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Old 08-11-2004, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default Dash lights are out for my instrument panels

Another problem I have come across in the past few weeks is that some of my instrument lights are out. To be specific it'* my dimmer switch, heads up display, and my heated seat lights. How do get those back on?
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:39 PM   #2
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someone will have to correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that all of the lights are LED'*. This means that you'll have to solder a new one in. major PITA. Like I said though, I might be wrong.. I'm surprised that that many lights would be burnt out already though.
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Old 08-11-2004, 10:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom88
someone will have to correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that all of the lights are LED'*. This means that you'll have to solder a new one in. major PITA. Like I said though, I might be wrong.. I'm surprised that that many lights would be burnt out already though.
You got it right, their led'* and a major pita to replace. I would first check out the connector and grounds.
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Old 08-14-2004, 03:25 PM   #4
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I always thought that they were LED'*, too. But I was speaking with an instrument cluster repair center in Richmond, VA and was told that they were regular bulbs...but they are soldered in.

I'm not sure which is the right story.

Jim
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:44 PM   #5
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Default Dash Lights Out...

I have had the same issue with my 2000 SLE - dimmed and/or just plain 'burned out' LED'*. Upon IP disassembly, I have found that the backlight lamps are not LEDs but regular incandescents! (That is why they dim - LED'* cant dim well or smoothly) You can find the replacements at Radio Shack - but can be hard to find, as they may carry only 2 to 3 packages of them. Another factor I found was that the bulbs were not burned out at all - just the soldering to the printed circuit has a small break that has been created over time (temperature expansions, age, etc). This type of electronic circuitry is typically manufactured by first installing all of the components then the assembly passes through a "solder blower" - which basically blows the powdered solder onto the preheated assembly, making the connections. This type of manufacturing process can leave tiny flaws that give rise to the problems you are having. A simple solution that MAY fix the problem is to take the IP out, remove as much plastic as you can (pretty easy, just make sure you keep the needles' positions match-marked) and then set a heat gun (not a hair dryer) on LOW and carefully pass it over the circuit board a few times - try to get it to about 200-300 degrees F which should be OK. Reassemble the IP just enough to put it back in the dash and test. Try remaining areas still burned out once more and re-test again. Second failures should be replaced. Reassemble IP completely, install into and reassemble dash. This procedure also works with other backlit assemblies and buttons (wheel controls, etc), however radio lights are a different story - more on that in an upcoming post.

Hope this helps!

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Old 01-18-2005, 05:45 PM   #6
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That is consistent with what the repair center guy told me...incandescent bulbs in the cluster...not LED'* as widely thought. The "hair dryer" fix sounds interesting. I hope it works, but do you risk accidently cooking the board with too much heat?
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Old 01-19-2005, 01:42 PM   #7
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Default Cooking the board...

Most assemblies suitable for soldering are capable of handling over 400 degrees F - most solder melts at 360 to 380 degrees, so you should be fine. Keep an oven or candy thermometer handy and use that as a guide. The board itself is usually fiberglass, like the ones in the PC you are now using to read this, so it is unlikely you will damage that. Be careful, remove as much other plastic as you can and you should be fine.

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