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​How to Troubleshoot a Broken Chevrolet Silverado Backup Camera

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How to Troubleshoot a Broken Chevrolet Silverado Backup Camera

The Chevrolet Silverado is one of the most popular heavy-duty vehicles in the United States. Introduced in 1998 as a follow-up to the long-running Chevrolet CK line, this truck gets the job done, and with a backup camera functioning properly, backing up to a trailer out of a tight space has never been easier.

But, unfortunately, you can sometimes end up having backup camera problems. This guide will help you troubleshoot and potentially determine the issue, and if it requires deeper maintenance, we’ll help you figure out what to do as a next step. Before moving forward, make sure your issue is with the hardware and not just . If your backup camera is blurry or fogged up, we have excellent guides to walk you through these topics. Also be sure to take a look at our video guides on Chevy Silverado backup camera installation to make sure you’ve set up your camera properly. And if you’ve come to the wrong place, looking for a more general guide, check out our troubleshooting tips.

Remember, like with any repair, troubleshooting is an iterative process. You don’t want to change a whole bunch of things at once, as that increases the likelihood of errors, as well as making it really difficult to diagnose what the actual problem was in the first place. You can use this post as a sort of checklist to determine what the issue is, which might be helpful as well if you end up seeing a mechanic.

Let’s start with some of the most common issues.

To understand the problems with your backup camera it's important to run proper diagnostics. If you fail to diagnose the issue, it may be time to replace your camera

Blown fuses

Many times, if you’re having a wiring or lighting problem, the culprit is often a blown or bad fuse. Pop open the fuse box on your Silverado. There might be one or two of them on your model, so determining how many is a good idea, but they are usually located on the right kick panel and/or under the hood of the Silverado.

Installing a fuse is easy, just pull the old one out, make sure you replace it with one of the right type, and see if that solves your problem. If your problem goes away, you’re good to go. However, if fuses keep blowing or the problem persists, you might have a short-circuit, which might necessitate a visit to the shop.

Short Circuit

A short circuit is when electrical current is allowed to travel along an unintended path, which can create all sorts of problems for your vehicle’s electrical system.

It’s unlikely that a short circuit is causing your problems, but here is a helpful article on diagnosing short circuits and determining if that’s your problem.

Make sure to troubleshoot your Silverado backup camera by checking for bad shifter alignment, short circuits, blown fuses, or wiring issues

Bad Shifter Alignment

There might be a conflict between the wiring on your shifter and the backup camera. Luckily, this is a really easy test to do, you just need a friend.


Have someone stand behind the Silverado and then put the truck in reverse. If the back up lights do not not come on, it’s very likely that your truck is not getting instructions from the shifter (though it is possible that both of these pieces of wiring are experiencing problems).

If it’s a shifter alignment problem, this can require quite a bit of know-how to fix. If you’re planning on doing it yourself, there are several web forums available that can get you started on your mission to troubleshoot potential problems.

Trace the wire

This requires quite a bit of work, so only take this step if you’re determined to follow-through! Pulling off the access door on your tailgate and tracing the wire to the connector on the camera will give you definitive proof of whether or not your camera’s wiring is at fault. If you don’t see any big problems, give the entire thing a thorough cleaning and reconnect everything, and see if that makes a difference.

Get a diagnostic tool

For the very serious DIY-er, a diagnostic tool is a powerful necessity for troubleshooting most modern Chevrolet trucks. Usually, a mechanic will plug into your vehicle’s adapter to run diagnostic tests, and most repair shops will have a huge supply of these adapters for different vehicles. Unfortunately, the connectors and adapters required for these tools and the requisite software required to use them can be expensive for at-home repair.

But if you’re committed to finding solutions, getting ahold of a diagnostic tool shouldn’t stop you. Finding a tool that will work for your exact make and model can be difficult, but here is an article that can get you started finding the right tool. If you’re looking to find a broad product listing of diagnostic tools, you can go here as well.

Bad camera

Backup cameras are often exposed to some pretty harsh conditions, which means that they’re usually durable. However, just like any other piece of equipment, failure can totally happen. This is another simple test that you need a friend for. Have them wiggle around or flick your backup camera while the camera should be engaged. If it comes back on, or gives a momentary flicker of some kind, probably means you need a new camera.

You can also disconnect the camera and check and see if any moisture or condensation has gotten inside of it. If this is the case, the camera might be beyond repair, but you can always attempt the tried and true method of immersing it in a dessicant like rice to see if that helps solve the problem.

If your camera has given up the ghost, and it’s time for a replacement, you can turn to us. Camera Source has a massive inventory of backup cameras for your Silverado, so acquiring and installing a new camera is easy. We also offer cameras that can give you a front view of your vehicle, as well as providing continuous video so you can keep yourself protected from liability in the event of an accident. Get in touch with us, or browse our products to learn more.