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DRL dash photocell

DRL dash photocell

Postby wonderfulboodad [OP] » Sep 01 2010, 5:15am

The photocell on the dash of my 2004 Silverado for the DRL came loose and is under the dashboard. Does anyone know how to get to this thing so I can put it back in the dash. I tried to get thru where the radio is but no go to much crap in the way. If the dash needs to be removed please give instructions on how that is done.
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby jepics » Sep 16 2010, 4:54pm

Does the dome on the dash unscrew or pop off to access the Daytime Running Lights photocell? Can you fish it out thru the opening?
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby Jamms04 » Dec 13 2010, 9:38pm

The dash doesnt have a dome that you can access the photocell (sensor) through. It sits right up by the windshield coming through the dash top and 1/4 turns in to lock in place. Mine fell in 2 when i was wiping down the dash one day. I too tried to get my hands which are small in there to push the sensor up. But its just too difficult. if i could get the dash to remove or go up about 2" i could get it in.

hopefully someone has something to add to this.
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby jepics » Dec 13 2010, 10:09pm

You aren't the only one who has reported issues with the DRL photocell falling into the dash especially when cleaning the dash.

The DRL photocell is that little black bubble in the center of the dash near the windshield that tells the headlights to turn on/off.

Then your headlights will stay on because when the photocell drops inside the dash, it registers that it is night time all the time.

Here's the how to, and it isn't all that simple or quick...
1) Remove the instrument cluster bezel.
2) Unscrew the dash all the way around, including the screws behind the fuse box panel and the relay panel on the passenger's side. You also need to locate and remove the screws behind the A/C vents - they pull out fairly easy.
3) There are 2 white tabs for each side of the dash handle to push in and pull the handle straight out. FInding these is the key to the removal.
4) Gently pull on the shell and you now have easy access to the little black bubble to tell the headlights to turn on and off.

The estimated time for this is less than 1/2 hour - for the 2nd time you have to do it! The hardest part is getting all the clips for the front of the dash clipped back in.

When you do this repair, PLEASE take some photos - that will help the rest of us when we encounter the disappearing photocell... I will be adding this "How-To" to the How To Forum.

For now, I am staying clear of that little bugger!
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby adams99z71 » Dec 14 2010, 12:19am

the chiltons repair manual has some pretty good pictures of how to do this.
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby Jamms04 » Dec 14 2010, 2:03am

thanks. I think i get pretty much the idea of what needs to be done and will be glad to upload some pictures of the process. I knew there is extra screws in places we just dont think of. I'm guessing its best to disconnect the neg battery cable for the sake of the airbag too, correct?
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby jepics » Dec 14 2010, 3:24am

Always highly recommended to disconnect the battery when doing stuff around the dashboard. Airbags are expensive and setting them off is hard to explain to your insurance company!
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby Jamms04 » Dec 18 2010, 10:12pm

thanks man! Worked just like you said. I wasn't looking for 4 of the screws behind the vents and the grab bar clips all got me. but She's fixed now.
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Re: DRL dash photocell

Postby Curly » Jan 08 2011, 2:23pm

jepics wrote:You aren't the only one who has reported issues with the DRL photocell falling into the dash especially when cleaning the dash.
For now, I am staying clear of that little bugger!
I didn't know that. I'll keep that in mind next time when cleaning the truck. Unfortunately I'll probably forget. :(
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