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Chevy S10 - GMC S15 and Sonoma Electrical Problems



  • I just bought a 96 s10 and it has some electrical issues with the front lights. The left turn signals in front don't work. It shows on the dash and the rear ones work, just the front ones don't. I'm not sure how to troubleshoot this. I noticed near the firewall there are 3 wires not connected to anything current;y, 2 with plastic connectors, and one with a single loop connection (intended to be bolted to something I believe) I am not sure what is what though.

    Also my headlights are iffy. With both plugged in they kinda dim in and out, and if i try to hit the brights, they don't work at all, they go off completely. If I remove 1 headlight it seems to work fine. Could this be a bad ground?
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Your on the right track, check all your grounds, lights do strange things with lack of a ground.
  • well i isolated the wiring from the dash to the lights, and have the whole wiring section isolated right now, I found 2 grounds along it, both very rusty. They both connect to the body that supports the radiator. I could find no other grounds so im guessing these are my problems.
  • Can someone help a gal out? I went to get my S-10 inspected today. I knew my turning signals weren't working right but I thought it was a burned out bulb. Come to find out they told me that I needed a Power Distribution Center/Box??
    Went to Advance Auto & CarQuest & they didn't have any. So, where do I go to get one??
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I would take your truck to some one else and get a second opinion, center dist box sounds fishy.
  • why does it sound fishy? I don't understand. The turning signals, hazard lights don't work. Is there something else that it could be? :)
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I am not sure what they mean by center distribution box. Where did you go to get the lights diagnosed? I still think you need a second opinion. What did the first opinion cost you ?
  • I took it to a local place in town for inspection. They called it a Power Distribution Box. It didn't cost me anything as they would not inspect my truck since the turning signal lights weren't worked.
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    I looked up the power feed for both the turn & hazard and it is the same power feed, cell 10, at least for my 99. The power feed should maybe able to be repaired instead of replacing the complete unit. Replacing the power dist box is not for the faint of heart, lots of wires.
  • thanks for the info- I will check into that before buying the whole unit :shades:
  • CDIICDII Posts: 8
    Have you checked "LMCTRUCK.COM"
  • CDIICDII Posts: 8
    Also, If not socket,wire to cab, or fuse. Might check turn signal switch in the steering column, I believe the brake light works through it if not mistaken.
  • has anyone else had any luck with fixing this problem
  • My 99 s10 is going crazy, the voltage drops from 14 to 11 and the truck begins to sputter and backfire and all of the dash lights and the gauges start going up and down. I know when its about to do it when the voltage begins to drop I usuallly drop the gear and it backfires and sputters like crazy but I keep it from stalling. Please help.
  • the head lights work in day time but the pass side head light does not work at night when the rest of the lights are on???
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Your low beam on that side is burned out, the DRL during the day goes through the high beams only. If this is true your light should be out during the day when you turn your head lights on manually.
  • goofysexygoofysexy Posts: 1
    my cigerett liter wont work nether will the radio or the horn
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Check fuses, cig, radio, etc.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    Okay - so I posted this in the climate control forum not realizing that I had done so.... oops. So here it is in the right place (I hope :D)

    Here's a truly odd one. I think I solved the heater issue I was having though. I checked the coolant level and found that it was low. I added more coolant and all seems fine now. It is time for a coolant flush though. All three of my vehicles need it as well as 2 of them need an oil change... Looks like a good half a days work.

    Anyway, I am experiences a quirky turn signal. It is on the driver's side. It only happens when the lights are on and then only intermittently. When it happens it acts like a bulb is burnt out with the fast and short blinking. Only there are not any bulbs out. When it has happened, I have gotten out of my truck to see what is happening. The front seems fine. However, the rear lights are where the quirk is. When the turn signal is on the bright lights up, but near as bright as it should. When it goes of, the reverse light, driver's side license plate light and tail-light illuminate. Then alternates back to a not as bright turn signal.

    It's hard to explain... maybe I'll try taking a video of it when it happens again and posting it. But at this point I am at a loss as to where to even begin....
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Strange electrical is always a bad ground.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    I was able to get some videos of my turn signal problem. I think I did a good job describing the problem. At least well enough to maybe help diagnose where to start. I agree with gonogo that a bad ground could be the culprit, but maybe some one knows where to start tracing this bad ground???
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    waiting for my videos to appear??? Here is one short one however:!id=.5c97ce3f

    This one was done with my cell phone on the road. I had to be quick as it only let me do 15 second spurts. I did more when I got home with a better camera. I thought I uploaded them, but I don't see them yet. I did a few depicting several different ways in which the turn signal operation is funky. When I further investigated the problem, it appears that the problem is not isolated to just the signal, but the whole lighting system in the rear.... Brake lights, reverse lights etc.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    One more video appeared and it does a much better job describing the problem...!id=.5c97cf63
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    so I think I solved my problem... (I THINK). Today I tore into it to see if I could find out what was going on mainly because things like this really bug me. I can't stand not having something like this not work right. It's like a check engine light or brake light on the dash. I have to find out the deal and get it resolved so it doesn't bug my anymore.

    Anyway, right after I got the truck I installed a Class III tow hitch and along with that hitch came the requisite wiring. The wiring kit was really simple to install. Just a couple of wiring harnesses at the back of the truck that needed to be unplugged and a trailer kit harness plugged in between. That was several years ago. One day I went to plug in the lights for a trailer I was towing and I heard a POP! and I think the driver's side, but I am not sure lights quit working. I had blown a fuse. Simple enough to fix, but when I unplugged the trailer, POP! again. It turns out the wiring had frayed causing it to short everytime it touched the frame. So wrapped it all up in electrical tape and all has been fine until just recently.

    When I started having my turn signal issue, my first thought was to check that trailer kit. So I unplugged the extension that I had used to get the wires from under the fender to the hitch. As soon as I did that the lights worked normally for a while and then they went back to being quirky. Sometimes they would work, other times I had issues. Then just in the past couple of days it went to all the time and so that is where I was at last night.

    Today, I crawled under the back of the truck and noticed that when I had unplugged the trailer kit, I only unplugged the extension. I noticed that the actual trailer kit was "spliced" in between a factory wiring harness. I say "spliced" but it really was just a couple plugs unplugged and the wiring kit plugged in between. So decided it couldn't hurt to take the trailer light kit out. I unplugged it, plugged the factory wiring harness back together and Wha-LA! The lights worked. All seemed normal. Until tonight when I went to use the signal and I was back to where I was at last night. Grrr... So something else is the problem.

    When I got to my destination I got out (this was really bugging me) and grabbed my flashlight and crawled back under the truck. I checked my connections as the harness to make sure it was still tight and as I did so and moved the harness around, I could hear the lights (the clickity turn signal sound) get erratic. Sometimes it was the fast clicking and other times it was normal. I traced the wires up to a wire loom above the frame. I could see a couple ground wires coming out and I jiggled these. Sure enough, I could move the wire one way and I would have normal operation. Move it another way and bad connections. So it does appear to be a ground wire and I think I must have found it, although I couldn't do anything about it right then. I did move it around so that the lights are working as of now until the wire gets bumped or jiggled the wrong way. Tomorrow I guess I get to crawl under and see what needs to happen to get it fixed. But at least I am closer to solving the problem!!
  • i just had this problem fixed but it happened again..i turned on my a/c and lost all power no headlights accessories/ radio/ blinker/ ignition i got nothing. i just had it fixed the mechinic said it was the ground on the chassis....where is this ground on the 95 s10...also my airbag light came on after i got it fixed is the ground on the chassis by the chassis brain box air bag module??? soemone please help my truck is in a town im not familair with and i wanna get her home.
  • jfj600wjfj600w Posts: 2
    Electrical problems. . .It use to be when I would remove the key from the ignition the radio and power windows would still operate for a while. . . unless the door was opened. .
    Now that has stopped and I do not have a clue why. If it helps the inside dome lights wil not work either unless the over ride button is punched. . but then they do not shut off. Is this all related?
  • daveykc5daveykc5 Posts: 2
    I have a 96 chevy s10 and i just recently got t-boned in the passenger door. After getting the truck from the body show i noticed that neither of the power locks work i checked the fuses none are blown. Anyone got any Suggestions?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,079
    you might check the switch itself and see if it was reconnected. Or maybe a wire got pinched in the crash. Did they replace the door, or just body work?? If the door was replaced, it is possible that a wire harness was left unplugged??
  • gonogogonogo Posts: 879
    Take it back to the body shop, they are responsible for anything in the doors.
  • jschettkojschettko Posts: 3
    Did you ever find the problem?? I have a 2003 Sonoma Zr2 with similar problems.
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