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How to change the ambient light sensor on a 99-02 GM fullsize

Discussion in 'Tech How To' started by ScottyBoy, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. ScottyBoy

    ScottyBoy No, that's not a banana in my pants.

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    My 01 Suburban auto headlight started acting up about like 2 months ago.They would stay on any time the ign was on, even during the day. I swapped out the ambient light sensor and that solved the problem. Mine was only 13 bucks at the dealer. Its GM part number 12450120. This should fit a 99-02 truck or 00-02 suv. 03+ is a different part number.
    But the installation should be relatively the same on all 99-06 GM Fullsize trucks and SUV's. You will have to take off the top of the dash, its not actually that hard. You will need a 7mm nut driver, a stubby phillips screwdriver, a nylon prying tool (a flathead screwdriver might work, but may also damage the dash)and a hook pick type of tool.
    First, you'll need to remove the two windsield A-pillar trim pieces(they will just pop off, only held by clips) Now remove the main dash bezel that surrounds the instrument cluster, radio and AC contols. (this will pop right off as well) You will now need to unscrew several 7mm screws along the top of the dash above the radio and instrument cluster. Now pop off the fuse panel cover on the drivers side and also the same panel on the passenger side of the dash. On each side you will need to undo 2 phillips screws (this is where the stubby screwdriver comes to use). Now you pop out the two AC vents on the passenger side just above the glove box.(heres where you'll need the hook tool) After you get the vents out, unscrew a phillips screw in each vent hole. Now look up inside the vent hole and see the release tabs for the "grab bar" on the upper dash. Reach into the vent holes to press the release the tabs that hold the grab bar in, and pull the grab bar straight out towards the seats. Now you should be able to lift up the top of the dash (or completely take it out if you wish) and swap out the sensor. Start to finish took me about 45 mins and that was even with me trying to figure out how to get the dash off. With these instructions, this should be a 20-30 minute job. (vehicle pics are not actually of my truck, they are courtesy of a user on GMT who I helped with his sensor replacement.)
    Part number...
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    Tools needed, nylon trim removal tool/prybar, 7mm nutdriver, hook tool, and a stubby phillips screwdriver.
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    Remove the windshield pillar trim...
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    Pop off the dash cluster/radio bezel....
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    7mm screws to remove...
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    Now pop out the side panels/fuse box cover on each side of the dash and unscrew 2 phillips screws on each side.
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    Now pop out the two passenger side AC vents...
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    1 screw behind each vent to remove
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    Now look up inside vents holes and push on the white grab bar release button. Pull on the grab bar as you press the relaes button and it will slide out.
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    Now there are 3 clips that pop out above the passenger air bag then the dashboard will lift off, just lift straight up. Now you can remove the sensor from the dash and replace it with the new one.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Installation is reverse of removal.:thumbs:
     
  2. ScottyBoy

    ScottyBoy No, that's not a banana in my pants.

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    I should also add that getting it back in would be a LOT easier lining it up if you had two people. I was leaning over to get in as close to the middle of the front seat as I could and get everything all lined up to pop back in place.
     
  3. RebelThunder

    RebelThunder Speak English or GTFO

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    When I replaced this in my '99, I didn't even bother pulling the dash. I took out the radio and reached my arm back up in there. It took some finangaling but I was done in about 20 minutes.
     
  4. ScottyBoy

    ScottyBoy No, that's not a banana in my pants.

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    I tried that at first, I couldn't get my big ass hands past the ductwork behind the radio.:dunno:
     
  5. txab

    txab Don't get stuck on stupid!

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    bump
     
  6. 2000 Suburban

    2000 Suburban I'm NEW... What now?

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    Ambient light sensor

    On dash of 2000 chevy suburban 2500, have two sensors. which is ambient light sensor, what is the other one?
     
  7. Black02Silverado

    Black02Silverado Sponsor

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    Not sure but you can cover one and see if the lights come on.
     
  8. ScottyBoy

    ScottyBoy No, that's not a banana in my pants.

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    Is this a GMT400 body style (same as 92-99 body style) 2500 Suburban that you are referring to? Or is it a GMT800 body style, same as 2000-2006 body style Suburban ? I have a 2001 Suburban and I only have one sensor.
     

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