Tail Light Wiring Color Code Fix Solution – Positive or 3 Wires

Anyone who has worked with cars has encountered a tail light wiring problem at some time in their life. Here’s a concise tips on tail light wiring color code for you.

What Is a Tail Light Wiring Color Code?

Tail light wiring color code is a very important thing for all the cars and trucks. There are various cars and trucks which can’t shine their lights ordinarily if the tail light wiring color code isn’t configured correctly.

All this depends on the manufacturer of the car or truck. And for that reason, it’s very complicated.

If you are working in the auto body or auto repair business, then chances are you will have to work with tail light wiring.

The tail light wiring is composed of eight different wires and knowledge of their color code can be very useful when you have to replace the entire assembly or one of the bulbs.

You can also learn how to replace a blown tail-light bulb here.

What color wire is tail lights?

For a vehicle with an internal harness, the color of the wires will be different from one car to another. Some vehicles have red, black and white wires for the brake lights; other vehicles may have brown or black wires for tail lights.

tail light wiring color code

In this guide I will tell you how to wire your tail light circuit so that all working properly without blinking or flashers on when you turn on your turn signal.

Which tail light wire is positive?

The light wiring color code is a useful tool for identifying the positive and negative wires in your tail lights.

If you’re installing aftermarket LED or HID lighting, it’s also helpful for finding out which wire goes where. The following chart shows the most common color codes for tail light wires.

  • Brown = Positive
  • White = Negative
  • Green = Grounding (ground)
  • Black = Grounding (ground)
  • Red = Brake Light

This is used to activate when applying the brakes or turning on your hazard lights, whereas if this were blue or red/white striped, your brake lights would not function independently from other parts of your car like hazard lights do when they have power applied directly through them rather than through an alternate route via another piece of circuitry such as an ignition switch connection.

What are the 3 wires to a tail light?

You should have 3 wires coming from your tail light. They’re usually yellow, red and black. The yellow wire is for the running light, which is the one that’s on all the time.

The red wire is for the brake lights – it will light up when you press on your brakes. The black wire is for reverse lights – if you put it in reverse, then this will turn on as well!

The green wire is usually used for turn signals (it works by sending a signal to turn left or right). You may also notice a brown wire inside some of these tail lights; that’s the license plate light source!

What is the black wire on tail lights?

If you have a vehicle that uses LED tail lights, then you may have noticed a wire connected to one of the wires coming from your taillight assembly.

tail light wiring

This is called a ground wire, and it’s often black in color. The reason why this particular wire is black is because it’s negative (grounded) so it’s easier to distinguish other colored wires from it.

You might also notice that certain types of vehicles use more than one type of ground wire – for example, some cars use black, green and white together as part of their lighting system.

If this is the case with your vehicle then you will need all three colors present when making repairs or replacing bulbs.

Wiring color codes for a 2001 Chevy Silverado?

To wire the tail lights, you will need to find the color code for your vehicle. To do this, read on:

Left Turn Signal Color Code – Green

Right Turn Signal Color Code – Red

Brake Light Color Code – Brown or Blue/White Wire (depending on vehicle)

Back-Up Light Color Code – Orange or Black Wire (depending on vehicle)

Running Lights Color Code – Yellow or Orange Wire

Gray – Right Rear Turn Signal Lamp

Gray – Right Rear Turn Signal Lamp

  • Turn signal light works when you use the turn signal lever to indicate a turn or lane change.

Dark Blue – Right Rear Stop Lamp

The dark blue wire is for the right rear stop lamp. It can be found in the wiring harness, and it’s connected to the right rear stop lamp and brake switch.

Light Blue – Left Rear Stop Lamp

Light Blue – Left Rear Stop Lamp

Light Green – Right Rear Turn Signal Lamp

Pink – Right Rear Turn Signal Lamp

White – Left Rear Turn Signal Lamp (white wire)

Yellow/Brown – Brake Switch Ground Wire

Tan – Left Rear Turn Signal Lamp

Tan – Left Rear Turn Signal Lamp

(Incorrect) The turn signal circuit is a BLUE wire, not tan.

(Correct) The brake light circuit is a GREEN wire, not tan.

(Incorrect) The reverse light circuit is a WHITE wire, not tan.

(Correct) The tail light circuit is a BROWN wire, not tan.

Brown – Tail Lamps, License Plate Lamps and Side Marker Lamps

Brown is used for tail lights, license plate lights and side marker lights. Brown wire can also be found in some vehicles that have the parking light circuit on the front end of the vehicle.

On these vehicles, brown wire will control both the parking light and turn signal functions.

Dark Green – Right Running Lamp, Right Brake Lamp and Left Reverse Lamp (Shared Circuit)

Dark Green – Right Running Lamp, Right Brake Lamp and Left Reverse Lamp (Shared Circuit)

tail light wiring color code

This is a common color for the right side of the vehicle. The right side running lamps are located on the fender, opposite to that of the left side. Running light circuits are also shared with brake lights, so these wires can be used for both lamp purposes.

Red/Dark Blue – Left Reverse Lamp and Center High Mounted Stop Lamp (Left Brake/Turn as well on HD models) (Shared Circuit)

Red/Dark Blue – Left Reverse Lamp and Center High Mounted Stop Lamp (Left Brake/Turn as well on HD models) (Shared Circuit)

This is a dual function wire that shares the center high-mounted stop lamp and reverse lamp functions. The dark blue wafer is for lighting up when you shift into reverse, and the red wire carries a ground signal that allows your vehicles’ computer to know when you’re in reverse.


Tail light wiring color codes consist of many different hues. An example is the grey, the blue and the brown. Other colors include orange, yellow, red and white.

This means that you need to be keen when picking a light but also after choosing a color for you car since it will depend on how your car has been wired up. If a vehicle has a white cable and one black always remember that it is an indicator of constant power.

A light with a black and blue cable indicates wire power when turned on and off with vacuum pressure.

You’ve probably heard about check engine lights. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual describes how to use the diagnostic system. It tells you when to look for trouble and how to fix things.

It’s a good idea to read it before you even start the car. Many tail light problems are caused by burnt out bulbs, but there are other reasons bulbs go out. One common reason is that they’re miswired.

You can also check out these related articles on tail light:

How to choose the best tail-light tint for your vehicle.

A step by step guide on how to replace the tail-lights cover.

How to add custom look to your vehicle tail-lights cover with tail-light tint spray.