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Old 03-18-2012, 03:14 AM
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2006 Silverado dash lights out how to replace them?

I just got myself a "new" truck - a 2006 Silverado 3500 Duramax 4X4

Quite a few of the dash lights (and the ones in the factory stereo and the HVAC controls and (etc) .....) are U/S

Looking on line and checking with dealer - they want to replace the entire dash cluster at a cost of $400.00 or so

Seems the "bulbs" are soldered in and are a part of the overall electronic package. I have also seen some reference to them (potentially) being soldered-in LEDs as opposed to bulbs

Multi-part Q:
Should I try to tackle this myself?
I have seen on-line instructions about how to put in LEDs to replace bulbs, but the article noted that dimming the dash lights would no longer be possible
Should I just put in LEDs anyway (Assuming that I can tackle the whole disassembly and soldering of delicate parts issues anyway!)

Should I just carry a flashlight to see the dash?

And what the bleep was GM thinking when they came up with a dash design where you cannot change a freakin' light bulb?

(and - as an aside - how come so many are U/S on my '06 when they were ALL still working fine on the 400,000 mile '92 that this one replaces?)

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Old 03-27-2012, 07:45 PM
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They are soldered to the printed cicuit board. There not real hard to replace.
Be sure to wear a static ground strap while handling the board and when soldering/unsoldering.Perform all soldering/repair on the static matt that you will need to use.Radio shack has them for 25 bucks.
Bulbs can be bought from a few E Bay guys, just look around.
I have also replaced the stepper motors for the gauges.Its all soldering work....so. bone up on the soldering skills.
There are places that repair them just pull it and send them in.
The hardest part about replacing the stepper motors is if you dont have a scanner(like mine) to activate the gauge to say for instance... half scale so you can properly calibrate/install the indicator needle.Replacing the bulbs requires soldering only.
The HVAC head has the same bulbs also.They too need to be soldered.
Be careful trying to get the HVAC control apart, you have to pull the knobs off to split it open, sometimes a few guts come out when you do...
The sliders will be the most trouble.

Last edited by latech; 03-27-2012 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:07 PM
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What does U/S mean?

Don't get confused by logic.
GM could have used LEDS for about a $1 per vehicle but then how would they get you back to the dealer and charge you 4x more for work after the warranty expires.
By the time the engine wears out you will have replaced the dash 4 times.
They think that promotes product loyalty.

vicrod
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:06 PM
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U/s

U/S is "unserviceable"
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latech
They are soldered to the printed cicuit board. There not real hard to replace.
Be sure to wear a static ground strap while handling the board and when soldering/unsoldering.Perform all soldering/repair on the static matt that you will need to use.Radio shack has them for 25 bucks.
Bulbs can be bought from a few E Bay guys, just look around.
I have also replaced the stepper motors for the gauges.Its all soldering work....so. bone up on the soldering skills.
There are places that repair them just pull it and send them in.
The hardest part about replacing the stepper motors is if you dont have a scanner(like mine) to activate the gauge to say for instance... half scale so you can properly calibrate/install the indicator needle.Replacing the bulbs requires soldering only.
The HVAC head has the same bulbs also.They too need to be soldered.
Be careful trying to get the HVAC control apart, you have to pull the knobs off to split it open, sometimes a few guts come out when you do...
The sliders will be the most trouble.
Luckily (if that's "Lucky") there are no sliders. Mine has the two rotary knobs (one for passenger, one for driver) so each can set their own temperature. Push buttons for turn on/off the A/C, defrost, rear defog (and mirror heaters with same button) turn on "auto climate control", adjust fan speed, etc etc

About half of THOSE are out too, as are the ones behind the buttons for the 2wd, 4wd, 4wd-low range etc. All of the ones on the steering wheel are out, most of the ones on the stereo are out as well.

I'm thinking that a buddy builds computers and also builds Ham radios and other electronic stuff, so I'll ask him to do the soldering for me. I think I'll go for LEDs behind all the buttons, (so they last "forever"!) but I'll stay with bulbs (so I can dim them) in the gauges, but LEDs for all the indicator lights (parking brake, seat belt, airbags, glow plugs, yada, yada. yada - I think there is about a "zillion" of those, too!)
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:41 PM
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I would go with bulbs myself, i like the dimming. I might also look around for a colored bulb, if I could find some with th same mounting leads and wattage size etc. Could be a cool custom look.
Keep in mind that you will need to remove the gauge needles to get the cluster apart to replace the bulbs. Reinstalling them after the repair will require a few things, either a scanner that will move the gauge to a position that you can then install the needle upon so it correlates correctly to the actual reading to be displayed, or you get to take a stab at it and run the engine and put them on in the spot you know they are correct.
You want the fuel gauge to read full if it is, if it is not and you just put the needle on it will never be correct.the same with all the rest of the gauges.
engine temp can be verfied with a infrared temp gun, fuel gauge with a full tank,oil pressure, verify with a mechanical gauge,rpm s verify with a stand alone tach . Get the Idea?
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