Question about 2002 Oldsmobile Alero

3 Answers

Dash light dimmer

Boosted a friends car two weeks ago. last week dimmer switch will turn on dome light but no interior dash lighting for night driving. Swapped fuse out with different fuse on passenger side fuse box. Lights came back but two days later gone again. Did I fry something? I know of one other person with same model had same prob after boosting a vehicle and was told a sensor was blown and can't be fixed. Not sure if this was the dealer of private mechanic. She may not be able to afford to fix.. I can afford a fix within reason. What am I looking at? Is this hard to track down. Only other electrical prob with this car is the power mirror has never worked, bought car in july2008 about 100000 miles on it all highway

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  • steelerphil Oct 04, 2008

    If it is wiring, how difficult is it to trace the problem? How difficult is it to access the bulb? The manual that came with the car does not show how to get at it.

  • steelerphil Oct 04, 2008

    Will not attempt myself. Just want to know what to ask of mechanic as I'll have to go to dealer. He has already suggested i order a new rheostat and switch, about forty bucks. I'm stuck with the part even if thats not the problem. What should I have them check first after they put in the switch and check the bulb? Under hood fuses? I've read some people had alternator problems that caused weird dash light outage. What the worst case scenario if it's a cluster problem. The lights on the gear shift and dash fourway and radio are all out as well. Radio works but knob lights out. Big bucks? I know , lots of questions but like to be prepared.

  • steelerphil Oct 04, 2008

    Thanks we'll see what they find . I'll repost to see if anyone else out there has the same problem

  • steelerphil Oct 05, 2008

    Any other advice for my problem. Dash dimmer out, gear shift light and radio knobs out(radio works) and four way flasher button on dash out 2004 alero. Interior fuses good. Was okay until I gave somebody a boost and didn't attach the cables pos to pos and neg to grd. I might have fried something. Is there an under the hood fuse that I could have fried?

  • steelerphil Oct 22, 2008

    Problem solved Instrument Panel dimmer module defective. part was 60.00 . Labor about the same.

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  • Master
  • 479 Answers

Yes there is a fuse underhood that could have gone bad please check that.that fuse can also lead this problem.

Posted on Oct 05, 2008

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  • Master
  • 958 Answers

You said after replacing a fuse, the lights went back in.

i suggest you replace the fuse and turn on your parking light.( this turns on your dash lights as well) then look around the car and see if there is a busted bulb on your parking lights. front and rear. this may be the one blowing your fuse and not the dash lights.

all the lights inside are connected to the parking light fuse. the dash, the gear shift lights and radio knobs as well.

let me know what happened.

tnx 4 using fixya,

drcool

Posted on Oct 05, 2008

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 19,396 Answers

Replace the dash light bulb, sometimes filament is broken, but bulb works the same.

If bulb is ok , then is a bad wiring.

Posted on Oct 03, 2008

  • Ginko
    Ginko Oct 04, 2008

    To find out if there is a wiring problem you need to use a tester on the wiring going to the light.

    If you decide to do it by yourself , then it is better to get the complete repair manual, you find it here: Oldsmobile Alero Repair Manual - Haynes - 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 .

  • Ginko
    Ginko Oct 04, 2008

    When it is the alternator, if you keep head lights on , you will see the head lights dimming at the same time.

    Usually, when it is an alternator problem you have more problems than only the dim dashlight.

    If there is no low battery and no problem with the rest of the lights and the rest of the instrument panel does not more show more erratic behaviour, I would exclude alternator problems.

    The best thing to do is having the dash board light checked and replaced, if the problem continue, the mechanic will check the volts at the dash board light contacts and inspect wiring.

    A mechanic can realize immediately if the problem is the alternator, by seeing at a glance if it affects all car lights, then testing voltage out from alternator.
    When the problem is the alternator, often they just need to replace and put in tension the serpentine belt that spins the alternator, only in some case they need to replace the alternator.

    Regards


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