1997 Pontiac Sunfire dimmer switch replacement

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1997 Pontiac Sunfire 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 195000 miles


can anyone give me instructions on this? Do I need to take of the steering wheel?

Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, January 5th, 2008 AT 9:28 AM

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  • 22 POSTS

You shouldn't. Never take a steering wheel off with an Air Bag in it if you don't have to! All it takes it one bag to blow up in your face (or watch it happen to a friend) to know what!

The dimmer switch is on the blinker switch, and that entire switch needs to be changed. It includes the blinker switch, hazard light switch, headlight switch, and dimmer switch.

There are two bolt type screws. One on top, and one on the bottom.
You have to remove the upper and lower steering column panels first.

To take off the steering column plastic covers, you will need a long Phillips screwdriver, and a flat head screw driver, and to take the switch out, you will need a ratchet set (I don't remember what size you need, so if you have a full set, just use that. The head is pretty small, 8mm or smaller I believe (it might not even be metric!)
Top Cover
Under the lower plastic cover (ignition key), there should be three holes under there. Either 2 up front and on in back, or vise-versa. Loosen all three screws, and pull the top cover up (you may have to pull a little hard, or use a flat head screwdriver to pop the plastic, but be careful, you don't want to scratch it up).

Lower Cover
This one actually takes more grunt than anything. Some models have a black ring around the ignition, some don't. Check around the ignition key to see if there is a ring, If there is, use your flat head screwdriver and pop it off (just put it under the ring, and turn the screwdriver, it should pop right off).
Then, you will have to grab the cover on the right top, pull towards you, and pull it over the ignition. I know, it sounds like you're gonna break it, but you won't. It's pretty tough plastic.
Once it's over the ignition, it should just fall off.

Now, look on top, to the right of the hazard switch, You should see a black screw with a bolt head. Use the ratchet set to take that screw out.

To get to the bottom one, you will need to turn the steering wheel, so the airbag is facing the roof of the car (the big opening should be pointing down). Else, if your model has the radio controls on the steering wheel, those want to be up top).

You should now be able to get to the bottom screw, which is about in the middle of the two black boxes. Once those screws are out, the left switch assembly should pull straight up. (It's been some time since I had to replace one of those, so you might have to pull the wiper switch up first, but I don't think so).
If the switch doesn't come up, check for a 3rd screw (like I said, it's been some time, but I'm 99% sure there are only two screws)
Use the flathead screwdriver to remove the wiring harness from the back of the switch.

Once that's out of the way, replace the whole assembly with a new one (or one that you got from a junk yard. Hint hint! Much cheaper there than from GM!).

Hook the wiring harness back into place, test the switch to make sure everything works, then reverse the steps listed above.

Don't try to fix the switch yourself. There's a bunch of little springs and all sorts of stuff in there that once they fall out, you'll never figure out where they go!

Let me know how it works out!

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Sunday, January 13th, 2008 AT 12:29 AM

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