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Old 03-17-2018, 11:39 PM   #1
250nm
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1999 SL2
Default Instrument Cluster Lighting

I just had the last backlight bulbs in my instrument cluster burn out on me, and I was wondering what the correct replacement bulbs are. I tried swapping in sylvania PC74s as mentioned in other threads, but I still don't get any backlighting. The bulbs I got are intact and actually work for the warning light spots, just not anywhere else.

I also saw that people are recommending 161s, but they're rated for the same voltage as the others and I'm a bit wary.

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Old 03-18-2018, 11:20 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Instrument Cluster Lighting

Check your owner's manual for bulb numbers otherwise try GMs site; http://www.gm.com/owner-assistance/saturn.html. Tried the dimmer knob to see if lighting changes? Whether PC74 or PC161, lamps are sized along with brightness. Incandescent lamps are rated for around 15-16 volts to last most car lifetimes.
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Old 03-19-2018, 12:16 AM   #3
250nm
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Lighting

Thank you very much for your reply! I went to a junkyard today and picked about 10 different bulbs (part 161 with the red bases). I checked all of their filaments and saw that they were still intact. After installing them, I got a whole lot of nothing! I even tried all of the dimmer settings, so I'm beginning to think there's something either wrong with the cluster or the wiring to the cluster.

I'll try a new cluster in the next week or so if I can manage.

Is there a fuse for the backlights? Everything but the backlights (say, left and right turn signals, etc.) works, so it's probably not a problem with the 10A fuse in the top left or the ground.

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Old 03-19-2018, 08:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Lighting

The problem can be either power or ground. Choose one and chase it.

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Old 03-20-2018, 12:54 PM   #5
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1998 SL2
Default Re: Instrument Cluster Lighting

The gauges are not backlit like the warning/signals are - they are lit from the front, mostly by the two "theater" bulbs located at the top, forward section of the panel.

See the pic in this thread

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=154888

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Old 03-24-2018, 10:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Instrument Cluster Lighting

After looking through my Chilton manual, the 10A "Park" fuse under the hood drives not only tail lights and the tail light warning beeper, but also the instrument cluster front lighting. I checked and the fuse was blown; after replacing it, I now have lights!

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Old 03-25-2018, 11:08 AM   #7
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2001 SL2
Default Re: Instrument Cluster Lighting

[QUOTE=. I checked and the fuse was blown; after replacing it, I now have lights![/QUOTE]

Two comments come to mind here: " If all else fails.....RTFM "

And: "Too soon Old....too late smart .."

Congratulations ! You fixed it !
(and you learned "next time check the fuses first"
(Usually the easiest thing to do")
Nice job !
Cheers !

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