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$800 to replace dimmer switch?

My 2001 Buick Century has developed a bad dimmer switch (combination switch-turn signal switch-with cruise control). My dealer repair shop wants almost $800 to replace the switch. I need a less expensive option. Any ideas??

Go to a local independant shop to have this switch replaced. They’ll replace it at a lower cost.


Maybe you could have a repair shop cut and seal wire under hood that controls hi and low beam and have them run new wires to switch to control hi and low in or under dash?

Now would be a great time to ask your friends, co-workers and family members for the name of a good local mechanic.

Dealers are almost always more expensive, but seldom better.

Note: part of that reason is because dealers tend to fix things AS GOOD AS NEW while independents tend to consider the cost and often may be able to fix a problem almost as good as new but much cheaper. The new part have been repaired rather than replace with a new part for example.

Do as the others say, but it still won’t be ‘cheap’, they have to remove the steering wheel (and it has an air bag), so there’s a fair amount of work involved.

It all depends if majority of quote is labor or part.

If majority labor an independent will save you in hourly cost. If part I would suggest seeking a junk yard(auto recycler) as a source for the part.

You never want to install a used electrical part such as this.

First. The original GM multifunction switches were problematic. So installing one from an auto recycler will just result in early failure.

Second. The aftermarket GM multifunction switches have updates that address the weak points of these switches. So a new aftermarket switch will last longer.

This is one of those repairs where, you want it done once! And you want it done right?


Anyone know why my idea would not work?
Would not have to mess with steering wheel, just correct wire under hood and run wire to a switch in or under dash?
It would have to be a 3 way switch.
High and low beam is the only thing now working correct?

It would work, probably. The reason most people won’t do it is because it is a kluge job. A kid with no job will do something like that, just as he will drive an old beater on it’s last legs.

And, since it isn’t always a simple switch, a screw up could really mess up the wiring system.

If you are going to be driving this car until you junk it I see no reason not to install an old style foot dimmer switch. The switch screws to the floor and you just have to identify the wires before they go up into the cloum. If you can’t do it any local mechanic can.

Repair this car as it is designed,don’t reinvent the wheel,just shop for a better price.

I have a reason not to install an old fashioned dimmer switch. My wife once broke her left foot. We would drive down to visit our son who was in school 120 miles away. She would drive back at night while I would try to sleep. I would almost be asleep and I would hear this “tappa-tappa-tappa click-click–tappa-tappa-tappa click-click”. My wife was operating the floor dimmer switch with her crutch. Very annoying.