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We have a 2002 Chevy Impala and are having trouble with the instrument panel lights. When you first turn the car on the Odometer light comes on for a few seconds like normal but none of the others come on at all. After a few seconds the odometer light goes real dim. Have checked all the fuses, none blown. Any suggestions as what to check next?


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contributions: 2078
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Location: Oregon
dimmer switch, headlight switch, BCM, ignition switch, all have been known to cause problems with the dash lights. What are the heater control and radio lights doing?


   
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Nada, nothing there either. All the dash is dark, except odometer, which is very dim.


   
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Location: Oregon
you have a Right I/P 1 fuse (60A) in the underhood fuse panel that allows power to the park lamp relay. the park lamp relay, when turned on, sends the power to rear park lamps fuse (15A) in the right instrument panel fuse block. From that fuse it goes to a brown and white wire to the dimmer switch. Do you have power on the brown and white wire to the dimmer switch? If there is 12 volts in the brown and white wire check the gray wire out of the dimmer switch. If you use a test light to check it, it should show bright light, (12 volts) when the dimmer is all the way bright and the voltage should go lower as you dim the lights and the test light should go dimmer.

if it works fine through that part then the headlight switch and the dimmer switch should be okay.

next to test for is the BCM and the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster panel lights get power from gray wire to connector B pin 1. They ground through the black wire that is connector a pin 1. So, if you check the power on the gray wire and have a good ground on the black wire the instrument panel lights should be working. Or the light bulbs may be burned out.

the BCM has grounds with the park lamp switch through the light blue wire. the gray wire is for the dimmer part. the white wire is the park lamp relay.

you need to check those wires to see what is happening. BCM is a common problem. Are all the parking lights working on the outside of the car? The instrument cluster is also known for having problems. Light bulbs used to be replaceable by removing the bulb and installing a new one. Newer dashes have the bulbs soldered to the circuit board so they are not "replaceable" so to speak.


   
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No power, on gray wire. Bad headlight, dimmer switch. Replaced switch, now instrument panel is lit like normal. Thanks. One more question, we also replaced fog light switch at same time because they had quit working awhile back, but that didn't fix them. Is there anything we need to check in this area for those before we put the dash back together. Would appreciate any help.


   
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contributions: 2078
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Location: Oregon
you should check the fog lamp relay in the underhood fuse panel. the relay is powered up from FOG RLY fuse (10A) in the underhood fuse panel. The fuse should be power all the time. The BCM pulls the relay down by grounding the relay through the dark green and white wire.

the orange wire from the fog light switch is from the BCM. The BCM gets the signal to turn the fog light relay on from the orange wire from the switch.

it is very common to have the fog lamps burn out. have you checked the bulbs? then check the relay next.


   
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We had already done some things, before I saw your reply. Bulbs were replaced, when fogs first quit working. Relay is good, fuse good. We're leaning toward the green and white wire. Have power on the orange wire and the gray wire, ground on the black and white, nothing on the purple wire at the fog light switch. When we tried to use a jumper between orange and purple, lost all power. Sort of like it was grounding out.


   
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Location: Oregon
the BCM grounds the fog lamp relay. when you turn the fog light switch on does the relay click? that would tell you if everything is working up to that. If it doesn't click ground the dark green and white wire (that the wire that goes from the relay to the BCM). does it click then? if the relay clicks but you still don't have power coming out of the purple wire the contacts inside the relay may be burned. Find another relay with the same numbers on it and just switch them and see if it works then.

It is possible that you may have a short or an open in the purple wire if you have jumped the orange to purple wire. The purple wire connects the relay to the fog lights and to the fog light indicator on the switch. Unplug one of the fog lights and test the purple wire for power when you either have the lights on or have the purple wire jumped to power. If you have power, verify you have a good ground through the fog light. (you should have the switch unplugged when you jumper the orange wire to the purple wire at the switch. The switch connects the purple wire through the switch, to the light in the switch through a resistor that may confuse your reading.


   
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