checked fuses.
-Checked power off of the main harness and did not see any power (if I did it correctly).

I'm not very electrical inclined but willing to try if explained.
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Tuesday, July 20th, 2021 AT 5:01 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
MASTERASE
  • EXPERT
Hi my name is Dan.

Do the license plate bulbs light up? The reason I ask is because they are on the same circuit. If the turn signal/brake lights work, then the ground circuit is okay.
Do the front marker lamps work okay?
Sometimes the taillights in trucks can be something as simple as corrosion in the taillight bulb sockets, or an incorrect light bulb being installed.
I've attached a wiring diagram for you to reference for your truck. Let me know what you find.
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Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 AT 11:43 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Take a look at the wiring diagram below and you will see a circuit that comes from the park lamp fuse to the switch, to the lamps in the rear and the front. If the front park lamps are working then everything is working from the fuse to splice S412. However, if the front are not working then that brings all this back into play.

So we need to check power at the fuse and make sure you have voltage on both sides. Since the switch is working then we need to jump to the rear bulb and if you have no voltage then we need to trace it backwards through the system until we find voltage on that circuit.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

That is okay that you are not strong in electrical. If you can use a test light then I am sure we can find this.

Here are a couple guides that will help with this:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-wiring

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

Please see the wiring diagram below and the location of this splice. However, another test that you can do that would confirm a wiring issue is run a wire directly from the switch power to the bulb and if that one works then you know you have a wiring issue between the two points.

Let me know if you have questions on this.

Thanks
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Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 AT 2:56 PM
Tiny
97 CENTURION
  • MEMBER
Thanks for all the help. I pulled voltage on the 4 bank plug under the brake booster and it had power but I was not getting power at the end of that run to the tail lights so I put a test wire in the connection and plugged that into the rear harness and lights started to work. So I have a decision do I look for the bad area are do just replace that wire. But it does power 2 pins in the rear harness. Thanks for the pictures above they helped a lot.
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Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 AT 9:20 AM
Tiny
MASTERASE
  • EXPERT
Glad we could help. One place with common issues is where the wire harness runs between the frame rail and the fuel tank. This is a common area for sand and salt to build up causing wiring issues. Good Luck.
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Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 AT 9:42 AM

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