02 Suburban dash lights are out, kinda'

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by KidHauler, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. KidHauler

    KidHauler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    My wife's 02 burb loses dash lights when you turn the running lights on. No guage lights, no radio lights, nothing normally controlled by the dimmer. When you roll the dimmer all the way up to the dome lights, then the guages come on.

    Is it just as simple as a bad switch, or am I a victom of having to replace the guage cluster?

  2. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    If your '02 is like my '09, the dash lights are on in the day time, whenever the key is on. In the day time, the dash light "dimmer" has no effect on the dash lights.

    Turn on the outside lights (switch, or auto) and the dash lights should be on, and should be controllable using the "dimmer" knob.

    If you can not control the dash light brightness with the "dimmer" knob, but they work normally otherwise, the switch assembly is probably bad.
  3. KidHauler

    KidHauler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Thank you, Ray.
    This 02 doesn't have an "auto" setting on the switch, but does have drl and automatic head lights (sensor on the dash). I defeated the auto headlights some time back, by adding a resister, that I read about on the net. The headlights are still controlled by the switch, and not the auto sensor, which is what I expect them to do. When I get the truck back long enough, I'll pull that out and see if that has any effect. We lurk around a bit, and I hated not being able to control the headlights.

    I recently added a plugnplay harness for the brake controller, which I unplugged to see if that had something to do with it - nope.

    When I told our mechanic, he said that the cluster is bad. The dash lights dropping out are one of the signs, which is why I'm asking. I still can't wrap my head around bcm's, lcm's, pcm's... my old truck had six wires and worked great.

    Thanks again,
  4. Kady

    Kady Epic Member 5+ Years GMTC Chick 100 Posts

    I don't see why the cluster would be bad if the dimmer turns it on... My guess would be the dimmer switch, maybe its worn and only is on or off.

    By the way, you didn't necessarily have to get the resistor for the auto headlights, they can be easily shut off by pressing "Dome Override" 4 times in a row within 10 seconds.
  5. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I've never had the switch assembly out; but it shouldn't be too difficult, when you get it out, it should be easy to test.

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