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Old 08-14-2015, 05:22 AM   #1
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Default Interior Electrical Problems 97 Olds LSS

Multiple issues, that may be related:

1) When I turn the headlights on or they come on automatically the entire dash goes dark.
2) Remote entry (key fob) only opens trunk.
3) Using the key after locking the car by hand sets off the alarm.
4) Cruise control quit.
5) A/C Blower is weak.

So far I have:
1. Replaced the interior light dimmer/headlight control switch.
2. Replaced the lamp control module (under the steering wheel)
3. Replaced the MALL control module (under the glove box)
4. Searched the internet for HOURS and hours.
5. Beat my head against the wall repeatedly.

I have found multiple references to the disappearing dash lights but NO solutions at all. Somewhere I read something that connected all of these problems together, but now I can't find it.

Please please help!
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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1) When I turn the headlights on or they come on automatically the entire dash goes dark.

OK, it'* night time......your car is running....your lights automatically come on....the dash is dark....if you now, MANUALLY turn on the headlights, and use the dimmer switch, does the dash intensity change? Or does only the radio, HVAC, and console(if you have one) change?

2) Remote entry (key fob) only opens trunk.

Do you have another key fob to try?


3) Using the key after locking the car by hand sets off the alarm.

What do you mean by hand?

On my wife'* car, if I lock the vehicle by pressing the power lock switch, and then close the door, if I unlock the vehicle with my key or fob, no alarm.....however, if I lock the vehicle with my fob, and then later unlock with my key, the alarm goes off(normal)....it will continue to blow the horn until I install the key in the ignition and turn it on...


4) Cruise control quit.

Do you have your cruise control switches on the steering wheel?


5) A/C Blower is weak.

Do you hear/feel the blower speeds change for each position of speed? Is this auto temp or manual?


So far I have:
1. Replaced the interior light dimmer/headlight control switch.
2. Replaced the lamp control module (under the steering wheel)
3. Replaced the MALL control module (under the glove box)

I assume all the idiot lights and indicators come on in the dash(BAT, CE light, ABS, etc.), it'* just the backlit illumination that doesn't work? It'* quite possible a dash problem, or there is no power to the dash for illumination....

4. Searched the internet for HOURS and hours.

I have too....still can't find the correct numbers for Mega Millions...


5. Beat my head against the wall repeatedly.

Should not do that....could get a headache....

I have found multiple references to the disappearing dash lights but NO solutions at all. Somewhere I read something that connected all of these problems together, but now I can't find it.

I have the same problem with my keys.....
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:46 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=Tech II;1614687]1) When I turn the headlights on or they come on automatically the entire dash goes dark.

OK, it'* night time......your car is running....your lights automatically come on....the dash is dark....if you now, MANUALLY turn on the headlights, and use the dimmer switch, does the dash intensity change? Or does only the radio, HVAC, and console(if you have one) change?

No, it doesn't change. Manual or Auto makes no difference. You are correct, the idiot lights are on. Oddly the Odometer and PRNDL light glow slightly but do not change in intensity when I dial up or down on the interior lighting dial. May be just radiating from the idiot lights.

2) Remote entry (key fob) only opens trunk.

Do you have another key fob to try? Yes, but I couldn't get it to work either. I've never used it, so it may not even be 'linked' to the car'* system.

3) Using the key after locking the car by hand sets off the alarm.

What do you mean by hand?

On my wife'* car, if I lock the vehicle by pressing the power lock switch, and then close the door, if I unlock the vehicle with my key or fob, no alarm.....however, if I lock the vehicle with my fob, and then later unlock with my key, the alarm goes off(normal)....it will continue to blow the horn until I install the key in the ignition and turn it on...

By hand I mean pressing the switch. And the alarm doesn't go off when I turn the key, it just eventually times out. (Thus I disconnected the horn.)


4) Cruise control quit.

Do you have your cruise control switches on the steering wheel?

Controls are on the stick with the wiper controls and bright headlight switch. (Both of which work).


5) A/C Blower is weak.

Do you hear/feel the blower speeds change for each position of speed? Is this auto temp or manual?

Auto or manual. I know for sure I heard it the other day but the difference was minimal. My dad thinks compressor may be getting weak, but I through this symptom in because all of this stuff is sort of happening at once.


So far I have:
1. Replaced the interior light dimmer/headlight control switch.
2. Replaced the lamp control module (under the steering wheel)
3. Replaced the MALL control module (under the glove box)

I assume all the idiot lights and indicators come on in the dash(BAT, CE light, ABS, etc.), it'* just the backlit illumination that doesn't work? It'* quite possible a dash problem, or there is no power to the dash for illumination....

Yes, I think you are correct about the backlit only.

Of possible note: The drivers floorboard is sometimes wet after a hard and lengthy rain. It'* been happening for years and I haven't found the source. It'* so rare I just clean it up. But maybe water has corroded something. I understand there is a cluster of wires in the door frame by the emergency brake. I plan to look at that tomorrow.

Thanks for your questions, I hope my answers make sense.
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Old 08-15-2015, 03:07 PM   #4
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1. Obviously, when you use your dimmer switch at night, the dash does not get brighter or darker......but what happens to the illumination of your radio and HVAC head? Does the illumination change with the dimmer switch?

2. The fact that the trunk opens means your receiver is receiving a signal......could have a bad keyless entry fob....you can go to any GM dealer Parts Dept., and they can easily test your fob to see if that is the problem...

3. the alarm should go off, when you put the key in the ignition and start the car....you shouldn't be driving a vehicle without a horn, it is dangerous....

Do you happen to know if this vehicle has any after market device attached to it, like an alarm or remote start?

4. If cruise control is part of the multifunction control, then that will be a little involved as far as diagnosis goes....but one of the first places I would check is the brake switch to see if it is out of adjustment....also check to make sure the center stop light is working(both bulbs)....

5. The compressor has nothing to do with blower speed......do you have auto temp or manual? Put the blower on low...feel anything out of the register? Now on high.....good strong flow? You can do this with the key on, engine off....just to listen to the blower motor....if you hear the blower motor go faster as you go through the ranges, but there is no air flow, then the evaporator could be clogged with dirt or debris....does you mode switch work ok? In other words, when you command defrost, does it blow on the windshield? When you command heat, does it blow at your feet? When you command vent, does it come out of the registers?

6. The fact that your floor is wet, and this has been going on for some time, means you could have a corrosion problem at soldered joints or ground problems,,,,,there are a lot of wires/connections, under the carpet......
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Old 08-15-2015, 05:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech II View Post
1. Obviously, when you use your dimmer switch at night, the dash does not get brighter or darker......but what happens to the illumination of your radio and HVAC head? Does the illumination change with the dimmer switch?

Sorry I'm not being clear. When the headlights come on, either manually or automatically, the ENTIRE dash goes dark, including the radio and HVAC panel. The only lights that still work are any red warning (idiot) lights. The odometer and PRNDL glow slightly, but I think that'* a reflection because during the day they just go dark.

2. The fact that the trunk opens means your receiver is receiving a signal......could have a bad keyless entry fob....you can go to any GM dealer Parts Dept., and they can easily test your fob to see if that is the problem...

Good idea, I'll take it by there.

3. the alarm should go off, when you put the key in the ignition and start the car....you shouldn't be driving a vehicle without a horn, it is dangerous....

Yes, I agree about the horn. This is my every day car and I have to go to work, so it'* either honk as I go down the road or disconnect the thing. I feel like this is tied to the remote entry thing, somehow, because that is how the alarm can be set.

Do you happen to know if this vehicle has any after market device attached to it, like an alarm or remote start?

No aftermarkets.

4. If cruise control is part of the multifunction control, then that will be a little involved as far as diagnosis goes....but one of the first places I would check is the brake switch to see if it is out of adjustment....also check to make sure the center stop light is working(both bulbs)....

Hmm. Brake switch? Haven't been there.

We have checked tail lights and brake lights, in every possible scenario with the headlights (on/off, auto, manual, day night). They are all working as they should.

5. The compressor has nothing to do with blower speed......do you have auto temp or manual? Put the blower on low...feel anything out of the register? Now on high.....good strong flow? You can do this with the key on, engine off....just to listen to the blower motor....if you hear the blower motor go faster as you go through the ranges, but there is no air flow, then the evaporator could be clogged with dirt or debris....does you mode switch work ok? In other words, when you command defrost, does it blow on the windshield? When you command heat, does it blow at your feet? When you command vent, does it come out of the registers?

I never have a good strong flow. No do I hear it "power up" as it should. I can mostly control the vents, although sometimes it just takes over and blows out the defrost instead of the vents. (We have checked the servo, repeatedly, as this is a known problem, but it seems fine.)

My dad mentioned the compressor because it doesn't seem to take the freon as it should (not enough?). He filled it up, according to the gauges, but it barely gets cool.

My husband has already checked the evaporator, no problems there.

I read *somewhere* that the blower can be connected to other electrical issues. I don't know.

6. The fact that your floor is wet, and this has been going on for some time, means you could have a corrosion problem at soldered joints or ground problems,,,,,there are a lot of wires/connections, under the carpet......
Yep, I am getting ready to take all that apart and look for problems.

Thanks! You are all being so patient with me, I know you probably think I'm a dumb broad, but I did grow up around an auto repair shop, and do have engine mechanics involved here. But none that specialize in 'electrical issues'. We are all learning about things we never really wanted to know.

Last edited by cidi; 08-15-2015 at 05:32 PM.
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