How to Install a Dimmer Switch on a Buick Park Avenue

by Don Bowman

The dimmer switch on a Buick Park Avenue is located on the lower left side of the steering column just behind the lower dash cover. A rod connects it to the turn-signal switch. When the handle on the turn-signal switch is pulled toward the steering wheel, the rod is pushed downward. This rod pushes inward on the dimmer switch. Each time the dimmer switch is pushed, it changes the headlights from high to low beam.

Remove the bottom cover of the dash with the ratchet; use a 7mm socket to remove the retaining screws. Remove the electrical connector on the dimmer switch by squeezing the locking tabs and pulling it out.

Tape the dimmer switch rod just above the switch to keep the rod from falling out when the switch is removed. Remove the dimmer switch by removing the two small screws in the retaining plate on the side of the steering column. This plate has slots for adjustment of the dimmer switch. Moving it forward closes the gap between the switch and the rod. The switch is located atop another plate used for the ignition switch for the starter. Look closely and try not to remove these screws, or this plate will also need to be adjusted so the engine will start. The two screws holding the dimmer switch will be low at about the 10 o'clock position on the steering column.

Hold the new dimmer switch plate in place and insert the two screws. Loosely tighten them so the plate can be adjusted before final tightening. Hold the rod and remove the tape. While holding the rod, move the switch rearward until the rod seats in the circular pocket in the switch. Tighten the two screws with the ratchet and a socket.

Plug in the electrical connector and bolt up the lower dash cover.

Items you will need


About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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