My fathers 1992 Riviera has developed an intermittent dash light
problem. Every now and then the dash display will go completely blank
for a second or two then come back on. At times it will cycle on and
off for several minutes, other times it will go days/weeks working
Another thing we noticed is that the dash light dimmer switch seems to
be inoperative, that is sliding the dash dimmer switch back and forth
does nothing, no brightness control whatsoever. This problem is not
intermittent and is constant. He never uses the dash light dimmer
function, so it's not something we noticed until the dash light problem.
Note, the dash display goes blank no matter which position the dimmer
switch is in also. Could these problems be caused by a faulty headlamp
switch? Since the headlamp switch is pricey, I don't want to replace it
if it's not the problem. Is there a way to check the switch to see if
it's faulty? Anything else I should check?
Any help and/or suggestions would be appreciated,
Thanks for the reply Mike. Was that the pricey "Headlamp Switch w/Auto
Control"? GM wants ~$170.00US for it and ~$106.00US at AutoZone, ouch.
Is there a way to check the existing switch to make sure it's defective?
Since electrical part purchases are not refundable, I'd hate to get
stuck with a switch I don't need.
My headlamp switch was around $50 at the dealer. I think list is somewhere
around $75. Mine was a '98 Regal so the switch might be different than
yours. I didn't ohm mine at all when I took it out so I can't offer any
advice on checking yours. On the Regal, the lights are automatic with DRL.
The headlight switch is dashmounted, not on the column. Don't know if
that's the same as yours. I guess about the best I can offer to you is that
the headlight switch is a pretty common failure that results in no dash
One thing you might try that worked for me to identify my problem is to
whack on the dashboard immediately above the switch while the problem is
occurring. Or - whack the headlight switch itself. I could do both and
make my dash lights work until the switch finally got to a point that the
dashlights would never work. I could also get them to work in the early
failure stages, by twisting the headlight switch in the manner of turning
the dash light level up and down. Eventually that too failed to affect the
problem, but it at least point conclusively to the switch.
Hope this helps.
O.K., thanks again Mike. The Riviera has a 100% digital dash, no analog
gages, so when the panel goes blank you cannot see anything (i.e. speed,
tach, mileage, gas, temp, etc.). Since the dash is illuminated all the
time, the only switch on the dash is for the panel brightness/dimmer.
It's a sliding type switch, which when slid to the left turns the panel
lights off/dim and when slid to the right turns the panel lights on the
Unfortunately, the panel dimmer switch does not work at any setting
currently, and the panel lights seem to be at their brightest setting,
except when the panel goes blank. This is why I suspect this switch to
be the culprit. I have tried tapping/knocking-lightly on the display
and dimmer switch, which seems to have no effect.
I guess I'll have to visit my local parts store and take a look at one
of these new, pricey, switches and ask if there is a way to check the
old one with a multimeter or something?
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