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Old 06-14-2003, 06:33 PM   #1
Shmackey
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Question 98 SL2: Faulty Dome Light

I have a 1998 SL2 and the dome light rarely works. If I smack it quite a bit, sometimes it will go on for just a little while. Actually, recently, even this hasn't worked. I assume this is a known problem--what's the fix? I'm out of warranty so I'm hoping it's just a fuse or something I can do myself.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 06-14-2003, 07:51 PM   #2
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Nope, not a "known" or "common" problem at all. Sounds like either the bulb is loose (likely) or the switch contacts are dirty or perhaps have a loose electrical connector. Start by popping off the lens and replacing or at least making sure the bulb is in tight.

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Old 06-14-2003, 08:20 PM   #3
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Cool! Anything I should know about removing the lens--that is, not to break anything? Wonder if I could get the bulb at a local parts store, or if I have to go to a dealer...

Thanks for the quick reply!

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Old 06-14-2003, 09:48 PM   #4
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If you look closely at the lens, you will see a small notch made into the edge of it. Insert a small screw driver (a dime can be used as well) and twist it and the lens will pop off revealing the bulb underneath.

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Old 06-15-2003, 12:43 AM   #5
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Actually this is a fairly common problem on the 98's. There is a TSB on it.

Dome Lamp Inoperative, Dome Lamp Intermittent, or Dome Lamp bulb Flickers When Turned on -- Replace the Dome Lamp
1998 Saturns vehicles built after and including VIN WZ150315.


Condition:
Some customers may comment that their dome lamp is either inoperative, working intermittently, or flickers when turned ON.

Cause:
The dome lamp assemblies used in these vehicles may have insufficient bulb retention at the terminals, causing the dome lamp bulb to come loose.

Correction:
Replace the dome lamp assembly with a new assembly using revised bulb terminals. Refer to the Dome Lamp removal and installation procedure in the vehicle Interior Systems section of the 1998-1999 Body/Repair Service Manual.

Parts Requirements:
Part Number
Description

21303731
Lamp Asm -- DM Lt. Biscuit

21303732
Lamp Asm -- DM Lt. Warm Gray

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Old 06-15-2003, 05:06 AM   #6
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Awesome!!! Thanks!!!!!

Both my 98 SW's have that issue with the front dome light. Just lived with it, because it didn't really bother me enough to go after a fix. I'll pick up a couple of dome lights next time I am at the Saturns parts counter (which is often)

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Old 06-15-2003, 10:52 PM   #7
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Cool. Fixed it by twisting the bulb a little bit. I'm sure it'll happen again but now I know what to do. Of course, I can't get the thing to snap back into the cheap plastic rectangle that sits above the headliner (and floats freely below the roof sheet metal. I'll figure that out though.

About how much does a new dome light assembly go for?

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Old 11-27-2003, 12:46 AM   #8
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*BRINGING THIS THREAD BACK TO LIFE*

Hi all. I'm having problems with my dome light and this thread came up in my search.

At first my problem was the light doing the flickering thing that you guys have mentioned already. So I got very frustrated and ended up kind of pulling the whole piece out of the the ceiling. Yada yada I saw that it was broken inside too and I bought a new one off of ebay. When I plugged it in the light worked and I was all set to pat myself on the back for fixing it. Needless to say I ran into a second problem. I can't get the darn thing to attach back to the ceiling. It's like it doesn't fit or something. But I know the one I got from ebay is the correct piece. I read that you guys mentioned velcro. Is that the way it originally was held in place or is that just a quick fix suggestion? I read in another forum that you can screw the assembly into the piece of metal frame but I tried that and it wouldn't hold in place. Does anyone have advice on how I can get it to fit snuggly and get back to normal once and for all?

Thanks soooo much!
-Becky

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Old 11-27-2003, 07:34 PM   #9
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There should be three tabs on the ceiling side of the dome lamp. A single one that slides into a hole and the other two are looped hook tabs that get pushed back to let them go into their holes. This is usually best done with the lense off so that the two tabs can be moved by a screwdriver. If the tabs are not there then you got a broken dome lamp from E-bay.

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Old 11-27-2003, 07:44 PM   #10
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I usually used a 1/4" self tapping screw to resecure every domelight I ever came in contact with. Those tabs almost always break, and then the darn thing hits you in the head when you least expect it. Bear in mind, that this does not work on wagons, or cars with sunroofs, as the screw will go right through the roof, and not into the reinforcement rib.

And don't even try to use a screw longer than 1/4", unless you want to perforate the top of your car.

Now that I think of it, dont' even try this... or if you do, dont blame me if the screw goes through the roof...

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Old 11-27-2003, 08:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Saturn-Eh!
I usually used a 1/4" self tapping screw to resecure every domelight I ever came in contact with. Those tabs almost always break, and then the darn thing hits you in the head when you least expect it. Bear in mind, that this does not work on wagons, or cars with sunroofs, as the screw will go right through the roof, and not into the reinforcement rib.

And don't even try to use a screw longer than 1/4", unless you want to perforate the top of your car.

Now that I think of it, dont' even try this... or if you do, dont blame me if the screw goes through the roof...
I hate drilling into cars for anything, never mind doing one with the possibility of holing the roof. Like it's about the last thing that I would suggest. My opinion is compared to a roof with a an extra hole the cost of a brand new dome lamp is nothing.

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Old 11-27-2003, 09:32 PM   #12
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Default You know...

I have a 98 SL2, and I also have this problem. My solution was to tell the people who come in my car that the light NOT turning on whan you get in or out was a "luxury" option, because the light coming on was disturbing. I swear a number of people believed me. I need to get smarter friends.

-Rob

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