Chevy and GMC SUV's and trucks -- one front running light burned out!

My brother-in-law noticed something that drives him nuts, and since he mentioned it I can’t stop thinking about it. When you look in your rear view mirror and a Chevy SUV or light truck is behind you, almost every one has one burned out “running light” or “parking light.” They never seem to have both lights working or both lights off. What kind of bizarre defect would cause this? It seems to cross all Chevy models and years. P.S. Don’t think about this too long – it’ll drive you crazy every time you see it!!

This is not something I’ve really ever thought about until recently. It seems that this subject was brought up on this forum not too long ago and caused me to start thinking about it so I made mental notes whenever I saw a lamp out.

It does seem that a lot of Chevys and GMCs are running around with an inoperative running light or park light. Why? I can’t explain it unless there’s some kind of ground wire issue or a defective run of bulb sockets.

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Light bulbs burn out, I replace them all the time.

On GM trucks I believe the DRL’s turn on when the vehicle is put into drive. Most people don’t perform a bulb inspecting with the vehicle in drive so the burned out DRL’s remain unknown to the owner.

Another factor is they use an inexpensive #4157 bulb, most other vehicles use the high beam bulb with power reduced via pulse width modulation.

we have tons of GM vehicles in our fleet

What I’ve noticed is that the DRL socket is usually burnt up and melted

This may sound wrong, but I don’t bother replacing those DRL bulbs anymore. It’s more trouble than it’s worth, in my opinion. I make sure all the other various bulbs are working, but I don’t lose sleep over those DRL bulbs

At least not on those GM trucks

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Yeah, i replace at least one upper marker bulb in my trailblazer every year. Easy to do and they cost exactly one dollar. That last bit may explain it…

Maybe install weaker bulbs that don’t run so hot. They’re always burned out.

Cheap made vehicle produces poor results, or is it simply defective bulbs. When I think about buying a new truck, all I think about are those defective running lights. If GM doesn’t care, then what else is being overlooked?

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How did we jump from parking lights to DRLs?
Front parking lights are amber (shared with turn signals), DRLs are white.

For my fellow Floridians a turn signal is operated by that little lever on the left side of your steering column that you never, ever touch.


Apparently you do not know that GM has had DRL on all of its vehicles as standard for quite some time. Some brands still have DRL as an option or do not offer them. So seeing more out on GM vehicles is relative to the fact there are more of them. Your cheap statement is off base and if you don’t want to buy GM then don’t.

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Wow, so sensitive and so short with excuses. My statement is, irrelevant of why, the GM vehicles have defective running lights, a great majority of them. So, why isn’t GM doing something about it? Maybe I’m wrong and there is a recall. and yes, I’ll not purchase a GM product, ever again.

It’s in the title and the original post mentions both (daytime) running lights and parking lights…

No mention of DRLs in title, in the text the OP is referring to running lights and parking lights as synonyms.

OP meant DRLs…this is very common.

I guess it is no difference than for a pilot referring to the ailerons as flaps.

Geez, guys. The OP points out that what seems like a high percentage of GM vehicles have at least one running light that’s burned out. We have several experienced folks here who confirm that they have dealt with frequent issues with failed running lights on GM vehicles. Why does the conversation rapidly deteriorate into all sorts of silly nonsense about who called what whatever? GM put those lights on vehicles, and they seem to have a high fail rate. Isn’t that the issue?

I think this is silly

These trucks with the burnt-out drls are older and well out of warranty

I’m more concerned if all of my more important lights are working, such as brake, turn, back up, hazard, marker, high beam, low beam, etc.

drls are pretty far down on the list

If you want lights, use the “auto” setting, or turn the switch to the “on” position

I don’t even bother replacing burnt-out drl bulbs on our fleet trucks. I KNOW that if they’re not working, not only is the bulb burnt out, but the socket is toasty. Lots of pain, little gain. Ignore it and move on to more important things, such as checking out the brakes and tires, for example

I have seen a number of the burnt out drl or whatever in GM trucks @db4690 , usually accompanied by a toasty looking connector, My conclusion, the bulb and harness are fine but the heat buld up from the bulb in the smaller enclosed space was not accounted for in the original design, thus toasty connector and premature burned out bulb, ok another tune, say hey no more tunes, and maybe I will listen. Said goodbye to our 14 year old golden retriever today, sad day

The only thing I have noticed is that some models (I can’t say which ones) have the one headlight go out when the turn signal is on. To me it makes no sense at and looks like a light is burned out. Maybe its so that the light doesn’t wash out the turn signal so you can see it better.

Sorry about Rover. I remember coming back from the airport and ours had transpired alone. It was no shock since she was in bad shape and had already made a casket for her. Still it was sad burying her in the dead of night. I did make a marker for the plot. I thought it might be over-kill but then noticed my wife’s cousin in Norway had done the same thing with engraved granite.

Dragging an old thread from the dust bin. But, I see these trucks and SUV’s all of the time. Perhaps I live in a city where there are lots of GMC/Chevy SUV’s and PU’s, but damn, if it doesn’t seem like every one of them has only one running light. working. Usually, the driver’s side burned out. Until reading this thread, I thought it was some GMC mind trick to make me think that this is a better way to ID GMC’s or perhaps a true daytime eye-catcher. I suppose it worked incidentally, because there are lots of GMC/Chevy’s driving around with only one running light. Mission accomplished!

This is an issue that I never gave much thought to until it was brought up on this thread a few years ago.
Since then I’ve kind of made a mental note of it and running lights, headlights, etc. on all GM products seem to be a problem. They’re dying in droves whereas one seldom sees a Ford, Chrysler. Toyota, etc with a front lamp out.