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1996 Cadillac Deville
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127 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Passenger side taillight on my 96 Deville is acting up and I'm suspecting a ground issue. Where is the ground location for the taillights?

The issue I have is that the passenger side is most of the time slightly darker than the driver's side and when the lights are on, the turn signal does not blink properly. The lights are flashing one after the other, not at the same time, and the top one is slightly brighter than the the bottom one.

I've changed all bulbs, cleaned connectors on the sockets and changed the flasher, so that pretty much leaves this to a ground problem. Right? The sockets looks good, so I don't think they are the culprit.

I checked a wiring diagram and it looks like the black wire on the lights is the ground wire, but it didn't tell where it grounds it. Wires from the sockets go to a main harness connector behind the taillight. Haven't followed the main harness yet to see what's along there.

One thing that came to my mind is that could I just put an additional ground wire directly from the socket to a location somewhere around the rear of the car? Would that cause more problems than help?

I hate electrical issues and appreciate any and all help!
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
Look inside the trunk for a wire that's bolted to the body. But unless the body is rusty around that spot or the wire is damaged ground problems with tail lights is usually the sockets themselves that the wire has become corroded or broken off somewhere and if that's the case you'd be better off just changing the socket or getting the harness from another car.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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7,345 Posts
Yep the tail light grounds are in the trunk under the plastic panel. Sounds like corroded light sockets maybe
 

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1996 Cadillac Deville
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127 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! I took a quick look around the trunk a few days ago but didn't spot anything, so I'll do some more thorough checking later. Highly doubt I'll find any corrosion around the ground as the car has lived here in Texas all 19 years, but I guess you never know.

The sockets look good and I even cleaned the contacts with some fine sandpaper but that didn't help. The more I investigate this, the more I find cases where people have had issues with the sockets, so maybe it actually is time for new sockets. Just wondering if they are made of unicorn piss, or something, since they are 50 bucks! DAMN!!! :eek:
 

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97 DeVille
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172 Posts
Only 50 bucks. That's cheap.

For my truck, which is a cab&chassis, GM sourced plain square taillights for it from a 3rd party (3 squares, orange, red, white).

GM wants $65 for each separate lense for it.

The original manufacturer wants $3 each [not up here in Canada though, I bought them from an ebay seller, all three colors for $20].
 
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