2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, Dash Lights Do Not Work

This 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe came in with the complaint that the dash illumination lights would not come on. These lights are sometimes referred to as panel lights. Testing begins at the illumination fuse in the interior fuse box. The fuse box is located behind this panel on the driver’s end of the dash.

With the park light switch on and the panel dimmer switch in the bright position there should be power at this fuse. There was none.

I did find that power would appear when the panel dimming switch was raised up above the detent to turn on the dome light. I looked over and the panel lights were on.

The next step in testing would be to remove the headlight switch. The panel dimming switch is part of the headlight switch assembly. The instrument cluster facia pulls loose from the dash carrier. The steering column needs to be placed in the full tilt down position. The shift lever needs to be pulled down into the lowest gear position also. When removing this panel the top edge will have to be tilted out first. You will find that the inner edge over the instrument cluster will not come fee easily. You will need to carefully bow down the inner edge so that it will clear the dash carrier. Use just enough force to clear and no so much as to break anything. Ninety nine percent of the time the hazard flashers will be turned on during this part of the operation. The alternative would be to drop the column but I have never needed to.

There are retaining clips at the top left and lower right edges of the headlight switch assembly. Once released the switch will pull out of the dash.

I checked the dark green wire (terminal K) at the rear of the switch assembly for power under the same conditions as when I tested the illumination fuse circuit. This wire supplies power to the illumination fuse. Power is routed to terminal “K” internally from terminal “B” (orange wire) of the headlight switch. Terminal “B” also routes power through the headlight switch for the exterior and interior park lights. Since I could visually see that they worked, I did not have to test that part of the circuit. That signal is sent out on the light blue wire terminal “A” of the headlight switch connector.

The same  circuit test with the panel dimming switch rolled past the detent.

The same wire with a new switch installed and the switch positioned about half way.

With the switch rolled almost off.

The panel lights now work as designed.

While I do my best to detail as much information as possible. There are many repairs that I have yet to document and some of you may wish to have more than I have provided. I would strongly recommend subscribing to one or both of the following data companies for further assistance. Although having an abundance of information does not guarantee an easy repair, the lack of adequate information will guarantee a failed repair!

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