: Help: my panel lights go off with the headlights on



Jed95fwb
03-25-07, 10:21 PM
Hi,

My 1995 Fleetwood Brougham has a problem. When I turn on the headlights, the digital instrument panel, radio, and climate control panel go blank. Everything works, but no lights come on. Everything is fine with the headlights off. I checked the fuses and it appears none of them are bad. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a similar problem and would know what to do.

Thanks,
Jed

Old Fleetwood
03-26-07, 09:23 PM
That sounds suspiciously like a problem I had when I first got my 1995 FWB back in may of 2006. The dealer in Torrington, CT finally traced it to a "fix" that somebody had done by cutting a wire in the trunk leading to the body control module.
The worst part of finding the problem was that it was an intermittent since the wire was clipped but not even fully separated and insulated.
Like all the lawyers say, "I can't guarantee that's your problem. . .etc."

jayoldschool
03-27-07, 08:57 AM
The first check is to simply turn up the dimmer wheel. I know this seems obvious, but your symptoms seem to point to the dimmer being off.

devilock76
03-27-07, 10:29 AM
The first check is to simply turn up the dimmer wheel. I know this seems obvious, but your symptoms seem to point to the dimmer being off.

I concur, often times dash light issues can be traced to the light switch itself. Be thankful, it is easier to deal with that then tracing it to a single bulb. Same thing happened on my 73 Dart, The nice thing about that car is it is possible to remove the instrument panel without pulling the steering wheel.

Ken

Jed95fwb
03-28-07, 03:03 PM
People have been telling me it's the headlight switch. The dimmer knob does nothing when i turn it other than turning the dome lights on when it is clicked in the "on" position. It makes sense because the pael lights work when the headlights are off and when they're on, all the instruments, including radio and climate contrl go blank. I have ordered a new headlight switch. It is $170. (ouch) I hope it fixes the problem. By the way, how do you get the Headlight switch assembly out on a 95 Fleetwood?

devilock76
03-28-07, 04:01 PM
People have been telling me it's the headlight switch. The dimmer knob does nothing when i turn it other than turning the dome lights on when it is clicked in the "on" position. It makes sense because the pael lights work when the headlights are off and when they're on, all the instruments, including radio and climate contrl go blank. I have ordered a new headlight switch. It is $170. (ouch) I hope it fixes the problem. By the way, how do you get the Headlight switch assembly out on a 95 Fleetwood?

Not sure on your car, like I said only did the job on a '73 dart. Basically on the dart I had to open up the instrument panel (made access easier as it is not in the instrument panel on that car. There is a retaining bolt on the back, one on the front as well I think under a cover. Seriously, might be a job to pick up the Haynes or Chilton manual for just to be safe as you will be in there with the wiring harness. Just remember to disconnect the battery before you start.

Ken

jayoldschool
03-28-07, 06:15 PM
Have you checked the fuses??? There is likely a fuse for instrument panel lighting.

DON'T pay 170 for that switch. You will be able to get a used one for waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less. The guys over on the impala SS forum will have one for you - someone is always parting a car.

devilock76
03-29-07, 08:46 AM
Have you checked the fuses??? There is likely a fuse for instrument panel lighting.

DON'T pay 170 for that switch. You will be able to get a used one for waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less. The guys over on the impala SS forum will have one for you - someone is always parting a car.

Based on his description of the problem I find it very hard to believe if not impossible it would be a fuse. I am saying this since the lights work till he turns on the headlight. The switch is usually the most likely culprit in that case. If he has a fuse that was intermittently going then he wouldn't see it and really that is very unlikely based on the conditions. I mean maybe switch a fuse and try it but I doubt it.

The next possibility is more intensive as it is a problem in the wiring harness behind the dash.

Ken

BCs71
03-29-07, 01:05 PM
Email or call Dal in Ohio, he sells GM parts for VERY cheap and is kind on shipping.
phone: 877-448-5451

email: lockitup@bright.net

He should be able to beat $170, that sounds like a lot of a dealer mark-up.

danomac
03-29-07, 09:18 PM
My 81 DeVille does this from time to time and (so far) tapping the dimmer control *just* the right way brings it back. I know I'll have to replace it soon, but I'm not worried for now.

You could possibly check it with a multimeter (I know mine is just a rheostat) to see if it is working. It should vary the resistance when you turn the knob.

Jed95fwb
03-30-07, 01:56 PM
I replaced the headlight switch and it didn't help the matter. The panel lights still go off when the headlights are turned on. I did check the diagnosic via the climate control and came back with a code of 141. This translates to "Delay pot circuit open or shorted to battery." I also noticed that when I unplug the fuse for the cornering lights, the panel lights go back to working. I guess this means there is a wire that goes to the headlights/panel lights that is shorted somewhere, likely to the cornering lights. Tomorrow I'm going to have to track that wire down. Any tips?

z06bigbird
04-01-07, 12:20 PM
Headlight switch.

Ed

devilock76
04-02-07, 09:35 AM
I replaced the headlight switch and it didn't help the matter. The panel lights still go off when the headlights are turned on. I did check the diagnosic via the climate control and came back with a code of 141. This translates to "Delay pot circuit open or shorted to battery." I also noticed that when I unplug the fuse for the cornering lights, the panel lights go back to working. I guess this means there is a wire that goes to the headlights/panel lights that is shorted somewhere, likely to the cornering lights. Tomorrow I'm going to have to track that wire down. Any tips?

I hope that short isn't in the column. Just more of a pain to deal with. Do you have auto lights on that car?

Ken

Jed95fwb
04-03-07, 08:54 AM
I do have auto lights, twilight sentinel with delay

devilock76
04-03-07, 09:25 AM
I do have auto lights, twilight sentinel with delay

Have you tried messing with the sentinal controls, maybe disabling them and see if that has an effect.

Ken

Jed95fwb
04-04-07, 08:39 AM
Guess What, Old Fleetwood,

It was a wire that was not plugged all the way into the control module in the trunk.

it was also the headlight switch. When i plugged the wire in, everything worked, but the twilight sentinel would not turn off. It works fine now with the new switch module.

Thanks to everyone for helping me

Jed

Brother_B
04-04-07, 10:59 PM
Since you had already replaced the switch, does that mean your replacement switch was screwed up the same way the original one was? If so, do you know what was wrong with it - and where did you get it so we can avoid that place for headlight switches?

Old Fleetwood
04-05-07, 08:43 PM
Jed95
This makes me wonder what the hell made the original owner cut the wire in the trunk of MY car in the first place. Yet the wire wasn't cut all the way through so that the fault was a damn INTERMITTENT which made the problem so much harder to trace.
I guess I was just lucky to stumble into that dealer in Torrington, CT which had such a great recommendation on other BBs.(decent prices, the only one in the state competent to work on Northstars, etc.) but the tech spent nearly an hour crawling in, under and out of the car.
The wiring diagram gives NO CLUE !

demjjm
06-24-07, 11:23 PM
I am having this same problem with an 02 escalade. When I turn on the headlights the dash and all acc. lights stop working, rather than going into the dimmed night time mode. The only difference on my situation was when it first happened the 10amp fuse was blown. I replaced the fuse and all was well for 1/2 a night. When we left our destination to return home, I had the same problem except this time, my fuse was not blown. Any suggestions????? How do I test the headlight switch?

demjjm
06-26-07, 01:25 PM
Well after getting no answers, and since the headlight switch was only $75 from Cadillac, I went ahead and replaced it and so far the problem seems solved, although I only tested it a few times in daylight, by manually turning the lights on and off, but everything worked, the dash lit up and dimmed fine, and no fuses blew.

demjjm
06-27-07, 10:26 AM
Scratch the previous post, the fuse blew again last night, I believe I have a short somewhere.