No Dash lights, tail lights or Marker lights But Headlights, brake lights work? (1 Viewer)

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My taillight fuse blew, I changed it up with a new 15A and thought all was good and it was for a little bit (2days). Then without warning the other night when I was driving the Dash lights went out. I pulled over checked the fuses and again the Tail light fuse was out Put a new one in nothing. Now my taillights don't work but Brake lights, Turn signals are good. The license plate light is out as well along with both front and rear marker lights). I've changed light bulbs checked all fuses, I also looked at the plugs that run to the rear of the car and they all look ok (no cracks, burn marks or corrosion). I a a factory trailer hitch (but hardly ever tow anything) checked the wires to that don't see any issues. Not sure what else I should be checking? Please help with any suggestions electrical stuff freaks me out as I don't know much about how to diagnose?? Just picked up a new Multimeter (learning how to use it).. With short winter days and no tail lights this sucks any help would be appreciated I want to figure this out. Hate taking her to Shop...
 
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The reverse lights work. Checked jack location no water, plugs in area look ok. It's a 94 cruiser. No dash lights still. Warning lights on dash are ok just no illumination.
 
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Sounds like a short in the parking light circuit. Have you checked the front marker lights/bulbs/sockets? If the fuse is still blowing, then there's still a short. I'm still thinking a bulb or a corroded socket.
 
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I checked the front marker lights below the headlights and plugs and bulbs look like new. I checked the tow lights at where the hitch lights
plug into and that looked find too. I'm searching the FM for the location of the trailer module to see what that looks like.
looking at the PDF factory manual where would I go to find the Parking circuit?
 
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The module on mine is behind the right rear side panel. It was laying down in there a ways. Use a mirror and a bright flashlight. Or nowadays, just use your cell phone. :confused:

Dangit, now that you bring this up, my trailer lights looked like s*** the other day. I blamed the trailer, now I'm not so sure... thanks :flipoff2:
 
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So tonight I put a volt meter to the tail lights and I get voltage when brake lights are depressed but nothing on tail lights. Marker lights both front yellow and rear red are still out (both have new bulbs and sockets look clean) . Is there a spot where all of these things tee off? I'm not super worried about the the gauge lights at this point. But not having tail lights is very worrisome. I've checked all fuses (both in car right below steering wheel and all in the fuse block in engine bay No breaks and all looked good). I pulled the relays in the driver side kick panel and they all seem OK, when I turn on the light switch I do hear a tap/click by the relays (don't know if this is normal) How does one know if a relay is bad?
Do you happen to have a picture of what the trailer Module looks like? I dug around the driver side rear panel and saw a bunch of plugs but nothing else? I'll try to look again tomorrow. Starting to get nervous might have to 1. find a shop and 2. shell out some $$ to find the problem.
 
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Fort Worth, TX
Tail lights and dash lights are connected through the fuse. Sounds like your fuse is blown. This is a standard thing in all cars (at least before Auto Light controls) When the dash goes dark you know you are driving without tail lights.
 
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I've checked all fuses (both in car right below steering wheel and all in the fuse block in engine bay No breaks and all looked good).
Check fuses with a meter, not your eyeballs. You are missing the entire TAIL LAMP circuit. If all the fuses check good with a meter, then head upstream to the source.
 
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CHECK THE FUSE WITH A METER FIRST.
15 amp tail fuse is fed from the TAIL LAMP relay in the driver's kick panel. The source for the relay is the same fusible link that feeds the headlights so we know that is good.
CHECK THE FUSE WITH A METER FIRST.
Assuming the fuse is good, then the problem is between the tail lamp relay and the fuse or possibly the logic side of the tail relay. You can jump pins 2-3 (load side) on the relay to see if the rest of the circuit is functioning correctly. I would assume it would be since there are multiple paths that are affected here.
CHECK THE FUSE WITH A METER FIRST.
 
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I checked the continuity with a Multi Meter on all the fuses both inside the car and in the engine bay. I got a tone on all the fuses.. I checked them with the car off and also with the car on same result got a tone on all the fuses.. Not sure what you mean by the Logic side of relay? I'm resisting going in and changing stuff as I understand that with Electrical the problem needs to be found so as not to make it worse by guessing. How would I test the logic side of the relay?? Thank you for your help..
 

NCFJ80

"Carolina Cruisin"
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Have you tested your relay? You cant just assume a relay is good just by looking at it or hearing a click. Not all relays are designed to open and close the same way. Test the relay with your meter.
 
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The correct way to check a fuse is to remove it from the fusebox and put the meter across the fuse to check continuity.
I am making an assumption from your description that everything else on the truck is working correctly. That being the case, there's no need to check every fuse in the truck when we're only concerned with the TAIL LAMP circuit.

A relay is an electronic switch. The logic side "throws the switch", the load side is the switch contacts. If you remove the relay and jump the load side in the socket, you are essentially "closing the switch" manually. Obviously this is for diagnostic purposes only.

After confirming that the fuse is good, my next step would be to make sure you have +12 at the TAIL LAMP fuse when the switch on the stalk is on. Remove the fuse, set your meter to DC VOLTS, find a bolt or good ground for the negative lead of the meter. Turn on the parking lamps and check for +12 on the TAIL LAMP fuse terminals. One should be +12 and the other 0 or close to it.

If you're not getting +12 to the fuse, then the TAIL LAMP relay is not closing or is defective or there is a wiring/connector issue between the relay and the fuse.
 
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Another way to check the fuse(s) is to touch both sides of it with a test light or your meter set to volts. You should have light, or 12V on both sides of the fuse when the circuit is active (key on, etc). Ground your other lead. Jon's way of removing the fuse is excellent also. If you measure in circuit, in beep mode, you may fool yourself.

The trailer module is on the passenger side, not the driver's. At least on mine it is. I was suggesting you check that because your taillight fuse blew at least once. Most disconnect them, or replace with a new one. I'm not sure why they die.

If your Tail Relay is good, you should have +12V on both sides of your 15A TAIL fuse. Based on a 1996 EWD, YMMV.
 
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I just checked the fuse with a Meter. Only got 4.3 V on both sides of the 15 amp fuse. Also put a 12v test lite to it with nothing. Does this mean that the relay is dead? Do I now need to look upstream? Didn't bother to check the tail lights at the bulb figure since the fuse volts suck nothing is happening there. This stinks but on the good side I'm understanding better. I do appreciate all the help.
 
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That does sound like your relay may be bad. Possible burned contacts.

Like Jon said, you need to remove the relay and jumper across it.
That's where you have to do some research. It has 4 pins.
Two are the coil, and you can determine which two by ohming the relay itself. Expect around a hundred ohms (wild WAG here for sure). There should be two pins that have resistance, and the other two. Jump across where the other two would connect in the relay socket. Make a wire with two ends on it, using spade terminals that look just like the relay terminals.

I bypassed my power window relay this way. One of my favorite mods. Open door - roll down window(s), no key needed!

Good Luck, and post back what you find, or what you need help with.
 
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Sorry for the delay in updating
I went ahead and ordered a new taillight relay from cdan(had to order some other items). I put it in and when I tried the lights. The flickered on (along with the gauges). Then they promptly went out again (fuse blew out) just as a test and because I have a small bucket of 15amp fuses. I put a new fuse in and promptly blew it out again.
Below is a pic of the inside of the relay I took out(see one of the connectors has some melting).
I pulled the taillight wire diagram to see where to go from here.
Any ideas?
ImageUploadedByIH8MUD Forum1419195384.645612.jpg


I thin I also noticed some burn on the plug end too but have to back in there to double check.
 

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