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K. Wiggins
K. Wiggins, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 2634
Experience:  ASE Certified Technician AA in automotive Technology, 15+ years in the trade
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Rear running lights and dashboard lights short out...it is

Customer Question

rear running lights and dashboard lights short out...it is the interior fuse that pops..replace it at least 20 times..seems to be fine until it rains...I have other cars, so, I know it had the problem last winter, and now it has it again since it rained..even happened once in foggy San Francisco during the summer. Took it to a mechanic, they said they found three fuses that needed replacing...clarified that two were missing, so I probably hijacked 20 amp fuses from other not needed accessories at some point..they called, said they cleaned everything, including the back towing wires, ground, etc, I told them that there is something else going on...they took it for a test drive at the end of the day, after dinging me for four other things unrelated to the electrical (but which needed to be done) and said, "we test drove the car and the tail lights don't work...we are trying to figure it out"....the same interior 20 amp fuse keeps blowing....1999 Suburban. I have seen one person on the internet who traced it to the passenger door and some wires that were worn and shorting.
JA: Have you checked the fuses? The dashboard bulbs?
Customer: yes and yes and it is the fuse that keeps popping
JA: What is the model/year of your Chevy?
Customer: 1999 suburban
JA: Are you fixing your Suburban yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: in the first paragraph reply to you
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: have him read what I wrote, that is pretty much it
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 3 months ago.

Hello, since it's doing it in wet conditions it's most likely an exposed wire in the running light harness that shorts to ground when it's wet and pops the fuse.

Not long ago this type of short was hard to find and was pretty time involved, thanks to newer technology that's not the issue now. What you need to do is find a shop that has a thermal imaging camera. They can run the vehicle through a car wash to simulate the condition and use the thermal camera to detect the high amperage draw from the short.