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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Radio lights dimming

Has anyone experienced the radio and dash lights going almost all the way off/ dim and then later back to normal?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 08:19 PM
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Not since my 1987 Pontiac Acadian after I tried to swap the AM radio for one in my BIL Mazda 3. Couldn't get it to work so reinstalled the original but after that the lights dimmed every time the car started or the doors were opened. Pretty sure it was my electrical error somewhere. Became just a interesting quirk for the car...

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by snkhill55 View Post
Has anyone experienced the radio and dash lights going almost all the way off/ dim and then later back to normal?
You aren't inadvertently moving the dimmer are you? I ask because I have.

When does it happen? And, is it an abrupt change or a gradual one?

The radio brightness is controlled through the low-speed GM LAN, and the instrument lights are controlled by a BCM output, so the change has to be "intentional".

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 09:35 PM
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Take your left knee cap away from the dash....
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 09:49 PM
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Dimmer switch probably going. Happened on our old Saturn L200. Replaced that and everything was normal again.

Rob
07 Sky Redline
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by snkhill55 View Post
Has anyone experienced the radio and dash lights going almost all the way off/ dim and then later back to normal?
Mine has done this maybe 1/20 trips, usually in the morning. I've noticed it will get bright again if I'm in the shade and leaving (like at a light or stop sign with traffic). Maybe something to do with the automatic light sensor in the dash? I believe turning off auto lights and turning them back to auto will make the dash/radio lighting go to what you set the dimmer to.

Sometimes I get a TPMS related error too, yet the tire readings work. Very occasionally I get a warning that the airbag system is disabled. For that I just turn the car off for 15 seconds, and it goes away.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 04:39 AM
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When it's sunny and you get some sort of shade on the light sensor the panel dims out. If the ambient light is still bright and especially with the top down I feel that the panel and radio lights dims out a little bit too much. It seems that the manual dimmer cant override the automatic dimming which I think it should. Well, I guess you just have to get used to it, I dont think this is due to some error in the electrical system or the computers.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:06 AM
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The automatic light sensor triggers one of two modes in the lighting circuit: Headlights on, and headlights off.

When the headlights are off, the DIC and radio are set to full brightness, and the dimmer switch has no effect on them. The instrument lights may be on or off, but both of mine are off. There was a change made at some point to make them easier to see.

When the headlights are on, the DIC and radio are placed under control of the dimmer, but the maximum brightness they can be set to is about 50% of the daytime level. he instrument lights are on, and also controlled by the dimmer.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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No, I know what some are saying about hitting the dimmer with your knee, but that's not it. The switch itself maybe going bad.....
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:05 PM
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Mine does the same thing. If I turn the head lights off the radio and dash go bright. Looks like it has to do with day light sensor as mentioned. PITA!! Often very difficult to see radio or DIC.

2007 Silver/Red Sky Redline
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Huff View Post
Mine does the same thing. If I turn the head lights off the radio and dash go bright. Looks like it has to do with day light sensor as mentioned. PITA!! Often very difficult to see radio or DIC.
If I need to see either one I turn the auto lights off, then back on to get the DRLs back. It is mostly a subconscious move by now.

John
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