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I have a 1998 saturn and i put in a new stereo all wires are connected and working fine but the power antennae isnt hooked up neither is the orange illumination wire when i hooked the illumination wire to the ground cable lights were on but brightened up to max when i pushed the brake and my third brake light stays on all the time so i unhooked it but have no dash lights anymore

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  • 8,274 Answers

Hi, not sure what model you have, but you can get the factory wire colors here: http://www.modifiedlife.com/request-a-saturn-car-radio-stereo-wiring-diagram/
page down to select your model.

It sounds like you tapped into the brake light wire rather than the illumination wire. Also, there should be an antenna wire in the car if you have a retractable antenna. Did you purchase a GM connector with the new steroe to wire it in?

Posted on Mar 12, 2011

  • 19 more comments 
  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    the orange wire says illumination i can get lights if i ground it to the chassis or radio ground wire but it does get brighter when i touch the brakes idk if its sending too much power or what to the illum wire. i can get some lights if i touch the wire to the ignition wire on my stereo its a red one but it doesnt light up when the switch is on only when its off.

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    the orange wire should connect to the car's dash illumination circuit--usually a grey wire on the Saturn, but you should check the colors at the link above for your model.

  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    i tried hooking it to the power antenna seeing as i dont have one and it didnt work :( and yes i did use a gm connector that i got at walmart it doesnt have the illumination wire though

  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    the orange wire comes out of my car as if it should connect to a wire on my stereo i see no grey wire

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    OK, no the power antenna wire will not work for illumination. Not sure why the Walmart adapter didn't have all the wires. what model saturn do you have?

  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    its a 1998 saturn sl

  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    if it helps my locks wont lock or unlock with the remote

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    OK, here are your factory wire colors. If the orange wire was not connected thru the walmart pigtail, connect it directly to the car's gray wire. I don't think door locks are related. Does the trunk open with the remote? May need a new battery in the remote.

    1998 Saturn SL Car Audio Wiring Diagram

    Car Radio Battery Constant 12v+ Wire: Orange
    Car Radio Accessory Switched 12v+ Wire: Yellow
    Car Radio Ground Wire: Black
    Car Radio Illumination Wire: Gray
    Car Stereo Dimmer Wire: Brown
    Car Stereo Antenna Trigger Wire: N/A
    Car Stereo Amp Trigger Wire: N/A
    Car Stereo Amplifier Location: N/A
    Car Audio Front Speakers Size: 6 1/2′ Speakers
    Car Audio Front Speakers Location: Doors
    Left Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): Tan
    Left Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Gray
    Right Front Speaker Positive Wire (+): Light Green
    Right Front Speaker Negative Wire (-): Dark Green
    Car Audio Rear Speakers Size: 6 1/2′ Speakers
    Car Audio Rear Speakers Location: Rear Deck
    Left Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): Brown
    Left Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Yellow
    Right Rear Speaker Positive Wire (+): Dark Blue
    Right Rear Speaker Negative Wire (-): Light Blue

  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    where would i find the gray wire? the wires are coming out of my car not the stereo my batt. constant is yellow but i know what each wire is i actually just found the same diagram but it didnt help the stereo has nowhere for the car wire to hook. i think the gray wire in this diagram is the orange wire im asking about

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    Oops, my bad. What stereo do you have?

  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    its a dual xhdr6435

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    here are the standard aftermarket wire colors. Does your stereo have an orange wire?




    • Yellow - Constant +12 volts this is for holding the station preset info

    • Red - Swithched +12 volts from ignition this is to power the stereo

    • Black - Ground ditto--goes to the chassis or harness ground

    • Blue and Blue with White Stripe - Amplifier and Antenna Triggers not used on your car


    • Orange and Orange with White Stripe - Illumination and Dimmer for Back Lights on Car Stereo

    below are speakers


    • White - Front Left (+) Positive
      White with Black Stripe - Front Left (-) Negative

    • Gray - Front Right (+) Positive
      Gray with Black Stripe - Front Right (-) Negative

    • Green - Rear Left (+) Positive
      Green with Black Stripe - Rear Left (-) Negative

    • Violet - Rear Right (+) Positive
      Violet with Black Stripe - Rear Right (-) Negative.

  • man hammer Mar 12, 2011

    it has all those except for the orange one otherwise i would have hooked the wires up with no problem :(

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    thanks, I can't seem to access the manual. Does it have the standard color wires I listed?

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    OK, so the crazy thing has no lights at all or are they on all the time?

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    OK, I have the manual now and I see the problem. I think in these units, they leave some lights on all the time and the rest come on when you turn on the unit. There is no way to dim them thru the dash dimmer. They save a bit of copper and Dual is into cost cutting. You'll just have to tape up that orange wire from the car, sorry. So do the lights come on when you turn it on?

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 12, 2011

    actually, there in an internal dimmer in the head unit you can control it with the remote. Do you see that on page 7 of the manual?

  • man hammer Mar 13, 2011

    sorry man my dad took his computer and mines down for right now ill have it all day tomorrow. um the dash lights never come on at all. the head units lights come on no problem. i see where the internal dimmer is on the stereo. you have an idea in mind? my old stereo had an orange wire so i had no problem til this new one :(

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 13, 2011

    OK, sorry I was not listening very well. So the stereo is not really the problem then, right? We just need to get your dash lights working? Since you have been grounding that orange wire, the fuse is probably burned or the wire has burned up. Let me look up the wiring diagram to see what I can figure out.

  • Jeff Turcotte
    Jeff Turcotte Mar 13, 2011

    You realize all this time I've been trying to get your head unit lights to work instead of the dash lights--man am I a dimwit or what--sorry.



    There is a 10 amp PARK fuse that runs the tail lights. I don't know for sure, but this fuse usually runs the dash lights as well. If your tail lights work, the problem is likely the dimmer knob. What I would do it trace the orange wire back to the dimmer knob and remove or at least make sure it isn't shorting somewhere. If that doesn't restore the dash lights, I would either test or replace the dimmer. Unfortunately those suckers are $50 at autozone, but I bet you can get one at a salvage yard for a lot less. First make sure you have power at the dimmer when the parking lights are on. Use a 12 volt test light or voltmeter to check. If you have an ohmmeter, take the dimmer out and check the resistance across the terminals. I see there are 3 terminals. Try each pair of terminals. On one pair, the resistance should be low--like a few ohms, and it should change when you turn the knob. If it does, the dimmer is OK and the problem is the wiring. Let me know what you find out, and we'll go from there.

  • man hammer Mar 13, 2011

    its fine man :) i figured thats what you were doing i probably should have explained it a little better on my end. ill spend time today tracing and ill post later and let you know what i get thanks alot youve given me more help than any other site ive visited in the last month :D

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