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1996 Chevy Suburban tail light issue

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Jan 20, 2015, 3:24 PM

Post #1 of 5 (950 views)
  post locked   1996 Chevy Suburban tail light issue  

Okay, the vehicle in question is a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban. 5.7L, ~225k on the odometer.

Fair warning: I am not mechanically inclined. At all. I'm here because a friend recommended I give you all a try. This truck was one of those deals where my old truck died and I had to get a vehicle to get back and forth to work with, pronto. I didn't have much to spend and I got exactly what I paid for. I've been chasing issues with it since I got it. Seems like there's something new every week. Seriously. I just had the fuel pump replaced a week and a half ago. I'm also a broke college student and still feeling the pain of that bill, and really need to keep this newest problem to a financial minimum. I also can't afford a ticket.

So two days ago I was getting ready to leave for work and there just happened to be somebody standing behind the truck who asked if I knew I had a brake light out. No, I did not.

I replaced the bulbs in the tail light (it's the right side), and still nothing. I have the regular light if my headlights are on, but no brake light or turn indicator. Everything is working as it should on the left, though the turn signal is flashing faster than it should. My indicators on the dash on both sides are flashing faster than they should as well.

Does anybody have any ideas? Hopefully something that doesn't involve me taking it the 80 miles to the nearest mechanic. I do have a family member with more mechanical ability who can probably help if need be.

Thanks in advance.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 20, 2015, 3:38 PM

Post #2 of 5 (938 views)
  post locked   Re: 1996 Chevy Suburban tail light issue  

Now that you know how bitchy those two little screws are to remove the lens and put back without dropping them into nowhere land, do it again with a test light $5 or so if you look around, and test for power for that bulb on the back side of the socket and then inside. If test light lights test the ground by empowering the test light.

Maybe, maybe wiring was disturbed by taking the tank out for the fuel pump?


Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Jan 20, 2015, 4:57 PM

Post #3 of 5 (922 views)
  post locked   Re: 1996 Chevy Suburban tail light issue  

Those have a light board that had a high failure rate. You might be able to plug in the right tail lamp into the left tail lamp connector to see if the problem switches sides.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Jan 20, 2015, 4:58 PM)


Oct 11, 2015, 7:16 PM

Post #4 of 5 (734 views)
  post locked   Re: 1996 Chevy Suburban tail light issue  

I have a 99 suburban and was plagued by bulb failure----found that due to age wire contact on the bulb had corroded enough to make intermittent contact----would take out the bulb, check it in another socket, plug it back in and it would work, so I would put the whole thing back together---only for the problem to repeat itself---hate to say it, but I ended up replacing the socket.---fixed my problem

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Oct 11, 2015, 7:56 PM

Post #5 of 5 (727 views)
  post locked   Re: 1996 Chevy Suburban tail light issue  

This thread is old and done now so locking it for archives. Please don't post on old threads especially if you aren't the original poster, T

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