instrument panel lights out - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 04-09-2003, 01:54 PM   #1
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Default instrument panel lights out

Okay guys I asked before and never got a reply but my instrument panel lights are out and I REALLY need to know why!!! Please help me and it is not a fuse....
thanks
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Old 04-09-2003, 02:52 PM   #2
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Which instrument panel lights are out? Radio, HVAC, gauges, HUD controls?
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Old 04-09-2003, 03:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: instrument panel lights out

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Originally Posted by ly41181
Okay guys I asked before and never got a reply but my instrument panel lights are out and I REALLY need to know why!!! Please help me and it is not a fuse....
You've checked that your outside lights (i.e. taillights, side markers, parking lights) are working, right? GM likes to run the dash lights as a branch of the exterior lighting circuit (i.e. not the headlamps, but everything else), so that if the exterior lighting blows a fuse, your dash will go out as well so that you notice the problem.

Assuming that they're okay, and your dash backlighting fuse is definitely okay, then I'd check out the headlamp switch. If the rheostat (dimmer) in the **** fries out in the right spot, you can lose your dash lighting altogether.
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Old 05-09-2003, 07:32 PM   #4
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Default my dash lights...

I have a '92 bonneville ssei. Sometimes the dash won't light up when I turn the headlights on at night. The other day when they wouldn't turn on, I kept fooling with the light **** and they turned on eventually (I probably turned the lights on and off twice before the dash lights came on)
Also, to whoever reads this, I'm going to start my own topic on the main page, but my lamp moniter (the one that shows a birds eye view of the car, when a door is open, the odomiter) flickers on and off a lot. Sometimes it just goes off all together. Any suggestions. And when my dash lights do come on, when I turn the **** to make them brighter or dimmer, they don't, they only seem to have one setting.

brandon
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Old 05-09-2003, 08:36 PM   #5
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Brandon, I have the same problem with my diagnostic screen (birdseye view). When it first happened, the car was still under warranty and the dealer couldn't find anything wrong (surprised?). The odometer keeps tracking but the flickering continues 5 years later...if you learn what the problem is, please pass it on. Thanks.

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Old 05-09-2003, 08:50 PM   #6
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i got the same problem with the flickering. it did it mostly in the winter and has not done it in a while. also, i had the same problem with my instrument lights going out. the dimmer switch wasnt making the contact and it was replaced. now i have the 1994 ssei and i have the problem once again but it only happens when i turn the dimmer switch, so i just leave it alone.
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Old 05-09-2003, 09:05 PM   #7
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Angel,

I thought I remember reading something about the flickering. About 5 months ago, when i first got the car I started a topic about it, but I can't find it now. One of the head guys on the site said it was something overheating, and that I needed to get a new harness from a junked car. he responded quick, but wasn't that specific.
My heading on my old topic was something like, "92 bonneville ssei novice who nees help" or something like that.
And my auther name is.. ready? "brandon"
hope you find it, good luck!
bradon
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Old 05-10-2003, 01:20 AM   #8
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There is a connector of the back of theinstrument cluster I would pull the cluster out and check that this connection is a good one and also check the bulbs they could be gone.
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Old 05-10-2003, 09:32 AM   #9
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Default 90% of all intermittent electrical problems

Certainly check the connector to the instrument cluster first, but if that doesn't get you anywhere you might want to look closely at the printed circuit boards themselves. It'* not uncommon by any means that the solder joints on a circuit board that is subjected to heat cycles and vibration start to form tiny stress cracks in the solder 'dimples' on the bottom of the board. They are just about visible without a magnifying glass, but if the crack manages to propigate all the way around the solder dimple then you will get intermitting problems - like the lights flickering.

The fix is pretty easy - try to find the offending joint (or do them all and get it over with) on the back of the board and resolder it (them). All you need to do is heat up the existing solder with a soldering iron and then add a little bit more fresh solder to take up any gaps that formed. It is a lot easier than it sounds, believe me.

Though I've never had to resolder the board from my bonnie'* cluster, I have done it to at least a dozen or so other circuit boards. Both my wife'* Truck'* and my Bonnie'* windshield wiper motors started getting flakey (not at the same time) and in both instances resoldering fixed the problem. I can't tell you how many otherwise good electronic components are thrown away when they just need a little cold solder joint fixed.
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Old 05-10-2003, 02:22 PM   #10
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If the instrument panel flickers (just the red lamps) when you wiggle the headlamp **** back and forth, the rheostat inside it is probably trashed. I had this problem and had to replace the headlamp switch.
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