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Bob, Auto Tech
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 4087
Experience:  Plus 40 years GM, over 30 certified with Chevrolet, ASE certified Master Tech. (Expired, Retired)
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Impala SS: My interior lights wont turn..pull..dimmer switch

Resolved Question:

''96 Impala SS - My interior lights won''t turn off no mater what I do other than pull the fuse. I just recently scored a dimmer switch on EBay and have yet to put it in. But, I''ve started to think this may be due to the dimmer function of the interior lights. Is that controlled by a relay? If so, where is that relay? If it isn''t a relay, where else should I look? I''ve already checked the door switches and even inside the door panels for anything shorting. Be advised, when this first started happening I could faintly smell smoke at the drivers door but could not locate the source. Please help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Bob replied 8 years ago.
Hello, the problem you have with this circuit is that it is always powered normally. It is turned on when it is grounded through any of numerous switches. So all it would take is for the white wire in the circuit to have a pinched spot or ground anyplace in the car. These are never easy to track down and the easiest way to do it on your car would be with the use of a class 2 scan tool to check all of the switches and relays and timers etc that are involved in the system.I hate to say dealer, but you will at least want the class 2 scan tool like they use to test the system or you will be at it for a very long time tracing each of the ground wires in the circuit as well as the other things that could make it stay on. With the class 2 scan tool the switches and relays can be commanded on and off with the tool and save you all that time and effort. If you try to check the circuit without the tool, here is a list of part of the things you will need to check. All of the door jamb or door handle switches. Rear deck ajar switch, courtesy lamp relay, courtesy lamp over ride switch, dome lamp switch, inadvert power relay, body control module, dome lamp relay and all of the lights that are also in the circuit such as the vanity mirror lights, map lights on the rear view mirror, under hood light, glove box, dome, and courtesy lights under dash as well as door and door a jar switches. You will need to concentrate on the white wire as a bare or grounded spot any place in the system will affect all of the lights as they all already have power to them and just need a ground circuit to come on. Back when we had a ceiling light and 2 under the dash the circuit was pretty simple and easy to trace, but now with automatic dimming features and timers, etc. It has become one of the more complicated in the car. I wish you luck with it and hope it is an easy fix for you. If there is something else in the system that you need information on, just drop me a note. But remember that a regular code reader can't access the control modules you need to be able to read on this system, only the Tech 2 or a class 2 scanner can do the job. Unhooking one door at a time will at least take it out of the system, but remember even when you find the bad part or grounded out wire to allow time for the timer to turn the rest of the lights off. And if it ends up being a control module, it will need to be programed to the car. Thanks
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