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97 Suburban Dimmer Switch replacement

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New User

May 27, 2005, 7:04 AM

Post #1 of 3 (2041 views)
97 Suburban Dimmer Switch replacement Sign In

I need to replace the multi-function dimmer switch on my 97 suburban because the headlights will not come on and it is not the lamps or the headlight switch. Do I have to remove the steering wheel or mess with the air bag to replace the switch? I have done this on a 91 chev truck, but not a 97. I was told to just lower the steering wheel and separate the "box" holding the dimmer switch for access. Any input would be helpful.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 27, 2005, 10:39 AM

Post #2 of 3 (2040 views)
Re: 97 Suburban Dimmer Switch replacement Sign In

The switches are usually remote from the steering column. Hope a member here "DanD" can catch this and send a diagram. Use ALL caution with the air bag!!!!!!!!!!!!! This site is growing fast but has a new format. Hang in there, check on your post. I can't think of a better place to be for this inquiry. Best,

Veteran / Moderator
DanD profile image

May 28, 2005, 5:28 AM

Post #3 of 3 (2031 views)
Re: 97 Suburban Dimmer Switch replacement Sign In

Yes you do have to remove the steering wheel and yes you have to mess with the air bag.
I suggest that if you’re not 100% sure of how to properly disable the air bag system and how to electrically insulate yourself you don’t attempt this job on your own.
Just disconnecting the battery is not going to keep you safe; the system has a backup battery that can still set off the bag.
Any form of static discharge from you sliding in and out of the seat can be enough to light it. These things come out with a 600-Lb punch.
If you ever get a chance to watch an air bag being lit for disposal sake don’t blink you’ll miss it, so don’t think you can just get out of it’s way if it does light while you are working around it.
If that still hasn’t convinced you not to do this job we can talk about getting the frigging thing off the column. On most Chevy trucks the air bag isn’t held on with screws the are clipped in to these little metal spring clips that you have to blindly release from the back of the wheel through a couple of access holes. I thought I was going to pull out what was left of my hair on the first one I did. After the wheel is off you get to deal with the clock spring it sits in the same place as where the old style steering lock was, but this thing is plastic and it doesn’t like being forced in anyway shape or form.
Don’t get me wrong it’s not an impossible job and someone that has done a few can probably have it done in less then an hour with the proper precautions, knowledge and equipment.
So if you are sure that the problem is the multi-function switch it may cost you less pain and money having someone do this job for you. You’ll still have the satisfaction of the diagnosis.

Canadian "EH"

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