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1999 Suburban 2500 4x4 brake lights and hazards do not work

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by jason.bierschwale, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. jason.bierschwale

    jason.bierschwale New Member

    Hey guys,
    we purchased a 1999 Chevy Suburban 2500 454 4x4. We've had some irregularities with the electrical system - the power windows won't work from anywhere but the drivers door, the interior lights don't always light up when the doors are opened, the rear heat and air controls didn't work at first, and the heated seats don't always work.

    Now I'm having an issue with the rear lights. I keep blowing bulbs (I think - it could just be a bad connection in the bulb socket), but now the brake lights and the hazards don't work. The taillights (with headlights for nighttime driving) work just fine. Someone did a crap job of wiring in a trailer harness, but I have disconnected it with no positive results. I replaced the brake light switch, but it didn't make a difference. I looked in the fuse box, and the slot for the 30A brake light fuse doesn't have a terminal on one side. There's no fuse in the slot. Where is the fuse for the brake lights? I was doing some research online at work and found a site that said sometimes the wiring going into the multi-function switch (turn signal switch) is pulled too tight and loses connectivity. I have been unable to diagnose the problem. I am hoping someone here has some light to shed on my problem, or has had a similar problem and can tell me how to fix it. Does anyone have any ideas? It's scary to drive this thing without brake lights. I've been in several close calls where I was almost rear ended. If you have any ideas as to what could be wrong, please let me know. Thanks!
  2. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts


    First we start with all charging/starting systems check good(Bat/Alt/Grds/Pos Cables). Window not working is the switch on pass. side, rollers inside are worn out. The lights not coming on with drs opening are the door switches in the jams, one has two leads(dr) the other has one(pass), they can wear out easy especially in colder climates. There are several fuses areas, power center under hood, another under the dash drivers side by floor. The issue with the lights/fuse appears to be ground issue probably by the harness blowing the bulbs. See if you have any open wires by the harnesses for the tail lights, especially where you state the problem with the trailer wiring, this is the most frustrating adventure when working on vehicles, electrical sucks. You say the tailights work, then the problem is only with the brake light wiring, concentrate on that section of wiring. Also, do you have the wiring diagram for this vehicle? When performing these problems, I need some sort of picture to isolate the wires/color codes to trace where they go as they are/may be attached to another component. Do you have another helper? Works better when someone can operate the controls while you test. Do you have a test light/multimeter, must have.......Let us know.

    Jeff
  3. jason.bierschwale

    jason.bierschwale New Member

    I do have a digital multimeter to test with. Plenty of helpers - we have 4 boys (hence the need of r a Suburban).

    None of the windows work from their respective controls except the drivers front - and I can operate all other windows from the drivers front. They all work - just the switches are not working. I have a feeling the 'Lock' switch on my door has failed - preventing any other passengers from using their window controls. I will pull the switch apart on the passenger side and see what's going on with it. Thanks!

    Blowing bulbs in the rear - turns out they are not blowing. If I mess with the bulb (not sure if it is the socket or the wiring) the bulb starts working again.

    Fuse area on drivers side by the floor - I looked for this bad boy, but could not find it. Do I have to remove the kick panel trim to get to it?

    Unfortunately, I do not have a wiring diagram. I was hoping someone on here would be able to tell me what color wires going into the multi-function (blinker) switch to check.
  4. vncj96

    vncj96 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    i can tell you as far as tha brakelights hazards and blinkers not working is that the panels are shot you can get new ones at most junk yards pretty cheap, I payed 25 for one two years ago. these arepretty common to blow so dont worry, the panel is the actual plate that the bublbs are mounted in within the taillights
  5. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Yes, start with the "Window Lock", forgot to mention that they are the first to go and yes the socket is the problem and the salvage yards are a great place for them, reliable and inexpensive as stated. Wrok that first then start with one switch at a time if the lock does not remedy the situation.

    I will need to look up wiring diagram, am working and busy as all get up with other projects, so it will take a couple of days....

    Jeff
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2008
  6. Howie

    Howie Rockstar

    If yours is the OBS, your rear light wiring traces through the multifunction lever. Chances are if you wiggle your hazard switch a bit, It will work.

    Gm has a rebuild kit for the hazard switch itself.
  7. daddytech

    daddytech Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    the interior light only sometimes coming on I would say might be either a shorted switch or one of the plungers that the door pin switches press on missing or having a hole in it. the other issues I would say someone got in there and hooked up something(s) electrical and when removed either left bare wires when those things were removed or there is wire chaffing and wires shorting or crossed up incorrectly. I would go through and address each problem individually Most cases it's just that connectors have come loose and need to be re-attached for them to work properly. I imagine if you don't find bare wires anywhere the issue with your lights are probably related to someone trying to put in trailer light connectors, would almost bet you find some bare wires there or wires with no connectors and heat shrink on them. a lot of people do the ghetto electrical work themselves by twisting the wires together and then electrical taping them together.
    problem with that is electrical tape when it gets old slides off or unwinds from the wires it is connected to and you get shorts or start blowing things out when that happens. By your description of your problems i would say that is probably your issue too.
  8. jason.bierschwale

    jason.bierschwale New Member

    OK, I got my replacement taillight panels today. No love... they fixed my turn signal problem, but I still have no brake lights. I did not ice an irregularity in the hazard light switch. It doesn't work. If you push it halfway down, the fronts blink, but not the rear. If you let it come all the way up (hazards on) you get nothing. Is the hazard light switch part of the multi-function switch that includes the turn signal switch? Could it be a wiring problem, since when I push the hazard light switch halfway down, the fronts work but the rears don't?
  9. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Jason,

    According to the diagram I have in front of me now is for 1999 - 2006 Trucks/Suburbans:

    1) Turn?Hazard Switch is a part of the multi-function switch, attaches to the turn/hazard flasher, attaches to the underhood electrical center, which also has a 20amp fuse (hot all time)with orange/orange wire colors that go to the stoplamp switch, which inturns attaches to the electrical center still for the lt turn, rt turn, fr park, chmsl veh stop lr park, rr park, trl park fuse(S). These
    are all in the same center for power fuses under the hood. This last part from the center goes out to your front/rear light system, turn signals, License lights.
    2) The color for the stop lights are (Left) Brn/Lt Blu (Right) is Brn/wht & Lt Blu.
    3) Also, all this attaches to the Park Lamp Relay in the electrical center as well.
    4) The wires for the Turn/Haz switch is Lt Blu, Dk Blu, Yel, Dk Grn from one side.
    4a) Other side out is PPL, Gry, Lt Blu and Blk(this goes to splice pak of grnds)(to relay)
    So, here is the start of the wires you need, replacing the hazard switch will/should repair the the front and rears, appears that its in the switch. You can check wires to the switch and see if they are ok. Let me know and I will add more wires/directions and colors if you need more. I can not state enough that this will be one of the biggest pains.... to help work on, either by yourself or with help from others, want to see you get through this...

    Jeff
  10. Raviolicaponi

    Raviolicaponi New Member

    Wow, I'm having the same problem too.I googled 1999 Chevy Suburban rear blinker light keeps going out and found this forum at the top of the list. Although im not having any other electrical problems just the rear passanger side turn signal. My SUV is in mint condition, it only has like 65k miles on it and the only problem im having with it is that darn turn signal bulb. I already replaced the tail light circuit board and the problem continues. In the last 2 years i've had to change the bulb 3 or 4 times which is way too many times for a bulb.And when I pull the old one out visually I don't see anything wrong with it.I've sorta just learned to deal with it since the bulbs dont cost all that much and with all the practice I've been getting with taking that tail light off im getting pretty fast now. I should mention though that last year I bought a new Die Hard battery (Silver) and within a year the battery went out.Sears told me I should upgrade to the Gold since my vehicle reguires more power and I'm running DVD screens for the kids. I bought the car used and someone had installed a hitch with all the wiring and all which sorta looks like a rats nest down there.I'm wondering now after reading your post if that wiring around the hitch has something to do with my turn signal going out.

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