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Old 08-02-2015, 06:29 PM   #1
Minookasl1
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Dizzy Dash lights not working

After searching the web for hours I have not been able to find an answer to my problem. So I decided to make an account and post my own question to hopefully get this figured out.

I have a 2001 sl1 and I recently installed a kenwood double din head unit and speakers. After doing so half of my dash lights were not working.

The very first thing I did was check all fuses and all were good. I did check them with a test light not just by eye so I know they are good.

Then I decided to tear the dash back apart and take out the ip to check the bulbs. All of them checked out good.

The lights that are not working are behind the speedometer, the odometer led, and the two at the top that illuminate the whole dash.

I have read that there is a possibility this could be a bcm problem but since I just changed the radio I'm hoping it's a wire I may have cut or a fuse I may not know about.

There were also some wires that were part of the oem radio's wiring harness that did not get connected to the new radio. Not sure if that could also potentially be the problem.

Thank you for any and all help!

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Old 08-03-2015, 11:15 AM   #2
robb_sc2
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

I have successfully installed an aftermarket stereo in my 1999 SC2, and had no problems like you describe. I don't know if any wires were not connected, since I used a wiring harness/kit for the install and it just plugged straight in. The only things that come to mind for your scenario is possibly the anti-theft function of the stock deck being disabled or tampered with by your custom install. I don't think this is likely though, since the anti-theft is supposed to immobilize the car, not just kill a few dash lights. Hopefully more knowledgeable responses are forthcoming.

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Old 08-03-2015, 11:37 AM   #3
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Dash lights not working

The dim light buss is reverse polarity, it is a PWM ground. Most aftermarket radios assume the dimmer is on the positive side of the lights. You need to actually look at a drawing for the car to get this correct. There are multiple install threads on here to look at.

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Old 08-03-2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Sure sounds like the common problem where the unused wires don't get taped/insulated properly, touch metal somewhere, and blow a 10a fuse in the underhood fuse box. Did you check the fuses in both fuse boxes?

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Old 08-03-2015, 04:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minookasl1 View Post
After searching the web for hours I have not been able to find an answer to my problem. So I decided to make an account and post my own question to hopefully get this figured out.

I have a 2001 sl1 and I recently installed a kenwood double din head unit and speakers. After doing so half of my dash lights were not working.

The very first thing I did was check all fuses and all were good. I did check them with a test light not just by eye so I know they are good.

Then I decided to tear the dash back apart and take out the ip to check the bulbs. All of them checked out good.

The lights that are not working are behind the speedometer, the odometer led, and the two at the top that illuminate the whole dash.

I have read that there is a possibility this could be a bcm problem but since I just changed the radio I'm hoping it's a wire I may have cut or a fuse I may not know about.

There were also some wires that were part of the oem radio's wiring harness that did not get connected to the new radio. Not sure if that could also potentially be the problem.

Thank you for any and all help!
Did you check the fuses at both the underhood and interior fuse panels?

What is the model number of the radio you installed?

Did you use a wiring adapter when installing the radio (and if so, what brand & part number) or did you cut the plug off the car that went into the factory radio?

Does the radio work fine?

Does the backlighting for any of your gauges or your HVAC controls still work?

The I/P illumination works differently on third gens (2000-2002) than on earlier Saturns.

...
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2007 Chevy Equinox LT 170K miles

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Old 08-03-2015, 09:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The dim light buss is reverse polarity, it is a PWM ground. Most aftermarket radios assume the dimmer is on the positive side of the lights. You need to actually look at a drawing for the car to get this correct. There are multiple install threads on here to look at.
Thanks for your feedback! I will have to research this.

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Old 08-03-2015, 10:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurdueGuy View Post
Sure sounds like the common problem where the unused wires don't get taped/insulated properly, touch metal somewhere, and blow a 10a fuse in the underhood fuse box. Did you check the fuses in both fuse boxes?
All wires were heat shrinked individually and all the wires were taped together from the back of the radio to as far under the dash as I could reach. The unused wires were bent back on themselves and heat shrinked as well. I did check both fuse boxes and every single fuse in them.
Thanks for your help!

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Old 08-03-2015, 10:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
Did you check the fuses at both the underhood and interior fuse panels?

What is the model number of the radio you installed?

Did you use a wiring adapter when installing the radio (and if so, what brand & part number) or did you cut the plug off the car that went into the factory radio?

Does the radio work fine?

Does the backlighting for any of your gauges or your HVAC controls still work?

The I/P illumination works differently on third gens (2000-2002) than on earlier Saturns.
I did check all of the fuses in both the interior and the under hood box.

The radio I installed is a kenwood DNX572BH.

I cut the plug on the car. Each wire individually as to not short anything.

The radio does work great. And I did notice today when I shift out of park the radio dims. Not sure if that would possibly be affecting anything.

Half of the lights behind the hvac controls are not lit up but that was like that before the radio install.

Also to add to my first post, today I noticed that the led that illuminates the odometer stopped working as well.

Thanks for all your help!

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Old 08-04-2015, 12:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The dim light buss is reverse polarity, it is a PWM ground. Most aftermarket radios assume the dimmer is on the positive side of the lights. You need to actually look at a drawing for the car to get this correct. There are multiple install threads on here to look at.
This is not applicable to the OP's car. On third gens the I/P illumination power supply is provided by the BCM. The BCM monitors the dimmer knob setting and accordingly adjusts the power output to the light bulbs to regulate brightness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minookasl1 View Post
I did check all of the fuses in both the interior and the under hood box.

The radio I installed is a kenwood DNX572BH.

I cut the plug on the car. Each wire individually as to not short anything.

The radio does work great. And I did notice today when I shift out of park the radio dims. Not sure if that would possibly be affecting anything.

Half of the lights behind the hvac controls are not lit up but that was like that before the radio install.

Also to add to my first post, today I noticed that the led that illuminates the odometer stopped working as well.

Thanks for all your help!
The radio's display shouldn't dim when you shift out of park. Are you sure it didn't dim when you turned on the headlights? It should only automatically dim when the headlights are turned on based on the info provided in Kenwood's owner's manual.

Which wire coming from the car did you connect to the Kenwood's ILLUMI (orange/white) wire? It should be connected to the brown wire coming from the car's radio harness; NOT the gray one. The gray wire is the power output from the BCM for I/P illumination that I mentioned earlier. It provided power for display & button illumination in the factory radio, but will not be used with your Kenwood. The brown wire is a +12V signal from the park/head lamp switch that is hot when the park lamps or head lamps are turned on. This is the illumination wire the Kenwood radio would use.

...
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2007 Chevy Equinox LT 170K miles

Last edited by ruley73; 08-04-2015 at 12:57 AM..

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Old 08-04-2015, 09:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
This is not applicable to the OP's car. On third gens the I/P illumination power supply is provided by the BCM. The BCM monitors the dimmer knob setting and accordingly adjusts the power output to the light bulbs to regulate brightness.



The radio's display shouldn't dim when you shift out of park. Are you sure it didn't dim when you turned on the headlights? It should only automatically dim when the headlights are turned on based on the info provided in Kenwood's owner's manual.

Which wire coming from the car did you connect to the Kenwood's ILLUMI (orange/white) wire? It should be connected to the brown wire coming from the car's radio harness; NOT the gray one. The gray wire is the power output from the BCM for I/P illumination that I mentioned earlier. It provided power for display & button illumination in the factory radio, but will not be used with your Kenwood. The brown wire is a +12V signal from the park/head lamp switch that is hot when the park lamps or head lamps are turned on. This is the illumination wire the Kenwood radio would use.
Yes you are correct. The display dims when the headlights are turned on. Yesterday was a long day haha.

I'm assuming, since that is the case, that I connected the illumination wire on the kenwood unit to the brown wire. Is that right?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 08-04-2015, 10:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minookasl1 View Post
Yes you are correct. The display dims when the headlights are turned on. Yesterday was a long day haha.

I'm assuming, since that is the case, that I connected the illumination wire on the kenwood unit to the brown wire. Is that right?

Thanks for your help!
You might need to double check. A dead giveaway would be if the display brightness changes with the dimmer knob setting. This may or may not happen, but if it does then you definitely have the gray wire hooked up.

If you hooked up the brown wire the dimmer knob setting will not affect the display brightness on the radio. If you hooked up the gray wire, the radio's display might (or might not) dim with the dimmer knob set at the brightest setting.

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Old 08-05-2015, 12:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dash lights not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
You might need to double check. A dead giveaway would be if the display brightness changes with the dimmer knob setting. This may or may not happen, but if it does then you definitely have the gray wire hooked up.

If you hooked up the brown wire the dimmer knob setting will not affect the display brightness on the radio. If you hooked up the gray wire, the radio's display might (or might not) dim with the dimmer knob set at the brightest setting.
I just double checked. The radio display dims when the headlights are turned on but it does not change brightness when I turn the dimmer knob up amd down. So I believe I have all of that hooked up correctly.

Thanks again

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