Question about 1999 Buick Century

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1999 Buick Century headlights don't work properly

Sometimes the headlights will not work on my 1999 Buick Century unless I hold the dimmer switch up and I am getting the odor of burnt wire coming from the steering column. What is causing this problem and can I remove the steering wheel without deoloying the air bag? Thank you.

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  • Anonymous Dec 29, 2008

    same thing but no smell and its a buick regal

  • Anonymous Jan 16, 2009

    On my 2004 century the headlighs go out while driving. No smell Though??
    Any thoughts?

  • jdent92 Jan 23, 2009

    Same problem i assume. I have to hold the brights on while i'm driving at night. Sometimes, out of the blue, the lights will start working again for a short period of time.

  • Dennis Inman Jan 30, 2009

    Thank you, this information was very helpful in solving my problem. It is really nice of you to help without chargeing which shows what a nice and considerate person you are. Thanks again.

  • thirst Mar 16, 2009

    I have a 2004 Buick Century that has just started doing the same thing so I really appreciate the response from Nitroracer. I had an idea it was the multifunction switch.



    The Haynes manual says you need to remove the steering wheel and airbag to get at the switch. Can you tell me if this is true.



    I'm a pretty good mechanic but I get get concerned when messing around with the airbag and steering wheel.

  • Shingpumps May 19, 2009

    2000 Century with the same thing. Fuses are good. Dim wont come on but holding brights on works. No smell though. Is there anything else I could check? Other than a $200 dolar harness.

  • Anonymous Mar 28, 2014

    How do unplug the wire harness from the steering column on a 1999 silverado 1500 without breaking it?

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Iam an ASE Certified mechanic and i had the same problem with my 99 century and i wasnt able to drive at night. After hours of testing wires we came to the problem. Its the turn signal switch assembly which is tied into the hazard switch on top of the steering column. Its all one piece with a 3 foot long wiring harness attached to it running down the bottom of the steering column and going underneath the dash. The least expensive place i found the part and had it in stock was my local Auto Zone and still the part was $200.00.

P.S. This is a common problem on these GM cars. Mine did the same thing to the tee! The lights will go on and off then they just went off for good and this solved the problem. I guarantee it. If you have any questions please email me i will do all i can to help.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009

  • Jon Stockman Dec 31, 2010

    The same part can be purhased at (auto parts direct to you) just google it for $67 with free shipping. I have bought auto parts from them and their customer service is great.

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Sounds like a wire harness short? Could be dangerous

Posted on Jan 15, 2009

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Is the dimmer switch for the dash lights turned down low ?
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The Buick Century is equipped with a multi-switch. This switch is an all in one switch that controls your cruise control, windshield wipers and turn signals in one switch. This switch also controls dimming and brightening of your headlights. The dimmer switch is simple to replace, and all you need is a phillips head screwdriver to complete the task.

  1. Removing the Steering Column Shroud
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I own a 1999 Buick Regal GSE with 94K miles. I recently noticed that my dashboard lights sometimes come on, and sometimes don't. Sometimes, during the day, if my dashboard lights are on, and I pull out...


In the 99 Regal, the headlamp switch is also the dimmer switch for the instrument cluster.
With the headlights on, try rotating the switch to bring up the "nighttime" intensity.
If the headlight switch has a pre-set dimming function for the instrument cluster lighting (in other words, not adjustible by rotating the knob), then
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See Wiring Schematic below.
Fig.1 - 99 Regal Headlamp switc & Instrument Cluster Lighting
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Then viewed/enlarged in Microsoft Windows Media Player or RealNetworks RealPlayer.

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Sounds like you don't have power to the switch or the auto switch.When you pull on the turn switch you are just flahing the high beams.Almost all gm's will do that.Would try and check fuses or get a wiring digrahm and see were the power comes from to feed the switch.If you work on apliances its about the same.Well good luck

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