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Old 09-29-2003, 03:07 AM
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Dash lights fade in and out

Hey guys, I'm still new here and I have a question that doesn't quite relate to hot rodding. My girlfriend drives a 97 Olds Cutlass Supreme, and the dash lights are having some issues. When we turn on the lights, they will try to come on, sometimes they do, but more often than not, they just go out completely. I can imagine that the answer to my problem is in a past thread, but due to the danger involved, I really need an answer to my problem. None of the other lights are effected by this, so I'm not sure where else I should look. I thought it might be a fuse that was blown but still arcing across (if this is even possible), but I can't find the fuse for dash lights, at least I can't find one id'd for dash lights in the block inside the passenger door. Any help is very welcome. Thankg alot guys.

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Old 09-29-2003, 03:25 AM
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First thing I would do is have the battery checked and the alternator checked. Sitting it might be enough to start but running it might be draining.

Kevin
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Old 09-29-2003, 04:16 AM
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The car itself runs fine and we don't have any trouble with other lights or electrical components. I've also wondered if maybe I have a loose wire somewhere that is just kinda making contact.
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Old 09-29-2003, 05:27 AM
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Seeing that the only thing effected is the dash lights,then I would suspect the dimmer switch.I have seen this alot with late model GMs.
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Old 09-29-2003, 07:57 AM
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I wondered if I could just replace the switch and be done with it. I'm gonna hit O'Rielly's today and pick a new one up.
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Old 09-29-2003, 07:42 PM
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$$$$$

Okay, I went to O'Rielly's today and they want $72. for a freaking headlight switch. I passed for the moment, and on the way home got to thinking, the dimmer switch control is seperate from the headlight switch, I haven't looked because the gf is at work, but are these two seperate switches and if so, which one prolly needs replaced?
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Old 09-30-2003, 07:03 AM
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I'ld go with the dimmer.
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Old 09-30-2003, 03:03 PM
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I'm not very bright when it comes to electronics, but if the dimmer is bad would the interior lights still come on when I roll it all the way up, or is that on a seperate circuit?
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Old 10-01-2003, 08:37 AM
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The interior light will stiil come on because at the end of the stroke it makes a solid contact with the contact points. When you move the dimmer the contact point moves on a thin strip of I guess you can call it spring steel. Heat causes the strip to warp so it doesn't make a good contact. With the lights on move the dimmer wheel up & down (not the direction of operation). If the lights get brighter or dimmer when you do this the dimmer is shot. It's kind of tough to explain so I hope this helps
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Old 10-01-2003, 11:57 AM
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The dimmer could also be oxidized, the dimmer consists of a wiper arm and a wire wound resistor, the wiper moves a contact along the resistor to adjust the voltage to the lights. As stated the interior lights go to the end of the resistor and make contact with a different circuit, usually with a noticeable click. If you push the dimmer in and out and it breaks contact the wiper is loose. This can be caused by wear of the material (some have a small carbon brush) or as stated heat. Also dirt or oxidation on the resistor will cause the same problem. See if you can find a good contact cleaner (not WD40) and spray the dimmer first. After you spray it move the knob back and forth, this helps clean the contact surfaces. It should clear up your problem.

Regards
Mark
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Old 10-02-2003, 08:27 PM
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Can anyone recommend a good non conductive cleaner that leaves no residue? Thanx for any help
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