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Ask Jerry Newton Your Own Question
Jerry Newton
Jerry Newton, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4616
Experience:  ASE Master Technician, L1, Master GM Technician. Over 20 years of bumper to bumper GM experience.
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Dash lights will go out and then a few minutes later the

Customer Question

Dash lights will go out and then a few minutes later the tail lights go out and then brake lights and turn signal.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

What makes the lights come back on?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Replace fuse
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

OK, I see. Which fuse is it, what does the label say on the fuse diagram or cover?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When the dash lights go out I can't find any blown fuse. After you drive a bit more the tail lights will go out. Parking light fuse is blown.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like you have two separate symptoms, the dash lights go out, with no apparent cause and no open fuses. But then separately, you are opening the park lamp fuse and the park lamps go out. Is there any reason to think that these two symptoms are related? Because my impression is that they are probably NOT related, unless there is some piece of this puzzle that I'm missing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This all started when my sons battery went completely dead and a friend tried to give him a jump and hooked up cables on wrong post. Put a new battery in and started right up. Then the lights began to go out. Does the dash lights, parking lights, brake lights, and turn signals all come in to the turn signal switch?
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

The dash illumination lights do not go through the turn signal switch. If I had to pick one component that all of these circuits have in common, it would have to be the headlight switch itself. Anything is possible, especially with reverse polarity situations, the interior of that switch could be damaged and causing a short as it heats up.

I do not suspect that the turn signal switch is your culprit here, though, as park lamps and illumination lamps have nothing to do with the turn switch.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was going to try and take the headlight switch apart or replace it and see what happens. Do like changing parts if I'm not sure what the problem is.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

I agree, although I'm not sure you can get that switch apart in a non-destructive manner. If I was going to try to find one common thread among all these circuits, I would be looking at replacing the headlight switch.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Going to try this and will let you know.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

Good deal, let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The new headlight switch did not work . What is happening is the dash lights will go out and then minutes later the tail lights go out brake lights and turn signals work . Puzzled
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

OK, let's pick one. Let's work on the tail lights.

When the tail lights go out, is the fuse open or no?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dash lights go out can't find a fuse blown.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

Park lamp fuse feeds the dash lights and the tail lights, so these are related issues.

The only thing that makes a fuse open is excessive current, which basically means a short to ground. The brown wire for the park lights comes out of that headlight switch, and it splices off and goes to every running light on the vehicle: front park, rear tail, side markers, clearance lights on the roof if you have them.... everything. There is a short on this circuit somewhere.

First thing to do is eliminate easy things. If you have a trailer wiring harness adapter (it sandwiches into the truck harness to give you lights for a trailer), remove that thing, reconnect the truck wiring the way it should be, and see if the problem goes away. If not, you're going to be looking for a shorted brown wire. Start at the lights, front and rear, and just give the wiring a visual inspection. Look at the rear frame where the lamp harness runs along the frame channel and near the trailer hitch. These are all areas where that harness can move around and rub on things. It's less likely to be inside the truck cab, but you can't rule anything out. I always start looking at the easiest places to access.

This is going to be a tough diagnosis, you simply have to put your eyes and hands on the wiring and find the shorted brown wire. The dash lights are going out because this brown wire is getting shorted somewhere, even if it's not blowing the fuse at that point, the amperage is being sucked out of the circuit wherever this short is. I would suspect a component over a shorted wire, due to how it's acting, but you can't rule out anything at this point, all we know is that the brown wire for the park lamps is short circuited somewhere.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. This will take me a bit to diagnose and will get back to you.bwe have a family reunion today.
Expert:  Jerry Newton replied 1 year ago.

Sure, good luck with it. Let me know if you need anything else.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I found a problem in the circuit board on the tail light assembly. Can the circuit board cause that wire to go to ground and blow the fuse ? I'm on my way to pick up another circuit board and taillight assembly to fix the problem . The lens was cracked probably causing some moisture to make the circuitboard bad . There's the bad component . I really hope this works it's getting really frustrating .