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Help! Lights behind steering wheel audio buttons don't work...

This is a discussion on Help! Lights behind steering wheel audio buttons don't work... within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have a '99 T/A. In the last two weeks, both of the steering wheel auido control buttons have mysteriously ...

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Help! Lights behind steering wheel audio buttons don't work...

    I have a '99 T/A. In the last two weeks, both of the steering wheel auido control buttons have mysteriously lost their backlights. The first to go was the right side button, then two weeks later the left side.

    I assume their bulbs have simply burned out as both buttons continue to function otherwise. It's just a pain in the a$$ at night to find them, plus they look cool at night when they're illuminated.

    Can someone please direct me on how to replace these bulbs, or at least direct me to a thread that addresses this same problem (couldn't find one by seaching)?

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Cool

    No one else here has ever had bulbs on their steering wheel audio buttons go out?

    Just called the dealership to ask them what the part #s are and the associated costs. They were of no help, whatsoever. They quoted me two separate part "s, saying they didn't know which part # was required, and the prices were astronomical!!

    If someone has had this happen to their LS1 and knows what's involved in fixing the lights, I'd sure appreciate some help.

  3. #3
    Junior Member blackTA6585's Avatar
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    Black
    1999 Trans Am

    you cant get the bulb from radio shack. Just pull the buttons out carefully and open the big black box thing under the buttons it just kinda prys apart then theres one screw that hold the little electrical board to the little black box then you have to sodder the bulb out then soder the new one in. Sorry not a very good explainer, but if you have any questions just ask.

  4. #4
    Junior Member blackTA6585's Avatar
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    Black
    1999 Trans Am

    you can get the bulb from radio shack*** sorry

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    Quote Originally Posted by kage 62005
    I have 2 extra ones drvr. & pass. they do light up. Will sell them . Let me know....
    Two extra what? Two extra bulbs or the whole button apparatus? I have no idea how to remove/replace the buttons to repair them. Could you give me instructions on how to do so? Also, how much do you want for the extra parts that you have?

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by kage 62005
    Steering wheel radio buttons black for 00-02 camaro $20.00 duckies + shipping...... Just plug them in and u are done.
    Sounds good. Do you know if they'll work with a '99 Trans Am (since you said they're for 00-02 Camaros). Also, how do you pop out the old buttons? I can't find any screws holding them in, nor do I see any tabs to press in.

  7. #7
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by kage 62005
    I know TA's have them in grey color and had them on steeringwheels since 98-02. Mine are black but they are exactly the same. It looks like you are going to have to remove the airbag. The reason is, wires to the radio control buttons are rapped tightly on the bottom sides under the airbag. That is what keeps them in place and from moving out . Buttons do have little hook tabs on top and bottom, but that is not what locks them in place. Maybe i'm wrong and TA's are different. In order to release them wires need to be loosend and airbag needs to be removed to do that. Try to pry buttons on both sides top and bottom with a small flat screwdriver, you have to get in deep to catch them on the bottom side and pull up or you will brake the top buttons. I don't think it will work. But give it a try....... If and when you do remove the buttons just unplug the wires from the back side. P.S. I also have leather steering wheel that the buttons came out of. I'm selling it to. On scale 1-10 it's an 8.5 Leather is in very good shape for being 5 yrs old. I installed aftermarket Alpine headunit, have no need for steeringwheel W/radio control buttons........ Let me know if you are interested.
    [Gulp!] I'm afraid to mess with anything that's airbag related. I sure appreciate the info/help, but if that's what is really involved, I'm just going to live with the burnt out button lights. I was really hoping this would be a simple fix.

  8. #8
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    black
    1999 Pontiac Trans Am

    Kage is right. According to my service manual, you have to remove the airbag to remove the harness that these lights are attached to. No plug in lights here. A bad design if you ask me.
    Would cost you dearly in labor if a dealer did it for you.
    Mine went out like yours, one, then a few weeks later, the other. I am living with mine for now.

  9. #9
    Junior Member blackTA6585's Avatar
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    All you have to do is pull the buttons out and unhook the wire in the back of the little box then open the little box that the buttons are connected to, you'll see how to do it when you get it out, then theres one screw holding the electrical board to the box. The bulb is on the electrical board. I took the little board to Radio Shack, they found the bulb, it was like 2 bucks, bought it then got home soddered the old bulb off then soddered the new one on and put eveything back together. Now it works again. THE Buttons are just set in the steering wheel. There not bolted in or anything they just pull out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackTA6585
    All you have to do is pull the buttons out and unhook the wire in the back of the little box then open the little box that the buttons are connected to, you'll see how to do it when you get it out, then theres one screw holding the electrical board to the box. The bulb is on the electrical board. I took the little board to Radio Shack, they found the bulb, it was like 2 bucks, bought it then got home soddered the old bulb off then soddered the new one on and put eveything back together. Now it works again. THE Buttons are just set in the steering wheel. There not bolted in or anything they just pull out.
    Thanks man. Appreciate it.

  11. #11
    Member Flobeast385's Avatar
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    Pewter
    1999 TA M6

    Thats exactly what i did when both of mine stopped working. I cant remember the part number but just go to radio shack and ask to see the micro lamps or micro bulbs and they will have them in the drawers. there will be 2 small bulbs with long wires and will be 12 volt bulbs( like $1.49 or something) when you get home disconnect the - and the + battery terminals and you can take the airbag fuse out located on the left side of dash fuse box. just to be safe wait a few minutes and then take out the bolts in the back of the steering wheel, this will let the airbag come out but stay connected. there is a small wiring harness that leads to both radio conrols, disconnect them and remove the conrols by gently prying with flat screwdriver. once the conrol is removed you can disconnect the harness from the back of conrols to make this easier. next unsnap the conrol plate from the case( no buttons have to be removed although the pins slid out with me). then take the small hexhead screw out of the curcuit board with a pair of needle nose pliers and remove board from the case. you will see the bulb with the red cover at the bottom of the board, remove the cover by gently twisting it off of the bulb and do not lose. use a small soldering gun or other like tool to heat the 2 soldered areas that hold the bulb in place and the bulb and wires will come out of the board without losing any filler metal. (VERY IMPORTANT!!!! there are 2 wires inside of the bulb that look like walking canes, these wires are what holds the filament in place, THESE "WALKING CANES MUST BE POINTED TOWARDS THE BOTTOM OF CONTROLS FOR THEM TO ILLUMINATE. Install the new bulbs by cutting just enough of the wires off to have them barely coming out back of board and solder in place. WARNING!!!!!!! IF YOU HAVE NO EXPERIENCE WITH A SOLDERING GUN, NO PATIENCE, OR BIG ASS FINGERS........ DO NOT ATTEMPT
    99 Trans Am M6
    SLP lid/FRA/TBB/Comp 224/224 581/581 112LSA
    Comp 918s/Comp PRs/Hedman TorkStep LTs
    Custom Y/Exhaust/Pro 5.0

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