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Old 06-20-2012, 02:58 PM   #1
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Any Chevy S10 Guru's Out There? (Or Car Enthusiasts In General)


I have a 2002 Chevy S10, Vortec, 6cyl, 5 speed

Normally, when my turn signal lamp goes out, the turn signal will click super duper fast letting you know "hey, you have a bulb burnt out". It looks like my rear right tail light is burnt out. So i installed a new one, and no luck. still not working. the front right signal works though.

I checked my right tail light again last ***ht and the standard driving light comes on just fine. But the brake light and turn signal are not working. Everything seems to work except the right rear turn signal/brake light.

I was told (without testing it) that it could possibly be the combination switch. Does this sound about right? If so, are there any links to show me how to do this step by step? Is it easier to have a dealer/mechanic do it?

I have been told to check the grounding on that light but I can't seem to locate it. I have tried to follow the wiring from the light down the line to the source but all the wires are in that plastic shield and can't trace the ground. Anyone know where the ground is mounted to the frame??

What else could it be?

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Old 06-20-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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Did you actually check for voltage at the socket? Many times I've found something not working and it turns out to be the socket itself...

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Old 06-20-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Did you actually check for voltage at the socket? Many times I've found something not working and it turns out to be the socket itself...
ok, work with me bubbler , are you talking about using a voltmeter? placing the red in the socket base and placing the black probe on the frame of the truck???? what type of voltage should I be seeing? does the brake need to be pushe din or the blinker on?
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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You will see ~12.6v dc (battery voltage) with the engine off and approx 14.5 v dc engine running. You will need to depress the brake pedal or activate the turn signal when checking voltage. The ignition key must be in the run position for the turn signal to work.

The ground is common to both the stop/turn and tail lamp. If the right tail lamp light works and the right stop/turn do not, the ground is not the problem.

Did you put in the correct bulb?
GM did have problems with the tail light circuit boards on earlier models.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:52 PM   #5
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ok, then the tail light works fine....it's definitely the brake and turn signal.

I swapped out the bulb with a new and when that didnt work, i took out the left turn signal lamp and placed it on the right side to see if it would work........it doesnt.

I will test it tonight with a voltmeter and see what happens.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:26 PM   #6
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Probably a burnt up socket. You can use a test light to check it, or a lot times it will be black inside it.....
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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what is a test light and how does it work?
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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what is a test light and how does it work?
OK, so the idea here is that you can replace the bulb w/ a known good one and it still will not work if the socket has gone bad--either corrosion, or bend contacts, etc...

What I'd suggest is getting either a voltmeter or a 12V test light (available at auto-parts store, you should be able to find one VERY cheap, they are almost give-away level for the truly cheap little ones that feature just an LED).

The test light will "light up" when 12V is present. The voltmeter will read ~12V.

Whatever bulb is not working, find that socket, switch on whatever switch is necessary to make that bulb light up (i.e. if it's a turn signal, turn on the turn signals--btw you also try the hazards if you think it might be the turn signal switch itself). I would BACK PROBE the socket... this means that you shove your test lead into the back of the socket (where the wire is going in) to try to make contact. You may want to do this on a socket with a bulb that is working, that way you get the feel of your test light or voltmeter working...

I've had good luck with shoving an unbent paperclip, or very long pin, in there to get contact--just be sure you don't short it out!

For a ground you can use the metal truck body.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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I have stuck a volt meter on the socket.......nothing. I have cut the wires at the socket to see if I was at least getting power to the socket.......nothing.

I have stuck the meter on the left side and that checked out fine.

I will try one more splice point on the left side of the truck to see if I am at least gettingpower to that point before it branches off to each light.

any other thoughts?
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:33 PM   #10
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Narrow it down. Trace the harness and test for voltage at each connector. Check the connectors for corrosion and terminal tightness. If the truck was in an accident, look in that area for chaffed and corroded wires. Also look where the harness takes sharp bends and can possibly chaffe.

This is not hard, but can be time consuming. Good luck.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
Narrow it down. Trace the harness and test for voltage at each connector. Check the connectors for corrosion and terminal tightness. If the truck was in an accident, look in that area for chaffed and corroded wires. Also look where the harness takes sharp bends and can possibly chaffe.

This is not hard, but can be time consuming. Good luck.
I was going to begin tracing it tonight. The harness that this goes back to has a connector with 5 pins in it. How do I know which pin is going where? It hits this harness then branches off to each light. Just because I'm getting "power" doesnt mean that I'm going to know which light it's going to. I can show pictures of what I am talking about if needed.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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The wires are color coded. Check at the socket for what color is what. Black is ground, both left and right tail lamps should be the same color and the other color at the right rear will be the directional and stop.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:58 PM   #13
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What year is this truck and have you solved the problem?
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:08 PM   #14
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2002

It has been put on hold but I will be tackling it again here in the next couple days.......

Once I pull it in to the garage, I will be able to tell more..........
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #15
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Have you ever heard of a tool called a Powerprobe. This would allow you to test for B+, ground and the bulb all at the socket. Once you determine which circuit is bad, you can work your way back. With a proper functioning circuit, you could see roughly 6V as an average voltage. That is because it is 50% on, 50% off. Generally, left side wiring is going to be yellow and right side will be green. I will see if I can find a wiring diagram and help you out. I'm off to the Indy tomorrow so probably won't be until Sunday that you hear from me again. Powerprobe. Watch Youtube. Best tool ever...

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