Originally Posted by raindon
Bummer. Looks like some kind of semi-transparent fiber sandwiched in clear plastic with about a 1/8 inch gap from the small bulb at the front. Don't see how that could make anything light up. I might get one of those xenon bulbs to try but they're expensive at around $7.50 for package of two. If I do, I'll post a reply to how it works.
Yikes. I think that'll melt the bulb holder.
The problem is that the bulb assembly between the shift quadrant and ashtray wasn't positioned very well in the original design. A small clear finger descends towards it from the front lip of the shift quadrant (the PRNDL plastic window), but it doesn't line up right, so not a lot of light can jump the gap to it from the bulb.
The revised/redesigned socket assembly that was supposed to address this problem has a visible "X" molded into the side of it, if I remember right. If your socket assembly doesn't have an "X" on the outside of it anywhere, maybe you can still get the revised one from the dealer, or GMPartsDirect or someplace.
The bulb that illuminates the red dots to show what gear you're in is a different one, mounted rather out of sight below the shifter, not in front of it, and isn't connected to how well the shift letters light up.