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Old 08-02-2005, 04:15 PM
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65 impala electrical problem

Hey everyone.I got a 65 Impala SS.I am having a problem with the electrical.The tail lights

will not work.They will come on when I turn the headlights on but they wont brighten when I

press the brakes down.I drove the car yesterday and everything was working properly.I was

driving today and I noticed that when I use the turn signal,it wouldnt work.The turn signal

light on the dash will just stay lit up when I turn it on and wont blink on either side.I also

noticed that my fuel gauge is screwing up too.It tells me I have a full tank of gas when I was

allmost on empty yesterday when I parked it.I know that these 2 problems have to be related

in someway but I checked everything and couldnt find any burnt wires anywhere and I even

checked all the fuses.If anyone knows what the problem could be please respon.Thanks,

Eazy

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Old 08-02-2005, 04:27 PM
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Please dont flame me for this I'm not trying to be a smart ***** but it sounds to me like you have a fillament burned out in a dual fillament bulb or someone put the wrong bulbs in, I would visually look at them and even if they look ok, put a test light on them and have someone push the brakes and see what you get, same for the turn signals.
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Old 08-02-2005, 04:33 PM
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brake light blub element blown, turn flasher bad, gas tank sending unit may be bad in tank
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:34 PM
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I checked all of the bulbs.They are all good.I replaced them about a month ago and they have been working good since today.Any other ideas it could be?Thanks
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Old 08-02-2005, 07:58 PM
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If neither the turn signal or brake lights don't work, I would say that the light sockets are bad or there is a broken wiring harness. These are 2 separate circuits that join together to light the same side of the bulb.
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:10 PM
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Your problem could very well be under your steering wheel. You could have a pinched wire under there grounding out or it could be your turn signal switch. Remember the turn signals and the brake lights share the same filement on the bulb, the turn signal switch separates them so only one light flashes and the other one stays lit as a brake light. In other words what I'm trying to say is the turn signal switch when either in left or right position sepates the sides at the rear so it will not bleed over. When the switch goes bad all kinds of crazy things can happen.
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:32 PM
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Well just to help you diagnose the circuit this is how it works.

The brake light switch is powered and feeds into the turn signal switch in the column. So when you step on the brake a plunger depresses and feeds juice into the turn signal swith. From there it feeds to the LR and RR at the same time and the brake light comes on.


Since you have neither brake or turn and they both get power from two places (turn sig flasher and brake switch) the problem is probably either in the turn signal switch or wiring from it back to the taillights. Just in case you might want to make sure you have power to both sides of the brake switch when it is pressed down and power at the flasher.

This is typical for all GM cars in that era and actually most cars. Since the 65 had multi tail lamps and I dont remember what did what so the above may vary slightly.

Check at the lamp with a test light. A bad ground wire will do what you mention so check the hot side of bulb to ground on the car. If it lights then, you have a ground issue.

Just concentrate from the turn signal switch back. This is where your problem is assuming you have power to the turn signal switch.
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Old 08-03-2005, 01:26 AM
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Well I was thinking it might be the white switch for the brakes lights.Is it possible?Its the white switch that is by the brake pedal with the 2 plug-ins on it.I was wondering if this switch might of went bad.
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Old 08-03-2005, 06:58 AM
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Well I doubt it. That white switch is the brake light switch. That would control the brake light problem but not the signals. You could have two problems. Press down on the brake pedal and using a test light make sure you have power on BOTH sides of it.

You can also unplug that wiring plug from the switch and jump it with a wire or paper clip to see if your brake lights come on if you dont have a test light.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:45 AM
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Pop your steering wheel and the horn button off and clean the contacts under the horn button. Check for broken contacts as well. All the electrical for the rear lights pass through there.
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Old 08-03-2005, 11:44 AM
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How do I check and see if the turn signal switch is bad?I got my steering wheel taken off and everything that goes with it.I can see the turn signal switch but how do I know its bad?If it is bad,does that have anything to do with the fuel gauge screwing up?Thanks,

Eazy
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Old 08-03-2005, 12:19 PM
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Well you really need a schematic to figure out what goes where. You normally have a turn signal INPUT and hazard INPUT and then LF,RF, LR and RR OUTPUTS as well as brake inputs.

Its hard to follow and I am really doubting its the switch since left and right rarely stop working at once.

Does your dash indicator come on and stay on when you put your signal on?

And no, it has nothing to do with fuel guage. Your fuel guage should have 12 volts on on side of the guage and the sender which works against ground on the other. You can test the sending unit by removing the wire and grounding it. Your guage will swing full scale one way or the other when you touch the sending unit wire to ground.

Last edited by rrmccabe; 08-04-2005 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 08-03-2005, 01:10 PM
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Yes when I put either the Right or Left turn signal on,it lights up on the dash but wont blink it just stays lit up no matter which side I put it on.Someone on here told me that it might be the harness that runs all the wires to the rear.That would make sense because the fuel gauge stop working as well as the brake lights and turn signals all at the same time.Also,I have been having a problem with my battery going dead every time I let the car sit overnight.I think maybe this whole time my battery has been dying overnight was because those wires on there where short circuiting and they finally just went.How would I check to see if I got bad wires running from that harness?Thanks
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:21 PM
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Well the turn signal on solid means that you have good power through the flasher and up to the turn signal switch. It will NOT blink until it has "connected" with the tail light bulbs. This is because tail lights draw current which makes a strip in the flasher heat up and open and the turn signal goes out. The strip cools down, the light comes back on, it heats up again and repeat.... blink blink blink

its possible that the wiring harness is the problem.

The easist way to check it is cut the tape from the loom and inspect it. If it has problems more than likely it will be burned. The Impala probably runs along the drivers door sill. Remove the sill plate and look under there. You will have to remove back seat to get to part of it. It probably runs along the drivers side of trunk to tail lights. In your case I think it splits and part goes to lights on trunk lid and part to lights on rear quarters.

There might be a wiring connector somewhere in the trunk. Make sure you check that if there is. Unplug and plug it back together a few times as a start.

And yes, the fuel guage wire (one wire) runs in this loom as well.

Rich
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:18 AM
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I have one of these and they have a history of problems with the taillights, most of which can be traced to bad grounds. The most common thing you see is when you hit the brakes one light gets bright, and the other goes out. The brake lights are gounding through the other taillight. I ran a wire from the trunk hinge bolt to the body and it fixed mine right up. The other thing that happens is the tail light sockets come apart a bit. The metal insert will pull part way out of the plastic and allow the bulb to pull away from the contacts. Still looks ok, just won't work. Is your brake light switch working? Just use a multi meter to check to see if you get voltage through it when it is engaged.

If you end up needing a turn signal switch, the 65 and 66 switches are unique and expensive. If you have a tilt column, they are not available anywhere.

Doug
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