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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! We just bought a 1999 Safari and we’re trying to figure out the running tail lights. The brake lights are working just fine. We replaced the fuse and the tail lights worked for a brief period then went out again.
Any recommendations? Schematics for the wiring would be a huge help as well. The electrical system is not our strong suit so we’re pretty amateur with most of this. Thanks so much.
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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If you replaced the fuse and it blew again, you have an electrical short somewhere. For wiring diagrams, see link in sig.
 

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Depends on if you grab just the wiring diagrams pack or if you grab the GM Techline eSI which is the digital factory service manual.
It will be in exterior lighting :)

I would probably start by looking at the trailer wiring harness, have seen some real messed up stuff done back there on a few vans(wires twisted together and used masking tape). If there are any signs of repairs/body work near the lights, that would be the next place to look. Then I would start pulling bulbs and double checking the wiring/sockets for damage/clean/tight/proper bulbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thought we found our short with the trailer ground (there was a hanging white wire that wasn’t grounded, that we then connected with the red wire to lead up to ground, as seen in the pictures) but still am getting a short reading. Any suggestions on what may be wrong? It may be our testing, which if someone knows step by step where to connect the multimeter that’d be a big help. Watching YouTube videos but you never know if we’re following correctly.
Light Green Gesture Yellow Line
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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Did you put all the yellow tape on that mess of wires?
If not, I would guess you might be in the right area, because somebody has been there before you!
It is difficult to see, from the picture, but do all those green and black wires go into the one white wire ( which you have now grounded)? Are most of those wires headed up out of the picture going to speakers, or something else?
For factory wiring, the two black wires that are under the sheet metal screw are all that it came with originally ( there is a single black wire in the matching location on driver side) .
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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That looks like a mess, you will have to figure out what is what. Larger gauge wires going to smaller gauge wires, don't use wire nuts in automotive situations, etc.

The heavy white for the trailer wiring is a ground, but the light white wire is for the 3rd brake light. Adding grounds isn't going to fix a short though. Another wire that would run to that door would be the license plate light, which is on the same circuit as the running lights.

Maybe post some pictures from further out as well, so we can kinda see where this stuff is running to exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It’s a huge mess indeed haha. Hoping to know a thing or two about electrical after this. So I made a video that runs through from under the drivers side fuse box (starting at a connector that doesn’t appear to be connected to anything?). Link found below. It runs through our whole slew of wires. We did a whole testing yesterday and here are a lot more details:
Fuses that aren’t getting power (but not blown): 2, 4, 8, 14
9 was blown originally and instantly blows when replaced.
Our head lights are always running, even when the lights aren’t turned on.
The dashboard illumination won’t light up for the most part (speedometer, oil, gas, etc). The illumination on the buttons for the light switch is turned on, then will turn off when we actually turn on the lights).
The running tail lights and license plate light won’t come on, but the brake, and turn signals work.
Drivers side power door lock button doesn’t work, but passenger side does.
Hooked up an after market stereo that isn’t getting power (that could be more my fault, though pretty sure we connected correctly).
Also to note, the cigarette lighters aren’t hooked up or connected to anything.

We’ve gone through and checked that there aren’t any open/untapped wires and don’t see signs of frayed wires either. We’ve reconnected a lot of wires that had a shottier connections.

link to wire video:

Thanks for everyone’s help!
 

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Fuses that aren’t getting power (but not blown): 2, 4, 8, 14
Page 6-61 through 6-65 of the owners manual shows the fuses. Some of those will only have power when cranking or when the lights are on. Make sure the lighting fuse/etc under the hood are not blown and are getting power.
9 was blown originally and instantly blows when replaced.
License Plate Lamp, Taillamps, Parking Lamps, Ashtray Lamp, Panel Lights, Trailer Taillamps, Front and Rear Sidemarker Lamps, Door Switch Illumination, Headlamp Switch Illumination, Rear Seat Audio Illumination. Do you still blow the fuse with the dimmer turned all the way down? What about when the lights are turned off? Any change if you pull fuse 14?
Our head lights are always running, even when the lights aren’t turned on.
Could be something backfeeding or a problem with the switch or DRL system.
Hooked up an after market stereo that isn’t getting power (that could be more my fault, though pretty sure we connected correctly).
Check your power and ground with a meter. Is there a purple/white wire connected at all?
 
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