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Old 09-26-2005, 03:41 PM   #1
2000SW
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Default Instrument Panel Lights

Sort of an oblique question --

2000 SW, around 115,000 miles
Recently having trouble with instrument panel lights. Replaced the odometer light and, I thought, the other lights. Odometer light now works, and all the numbers and letters show (speed, tach, fuel, and temperature). But the needles aren't lighted (or whatever the things are called). For example, at night, I can see the fuel gauge with its E and F, but I cannot see where the white needle is indicating. Same with the speedometer -- can see the numbers and lines, but not the needle indicating what the speed is. I think it used to, but I had not driven at night for a while; so I can't remember now if they should. It seems like they should. So the oblique question -- are the needles supposed to be lighted also? Thanks.

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Old 09-26-2005, 07:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Instrument Panel Lights

if the newer 2000 saturns are anything like the older saturns' clusters, then you'll have three or four "theatre" lights that will "flood" light the whole cluster face so that you can see the needles.

the needles themselves are not lighted, like in the IONs. I've been thinking of a way to get around this by either painting the needles a fluorescent orange or somehow doing a backlight with an EL light string. no time though.....

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Old 09-30-2005, 09:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Thanks. You were right, and it has been fixed.

I hope your adaptation goes well.

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Old 10-09-2005, 09:08 PM   #4
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2004 VUE 2.2L
2005 VUE 2.2L
Question Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000SW
Sort of an oblique question --

2000 SW, around 115,000 miles
Recently having trouble with instrument panel lights. But the needles aren't lighted (or whatever the things are called). For example, at night, I can see the fuel gauge with its E and F, but I cannot see where the white needle is indicating. Same with the speedometer -- can see the numbers and lines, but not the needle indicating what the speed is. I think it used to, but I had not driven at night for a while; so I can't remember now if they should. It seems like they should. So the oblique question -- are the needles supposed to be lighted also? Thanks.
I am also having this problem on a 2000 SL2. In addition, the left side of the HVAC unit is not lit.

Is the solution as simple as replacing some bulbs that are burned out? In order to do this, I assume I have to remove the IP and HVAC unit. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

...
2005 Vue / 2004 Vue
Both with 2.2L 5 speed

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Old 10-09-2005, 10:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Having JUST done this(Friday) you have two "opera" lights that lilluminate the needles-four other bulbs that light the rest of the gauges. It is EXTREMELY easy to remove the bezel (which covers both the instruent cluster & the HVAC) remove a couple of bolts, detatch the wiring harnes, twist out the lamps, replace & reverse procedure. Word of warning BE SURE YOUR LIGHTS ARE IN OFF POSITION (or battery disconnected). I blew 5 bulbs by not doing that. Lamps are between $3.25 & $6.25 depending on dealer.

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Old 10-09-2005, 10:21 PM   #6
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Question Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Are the stock instrument panel lights a Sylvania type 161?

So it looks like there are 6 on the instrument panel and 2 on the HVAC unit. All controlled by the instrument dimmer. I've had the instrument/radio bezel off, it is pretty easy to remove. Looks like I just have to take out the instrument cluster and HVAC unit, replace the bulbs, and put back together.

Am I on the right track?

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2005 Vue / 2004 Vue
Both with 2.2L 5 speed

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Old 10-09-2005, 10:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Instrument Panel Lights

That's it! After I removed & replaced that bezel & cluster 5-6 times I can do it in my sleep. I am replacing my "opera" lights with some red LED's. I am hoping they will give the white needles a redish glow at night, I'll post back when I receive them & get them put in.

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Old 10-10-2005, 12:08 AM   #8
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Default Re: Instrument Panel Lights

2000SW, you said you replaced the odometer light? Is it the digital odometer with the orange backlight? Mine hasn't been working and I've been wondering about how to replace it. Any tips?

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Old 10-10-2005, 10:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Instrument Panel Lights

^^^Same way as the rest of the cluster lights. The odometer light is different-it has a frosted look to it (difuser). The bulb itself is white, it backlights the orange numbers. The other lights have a blue base & this one has a white base. Got mine at dealer approx $5.00

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Old 10-10-2005, 09:46 PM   #10
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Information Re: Instrument Panel Lights

I found out this evening that the stock instrument cluster bulbs are NOT Sylvania 161, despite the fact that their web site lists it as so.

Since my closest Saturn dealer is more than 30 miles away, I ordered 10 of these in white to replace the burned out bulbs:

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cgi-b....31850&next=50
T1.5 Instrument LED bulb
1-LED Instrument Cluster and Gauge illumination bulb. #74 LED bulb installed in twist-lock socket base Available with White,Blue,Green,Red and Amber Wide Angle LED
$ 1.79 each

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2005 Vue / 2004 Vue
Both with 2.2L 5 speed

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Old 10-17-2005, 09:57 PM   #11
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Dizzy Re: Instrument Panel Lights

Some things you can only find out by trying!

It turns out the these "Superbright LEDs" will work only on the 2 "theatre" sockets at the top of the cluster for 2000 and later S series. This is because only these sockets have the conducter section on the back of the mylar.

The other light socket positions on the instrument cluster do not have any conducter on the back, only on the front, which is not visible.

See difference in the bulbs based on the image below. The lamp with the black base is the "Superbright LED", it only has the leads at the back end of the base, so it cannot make electrical contact with the circuitry that is printed on the front side of the circuit board. The lamp with blue base is Saturn #21019274, it has leads on both sides, so it makes contact with the leads on the front of the circuit board as well as the back.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Instrument Lamp_edited.JPG (75.5 KB, 160 views)

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2005 Vue / 2004 Vue
Both with 2.2L 5 speed

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Old 10-17-2005, 11:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Instrument Panel Lights

I ordered & installed the red LED's in my opera (cluster needle illumination)lights. They DO give a kinda cool redish look to the needles -just kinda dim for me . I'm thinking of maybe painting the needles with some sort of high refective white paint, so they will reflect more of the red lighting while still being visible (white) during the day. Your right, PCF, those Superbright led's will ONLY work on the opera lights-all the others have the contacts on the underside of the circuit board.

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