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Trailer Wiring Does Not Work on a 1999 Chevy Silverado or C/K Series Pickup

Question:

Hi I have a 99 chevy silverado that does not have a factory tow package. So therefore I had to purchase a receiver hitch and a four way harness that has the green, white, brown, and yellow wires. I wish it was that simple to hook up but Chevy has made it difficult to hook up cause they dont have those color wires going straight to the lights. So I thought no problem, Ill hook up my test light and find out what wire does what? So that was easy, except for this year of Chevy trucks having the independent lighting system where the brake light is seperate from the turn signals. So I went to Autozone and purchased a converter for that type of setting of tail lights. The converter has the same wires as the connector that I was already trying wire, and the other side has a yellow, green, brown, white and red for the brake. So I spliced this wired together witht original wires on the truck, because I identified each wire with my test light, and grounded it to the frame. I then attached my test light to the ground that I have on the frame, and went through all the motions with light and everything works, left turn right turn brakes and running lights. But the kicker is, is that when you hook it to the trailer, nothing works at all. There is nothing wrong with the trailer I know cause my dad has a new dodge 3500 that he uses to pull the trailer all the time and it works just fine. So just not sure where to go with it now.

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Expert Reply:

Does the converter you are using by any chance require a direct connection to the vehicle battery to actually power the trailer lights? Some converters are powered and they get the signals from the tail light wiring but the power comes from the vehicle battery.

It could also be a bad converter box. Use your test light to test the wires going into the converter box to make sure they are correct. If they are not correct that indicates a problem with the truck wiring. If they are correct test the wires coming out of the converter. If they are not correct then there is a problem with the converter and it will need to be replaced.

If your 1999 Chevy is actually a C/K series, you could use wiring harness # 118315 that plugs in line with the vehicle tail light wiring. Otherwise, the wiring for a 1999 Silverado is just a 4-Way hardwire which would mean it should have combined brake and turn signals. So that makes me think you actually need # 118315. I have linked the instructions for you to view.

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