1997 Chevy Suburban Dash, Dome and Headlights go out

Tiny
FSTRICKL
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 113,569 MILES
This problem is erractic and started about a month ago. When driving with headlights on, sometimes the dash and headlights go out, I can turn the headlight switch off and right back on and they may or may not stay on. Sometimes the dome lights go out when one of the doors are open if the engine is running and the headlights are on. If I touch the rear A/C controls, the backlights on the panel usually go out. Last night I could not get the brights to turn on unless I "flashed" the blinker switch 5 or 6 times, the brights would turn off with one attempt. Also, last night my blinker relay(?) Was slow and buzzing.I replaced the relay this morning and it seems to be fine now. Do I have more than one issue here? Thanks,
Flynn
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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 AT 2:10 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Hi, thanks for the donation. Any problem with the headlamps, I check the circuits to and from the dimmer switch. Yellow wire is voltage to dimmer switch, from dimmer, tan wire is voltage for low beam, light green wire is voltage for high beam. There may be a multiwire connector close to steering column, under dash, for circuits going to and from the steering column. You may be able to check those wiring colors at the connector, when the problem is ongoing. All repair info says to disarm airbag, where applicable, when working around steering column. When multiple problems, I go one circuit at a time, fixing one problem, may or may not help the others.
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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
FSTRICKL
  • MEMBER
Is the dimmer switch also the blinker switch? My wife just told me she heard "a kind of sizzling noise in the steering column" when she went to the store an hour ago.
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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 AT 2:59 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Yes, it should be part of multifunction switch. Don't you pull on the handle to brighten or dim? Some of the wiring circuits in the steering column maybe trying to burn. You need to get it looked at.
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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
FSTRICKL
  • MEMBER
Yes, and the cruise control and blinker are built into it. Do you think it is the wiring for this switch or possibly the horn or airbag that might be melting?
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Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 AT 4:41 PM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I couldn't be sure without looking at it. If there is a headlamp issue, I think about the dimmer switch.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2009 AT 8:56 AM
Tiny
FSTRICKL
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the help. Holy Cow, that's an expensive part!
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Thursday, December 31st, 2009 AT 10:39 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Try to be positive that is the problem before replacing anything. All I can do is make suggestions as to what to test. I'd have a professional look at it, that sizzling noise needs to be diagnosed.
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Thursday, December 31st, 2009 AT 11:28 AM
Tiny
FSTRICKL
  • MEMBER
Issues has recurred in the last 2 weeks and it has been to cold to do anything as I have to work on it outside, however, I did pull the lower dash panel so I could look at the steering column. Didn't find any melted wires, hopefully it will warm up in a few days.
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Friday, January 8th, 2010 AT 2:53 PM

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