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Discussion Starter #1
hello everyone.
i have a 2003 chevy impala, with the 3800 series 2 v6. i bought the car for 2700$ with 180000 mile on the clock. there are a number of problems with the car. most of which i believe i have found soulutions to searching through this site. but im going to list them all to see if anyone problem could be part of another.

to start off the car does have an aftermarket stereo. and there is a GMOS-01 harness adapter in the car. the stereo was installed before i got the car. the stereo wasnt in working condition so i replaced it with a different one

first problem, dashlights/guages do not light up at all, but the odometer and gear selection area of the guages works intermitently. it cuts in and out during the day and has only ever come on twice at night.

second problem, rear defroster does not work. i am going to check for the burnt connector in the fuse block when weather permits.

third problem, poor to no radio reception. when the stereo is pulled out and sitting on top of the shifter the reception seems better, once it is in place the reception goes down again.

forth problem, when shifter is in part the key will not come out, i have traced it down to the white arm inside of the center concil which is not coming back up where it should. have looked at a few posts but not sure as to weather i must replace the whole shifter assembly or just the knob. there is no tension when the button is pushed

fifth and final problem, havc controll only work on the 5fth and highest setting. not sure as to weather it is the controls going bad or if the fan motor itself is going. there was no cabin air filter in the car when i got it, which i believe is also why i am getting water in the car when it rains.


to add all fuses have been pulled checked and or replaced


i kno this was alot of information but i wanted to get every bit in case one problem would be case to another

thanks in advance for any help
 

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The Unscrupulous Lt. Colonel
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With the dash lights, did you turn the dimmer switch? I know its a silly question, but with all the other issues you have going on, this issue can easily be overlooked. LOL.

As for the the hvac unit, try replacing your blower motor resistor. I had the same issue in my 96 SS. HTH.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you for the information on the blower motor resistor. i had not even thought of that. i had planned on replacing the motor itself LOL. the resistor will be cheaper acleast . and in relation to the lights. i did and do check the dimmer switch every day in a false hope it will work. i have had to resort to a flashlight to see my gauges at night. thank you for the information.
 

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The Unscrupulous Lt. Colonel
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No problem. Something comes to mind about your lights. Now from time to time on our b bodies, when the interior dash lighting goes out completely, we have a module under the dash that controls the lighting. How those burn out from "my" experience is when there has been some wires tampered with within the dash board. My experiences were due to swapping radios and splicing wires, etc. If a wire was to make contact on something or somewhere it shouldnt have touched, that kills the module. I havent had this particular issue back when i had either of my w body impalas, but if there is something under the dash thats module like that controls the interior dash lights, then that could be your problem. Until then, i would check fuses, seeable relays, and check some of the relays under the dash as well. I will try to help research this as well to help you out.
 

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About the lights.

Is your radio also dim or the temperature selections below it? The dimmer switch controls those as well. If they are fine you might just have a cluster with all of the little bulbs blown. When I replaced my stock cluster with a junkyard find, over half of the bulbs were blown.
 

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Mr. Handy
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^^ Not all 3.8's have the homelink/mpg display. That was an option. But, yes if all displays and gauges are not illuminated then your dimmer switch or possibly the "light sensor" has failed. As for the defroster that problem usually lies in the fuse box as you stated but, before even looking in there grad a voltmeter and see if there is voltage at the rear connector. If not, then the problem is obv at the fuse box.
 

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8th Gen Antagonist
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The defrost problem with the fuse block was an 8th gen issue, for a 7th I would check the fuse and rear window connections before anything else.
 

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The Unscrupulous Lt. Colonel
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^^ Not all 3.8's have the homelink/mpg display. That was an option. But, yes if all displays and gauges are not illuminated then your dimmer switch or possibly the "light sensor" has failed. As for the defroster that problem usually lies in the fuse box as you stated but, before even looking in there grad a voltmeter and see if there is voltage at the rear connector. If not, then the problem is obv at the fuse box.

A ton of w bodies have been showing up at the junkyard as of late. Im thinking about heading there this week for parts for my car, but if yall need anything, let me know and i may be able to get them to you. That is if you havent opted for brand new or found them elsewhere on your own.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
the hvac liights are all out. ecept for certian buttons on the bottom. there is no light sensor that i can see on the car, and no telling how many times the radio has been replaced in the car before i did it. i had planned on taking the car back to stock if it would help any. btw the car does have onstar. it is currently unhooked completely
 

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Now that I am on the computer and not my phone let me make things a bit more clear from my previous posts.

If your cluster (gauges, speedo, etc) are dim or off but the other things in the car (door unlock buttons or the HVAC controls or power door buttons) are working correctly then you likely have a cluster problem. If all of those lights mentioned above are out at once and the dimmer switch isnt changing things, then the dimmer is broken and needs to be replaced.


On the topic of removing your key from the ignition. This can happen when the neutral safety switch isnt working properly. As an example, if i leave my car in gear and turn it off and try to remove the key, I cannot. Can you start the car in drive? Or any gear besides park or neutral?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
none of the lights in the car work at all except for the lower left button at the bottom of the hvac controls. if i push the rear defrost button sometimes it will light up and sometimes it will not. i have not tried to start the car in any gear becides park. at the moment i have a zip tie running from inside the consil up becide the shifter. it is tied to a white peice of plastic on the left side of the shifter ( if sitting in the driver seat). when the car is in park if this peice of plastic isnt pulled up the key will not turn all the way to the off position, as if it is still in the acc position. once it is pulled up into place i can pull the key out. hence the zip tie so i do not have to pull the center concil every time i shut the car off.
hope this makes sence
 

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well a quick test for the dimmer switch. Jump the brown w/white wire to the gray wire that is closest to it if all you lights come on you know its the dimmer.....Mine is now hardwired this way.
 
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