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2002 GMC SAFARI AWD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello I'm new to the whole astro safari stuff, actually I'm new to just gm in general, have had my 02 safari for about 6 months now and I like it for the most part (awd does great in the snow)

Anyway onto my problem, I had several gauge and dash lights out when I got it so I decided to replace them with LEDs, I got the gauge done and then discovered I needed the special bulbs for the headlight switch and the climate controls so I just let it be for then. Now here i am a few months later and i got the right bulbs for the dash, got the headlight switch bulb in, it worked, put the climate controls bulb in, it didn't work. Then I noticed none of them were working. I checked the fuses and they were fine, I just have no lights on the dash, no lights on the radio either and when the headlights come on the display for the radio and compass dims to off, I dont have any issues with the exterior lights or brake lights so I think the headlight switch is ok unless it's the instrument dimmer? Not sure really
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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1,240 Posts
Not sure this is part of your problem, but be careful with LED's. They are diodes (one-way devices) and they have a polarity. If the base is such taht it can be installed in two differenent orientations, one way will work, and the other way may not. (Some of the new, higher end , LED's have an additional diode matrix circuit inside them. That allows them to function either way)
Some of the wedge base bulbs, and others, can be inserted either way, but only function in one of the two positions. I found that with some of the overhead interior lamps.

Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

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2002 GMC SAFARI AWD
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure this is part of your problem, but be careful with LED's. They are diodes (one-way devices) and they have a polarity. If the base is such taht it can be installed in two differenent orientations, one way will work, and the other way may not. (Some of the new, higher end , LED's have an additional diode matrix circuit inside them. That allows them to function either way)
Some of the wedge base bulbs, and others, can be inserted either way, but only function in one of the two positions. I found that with some of the overhead interior lamps.

Rod J
Issaquah, WA
Thanks, that's what I was doing but then they all didn't work, the lights in the gauge cluster I did several months ago and were fine until I tried doing the headlight switch and the climate controls, now nothing works even though I didnt touch the gauge cluster
 

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2002 GMC SAFARI AWD
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If anyone else gets lost like I did trying to find the solution to my problem, I figured it out and i will share what i know.

So basically one of the led bulbs I used killed the dimmer in the headlight switch, i believe it was supposed to be unipolar but in being so it had resistance either way i put it in and killed the switch. I tested this theory by getting a junkyard switch and sure enough I ended up with 2 dead switches.

---little lifehack with the headlight switch, almost all gm trucks from this era used the same headlight switch except for how the housing mounts to the dash. When digging in the junkyard I couldn't find any astros but i did find plenty of trucks/suburbans/blazers so I took those switches and found out they work but dont fit the astro dash. BUT! They are held in with clips and all you have to do is take the board out of the good switch and stick it into the case of the dead astro switch. I now have basically infinite headlight switches at $12 a piece instead of the $97 o'rileys wanted for a new one, hopefully I wont ever need another one but hey I got backups anyway.------


So anyway to fix the issue I used leds that were polarized and put them in the way they're supposed to go. I soldered one into the bulb holder on the left side of the climate control (that's where I put the bad bulb in) so basically they're all that t4 wedge bulb now. It's been a week and I haven't had any issues yet.

After figuring out what my problem was I searched and found this thread from a dude with the same problem that probably explains it better than I did ----> LED Dash Lights out, dimmer hot?
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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Great to know!
Thanks for sharing...and saving somebody else a lot of headaches and money!
Rod J
Issaquah, WA
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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All LEDs are polarity sensitive, so I assume that you are talking about the bulb housings/holders.

Put LEDs in backwards and apply enough voltage and they usually become a short, which is probably what destroyed your dimmer switches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All LEDs are polarity sensitive, so I assume that you are talking about the bulb housings/holders.

Put LEDs in backwards and apply enough voltage and they usually become a short, which is probably what destroyed your dimmer switches.
I'll be making another separate thread to explain more of what's going on but I had 2 different types of leds and one kind showed resistance both ways and one showed resistance only one way
 
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