Instrument Cluster Lights Out Since Install of New Stereo [Archive] - Forum


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11-02-2011, 08:53 AM
Hey, new to this forum and yes already have a question hopefully someone can help to answer....

Just installed a new stereo head unit and speakers in my sons 1992 Pontiac Grand Am SE (which has only 62M miles). All works fine and sounds great except that now the instrument cluster lights do not work. All other dash lights work, just not the instrument cluster. Fuses are fine. No wires were cut or spliced during the stereo install. Checked to make sure the rheostat dial (dimmer) was turned on. If the rheostat dimmed the lights not only in the instrument cluster, but also the stock radio, could the new stereo not be completing that circuit? Could the bulb have burned out? Is there one bulb or several? Difficult to believe if several that all would have failed at once. What am I missing? Why would these lights now not work? Another idea is to plug the old stock radio back in and see if the instrument cluster lights come back on again. However, its a big job to take the dash apart again and remove the new stereo, so I'm hoping someone can comment if this is going in the right direction before going through all that labor again. Thanks

11-03-2011, 08:06 AM
Update - we plugged the old head unit back in and the instrument cluster lights still did not come on. I talked to a stereo install tech from a local store who said the orange "illumination" wire(s) in the wiring harness should not have been attached. This wire is attached to the dash dimmer switch and if connected with an aftermarket stereo, the current through the wire may either burn out the dimmer switch or the dash lights. We disconnected this orange wire and re-installed the new stereo and the lights still have not come back on. I re-checked the fuses and they are still good. is to troubleshoot the dimmer and bulbs. The dimmer looks like its easy to get to, however, the instrument cluster bulbs do not. Is there a website or does someone have a step by step for removal of these bulbs? Thanks

11-03-2011, 11:42 AM
1. Recheck all your fuses. The factory harness should have two orange wires. Orange, and orange/white. I believe orange is dimmer and orange/white is illumination. Illumination dims the radios display a little when you turn on the lights.

2. Hit the top of the dash a few time.

11-04-2011, 07:39 AM
I went with #2 all the time in my 86 - the lights came back on most of the time lol

11-04-2011, 02:21 PM
haha beating the car always works. great job

11-04-2011, 03:42 PM
Can anyone provide a step by step for removing the instrument cluster? I have not been able to find this yet. Thanks