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Old 03-03-2004, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default Instrument Cluster Backlights/ 2000 SSEi

I've lost about half of the backlights on my instrument cluster. I pulled the unit out, cleaned all the contacts, and put it back in with no improvement. Anybody have any idea what might be going on? I'm just about ready to replace the cluster, but I hope there is a better way!

Jim
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Backlights/ 2000 SSEi

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHE757
I've lost about half of the backlights on my instrument cluster. I pulled the unit out, cleaned all the contacts, and put it back in with no improvement. Anybody have any idea what might be going on? I'm just about ready to replace the cluster, but I hope there is a better way!
Pardon a dumb question, but did you test or replace the backlighting bulbs while you had it all apart? Even if they _look_ okay... you know...

Otherwise, you may have a broken trace on the circuit board. If half the lights are still working, you know you have power up to the plug in back, so you need to pull the thing again and follow the traces to each of the offending bulbs, as well as the ground traces leading _away_ from the bulbs.
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Old 03-04-2004, 07:30 PM   #3
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I was told that my cluster uses LED'* that are not replaceable...no bulbs. They are supposed to last forever. I think the problem lies on the board somwehere. First I lost one light, then a few more several days later. Its probably a matter of time until they all go.

I was hoping by pulling the unit out and snapping it back in a few times the problem would fix itself, but no luck.

Jim
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Old 03-05-2004, 11:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHE757
I was told that my cluster uses LED'* that are not replaceable...no bulbs. They are supposed to last forever. I think the problem lies on the board somwehere.
Okay, I'm not familiar with your specific year, but it is true that they've been using sub-mini LEDs for years in the gauge cluster and elsewhere. However, the '93 cluster still used four wedge-base incandescent bulbs (194 or similar) for general backlighting of the main panel, with LEDs filling in the little spots like individual buttons and such, and so I'm assuming that your year also has a few regular bulbs in back. I may be wrong on that.

In any event, if you lost a bunch of them at once, I'd suspect one of the circuit board traces has gone bad. If you're losing them progressively, one or two at a time, then I don't know what to suggest -- your voltage regulator hasn't gone berserk, right?
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:26 PM   #5
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No, I think the VR is OK...at least as far as I know. The 2000+ Bonnevilles went all-LED for the instrument backlighting. They can't be replaced. You have to buy a whole new cluster. It'* a great way to make you spend big-bucks to fix a small problem!
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