Question about 1997 Chevrolet Suburban

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My left rear turn signal and brake lights aren't working. I've replaced the bulbs as well as the circuit board that the bulbs mount into but still no luck... Right side works fine...

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  • Laird Valory Aug 01, 2013

    Thanks for your reply Stephen. Could it be the switch even though it still works for the other three corners of the car?

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  • Chevrolet Master
  • 21,873 Answers

If you have no power getting to the circuit, it could be the turn signal switch. The brake circuit goes thru the turn signal.

Posted on Jul 31, 2013

  • 1 more comment 
  • Laird Valory Aug 01, 2013

    Thanks for your reply Stephen. Could it be the switch even though it still works for the other three corners of the car?

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Aug 01, 2013

    The turn signal switch splits the power to each corner so that the brake light works without sending power to the front lights. So it could be a dead circuit in the switch. You would need to check the circuit coming out of the switch with a meter or test light.

  •  Stephen
    Stephen Aug 01, 2013

    Could also be a break in the circuit between the switch and the light socket.

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SOURCE: Chev Cavalier 2003 only one rear turn/brake/hazard light

I have a 2002 Chev Cavalier that had the same exact problem. I replaced the bulb harness (purchased from a chevy dealership for around $5) which was fairly easy to do. I have had zero problems with it since.

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SOURCE: rear brake lights don't work

you prob got a trailer plug prob bad wires if not tail lights run through turn signal switch tell fix ya bout me ok

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any increase in bink speed is direcly related to a bulb being burt out.

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SOURCE: I have a 94 Chevy C1500 and the right side brake

It could be a bad multifunction (turn signal) switch. The way that switch works, it is possible that it can turn on the front blinker and not the rear one. It also cancels the brake circuit so the turn signal can work with the brake pedal depressed.

However, a more likely cause would be a break in the YELLOW/BROWN wire at the rear of the truck. It is common for the connector to get corroded at the left rear frame area where the bed harness connects to the vehicle harness. If you have trailer connections spliced into the wiring harness, these connections are also prime candidates for corrosion. I would look there first. Inspect these harnesses thoroughly all the way up and into the tail light assembly.

If the wires under the back of the truck look good, then I would check for power coming out of the turn signal switch. The wire at the turn signal switch is plain YELLOW (with no brown tracer). It is Pin (M) on the turn signal switch connector. The front signal is a LIGHT BLUE wire at the turn signal switch Pin (H). If you probe these with a test lamp, they should both work the same except the yellow wire will be hot with the brake pedal depressed and the switch NOT in the left turn position. If there is no power at the switch connector, replace the switch.

Posted on May 13, 2011

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1 Answer

Left bleaker and break light not working. Turn signal works bleaks faster than right side.


Has the vehicle been in an accident on the left rear side. First check the bulb to be sure it is not defective, trade it out with the side that works properly to test. If the bulb works well then My thought are you may have a shorted wire. The turn signal flasher works by heat build up within the flasher the heat is caused by the load of the bulbs, the load heats the metal spring causing it to open the circuit then as quickly as it cools down the circuit closes again lighting the bulbs.
There is also a possibility of a defect in the turn signal mechanism on the steering column. The turn signal switch on many models does three different things on many models that use the same bulb element / or bulb for brake and turn on rear of vehicle. It controls the circuit for brake light by sending power both left and right side rear when turn signal is in neutral position then when turn signal is in left turn the switch cancels brake light power to left side rear and supplies flasher power to left side while maintaining brake light supply to the right side rear, and so on opposite when the right turn is chosen on turn signal switch. The turn signal indicators on the dash normally run off the same circuit as front turn signal bulb only which is also controlled by turn signal switch. Front has turn signals but no brake light.
I think there is an additional load on the left side rear turn circuit and it could be either a wire that is shorted or the turn signal switch if the same bulb element is used for both functions.
Often times if trailer lighting is connected the flasher will also blink a little faster because of the extra load of additional bulbs.

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No, it is not the brake lamp switch. If the brake lamp switch was not working, the high mount (3rd) brake lamp would also not function.
Chevrolet trucks are notorious for bad tail lamp circuit boards.

Disconnect the electrical connector from the circuit boards. Check for power at the circuit board connector (with the brake pedal depressed) on each side. The brake/turn lamp circuit for the left side is the YELLOW wire. The brake/turn lamp circuit for the right side is the GREEN wire. If there is power at the connector, check the GROUND (BLACK wires) to make sure they are getting a good ground. If the power and ground circuits are OK at the connector, replace the circuit boards.

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If there is no power on the YELLOW and GREEN wires at the circuit board connectors, the most likely cause would be a defective turn signal switch.

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