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Go Back   Chevy HHR Network > General Discussion > Problems/Service/Repairs > Dome Light and Radio Issues!
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Problems/Service/Repairs If you have a problem with your HHR, want a tip on repairing or performing a particular service to you HHR here is the place to post!

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Old 10-24-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Dome Light and Radio Issues!

Whus Happenin!

I will apologize in advance for the long post!

I know this is an old issue but I wanted to hear from those that know electrical wiring. As Y'all know, starting in 2009 the HHR stopped having a dome light with the manual overide switch. A new dome light without the override switch was put into the 2009 models. What this does now is keep the lights on while the doors are open indefinitely. Before any asks, no the lights do not shut off after 30 minutes in any of 2009 Model HHR's with the doors open...they only shut off with the doors closed. The is no manual way to shut them off. This makes it hard to do any tailgating or any extended activity such as playing music with the doors open. The lights will stay on until the battery is drained. I firmly believe that GM had the intent on doing the manual override switch in the dimmer switch in the dash. For example, on my 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, the override switch is in the dash and if I move the swich up the light fade on and the final click the lights stay on. When I move the switch down, the lights fade off and then the final click they stay off. This is what I believe GM was going to do with the dimmer switch in the dash: move to the right to fade the dome lights on and the final click stay on and then move the switch back to the left to fade out the lights and the final click keep them off hence your "manual override switch." However, there is no final click when going to the right to manually shut off the lights with the doors open. I believe GM abandoned the "project" to save money during their 2008 bankruptcy and hoping no one would notice. I guess I'm just one of the few that did! Also, before anyone asks, no my salesman didn't know about the dome light nor did the service department. As a matter of fact, most service department don't even know about the dome light issues as they (I've called up 10 from various areas) thought the same thing I thought: that a manual override switch was standard in every car.

All of this goes back to August 2009 when I bought my HHR. A dome lighit with an manual override switch is always standard on most vehicles so of course I would've never looked for one not to be in a vehicle. When I addressed GM about it (also the dome light information from 2008 was still in my 2009 manual) they apologized and sent me a $100 Gift Certificate. My idea at the time was to use that to put the 2008 Dome Light in my HHR that should've been in there in first place. I was willing to pay for the kit (which I could order for $70 at the time) and GM would pay for the labor to put it in. I felt that this was fair since I was not trying to get GM to do everything totally free although it would've been right since it was their fault in the first place. At first I was told that it was not possible even though from the accounts that I was given other than the light kit itself being different, the wiring itself had not changed. A year passes with me and GM going back and forth and it comes out that it could've been done after (from what my service tech at my dealership said) but the catch is that they would have to redo the headliner to do it. I said that that didn't make sense. Recently, I asked about that again with GM and my service tech and now it's a different story: it can be done but it would be several thousand dollars to do so. This sounds to me like somebody is lying and that's why I'm bringing this up to the HHR Fam! After being at odds with GM about them switching the dome light out to save them precious money during their bankruptcy in 2008 by taking out the dome light with the manual override switch for the 2009 models, they don't want to admit that they are fault and I feel like somebody is lying to me.

Secondly, my radio did not come with the dome chime adjustment feature. I've read my manual and although the information is there, I couldn't get my radio to do so. I have a 2LT with the Pioneer Premium Sound System. This really bothers me as the chimes are so loud with the door open, it literally overpowers the sound of the radio. From what I've figured out, mid 2008 GM switched supplier for their radios and although the radio was basically the same, they removed the chime level adjustment feature. This was again during GM's bankruptcy in 2008 so this was something they did to save money but it still cheated us 2009 owners. This is way some of the 2009s have that feature and some don't. I've addressed this with GM as well and of course their stance is, "That's the way the car was built and it was built the way that it was supposed to be. Tough luck, Pal." On my end, I feel cheated and I hope that doesn't sound like a complaint. I'm trying to resolve the issue as much as I know how. I like my radio but I wish it had that chime level adjustment feature. My question is how hard would it be to put the radio that has that feature in my HHR? I'm pretty sure there's probably people that have taken their radios out to get aftermarket units so finding one probably won't be a problem (who wants to give me one?) but is it hard to put one in a 2009 and would it have to be programmed (or "flashed") for it to work?

Thanks Fam!

Blue
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:06 PM   #2
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I would put a timer in the circuit or add a toggle switch. Your dealer should be able to provide you with a wiring diagram. If the dimmer still controls the interior lights, you should be able to find the wiring and put a timer or switch or both in series.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don06 View Post
I would put a timer in the circuit or add a toggle switch. Your dealer should be able to provide you with a wiring diagram. If the dimmer still controls the interior lights, you should be able to find the wiring and put a timer or switch or both in series.
I thought about the toggle swith and there's a thread on it from awhile back but unfortunately, it would void the warranty. I got that from GM and from my dealership (and more around the area). Most said that's nitpicking but by black and white it does void the warranty if GM wanted to be buttholes which at this point they are to me.

However asking for a wiring diagram for a 2008 and 2009 might be a good idea. I really feel like either the 2008 switch could be put in or the dimmer switch could be modified to do the same thing.

Thanks

Blue
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whopper View Post
Wow ............
Wow indeed!!

Anybody got one of those radios sitting around with the chime level adjustment feature they want to get rid of? (Oh wait...this probably should be in the classified section I guess)

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Old 10-28-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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Blue,

We seem to have the opposite problems with our radios. My chimes are too soft with my 2009 LS Delphi radio. What is the difference between the 2009 LS Basic radio and your 2008 LT Premium radio?

My radio:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by Sno White; 10-28-2010 at 01:42 PM. Reason: added pic
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sno White View Post
Blue,

We seem to have the opposite problems with our radios. My chimes are too soft with my 2009 LS Delphi radio. What is the difference between the 2009 LS Basic radio and your 2008 LT Premium radio?

My radio:
Click the image to open in full size.
I don't know offhand if there is a difference between our radios offhand. However, I just remembered Chevy Manger's TSB Thread:

#PIC4733C: Chime Volume Adjustment (US8/US9 Radio) - keywords int intermittent level loud normal preset radio soft three - (Dec 23, 2008)


Subject: Chime Volume Adjustment (US8/US9 radio)


Models: 2006-2009 Chevrolet Cobalt

2006-2009 Chevrolet HHR

2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu (New body style)

2007-2009 Pontiac G5

2006-2009 Pontiac Solstice

2007-2009 Saturn Aura

2007-2009 Saturn Sky
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern:
A customer might comment that the audible chimes (headlight,door,key) are too loud and they wish to have the chime volume lowered. Currently there is no procedure in SI-2000 to adjust the volume of the Chime.

Recommendation/Instructions:
Important: There was a radio supplier change at the beginning of the 2009 model year FOR ALL VEHICLES LISTED ABOVE, and we lost the ability to adjust the chime volume.

Here are the programs that have the chime volume adjustment feature:

Years and Models* Radio

2006 to 2008 Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5* (US8 and US9)

2006 to 2008 HHR* (US8 and US9)

2009 forward HHR* (UUI)

2008 Malibu* (US8 and US9)

2009 forward Malibu* (US9 and UUI)

2007 and 2008 Aura* (US8 and US9)

2009 forward Aura* (US9 and UUI)

2006 to 2008 Solstice* (US8 and US9)

2009 forward Solstice* (US9 and UUI)

2007 and 2008 Saturn Sky* (US8 and US9)

2009 forward Saturn Sky* (US9 and UUI)


Chime Level Adjustment:
The radio is used to adjust the vehicle's chime level. To change the volume level of the chime, press and hold push-button 6 with the ignition on and the radio power off.

The volume level will change from the normal level to loud, and LOUD will appear on the radio display. To change back to the default or normal setting, press and hold push-button 6 again. The volume level will change from the loud level to normal, and NORMAL will appear on the radio display.

Notice: Each time the chime volume is changed, three chimes will sound to indicate the new volume selected.

Here are the programs that do NOT have the chime volume adjustment feature.

Years and Models* Radio RPO's

2009 forward Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5* (US8 and UUI)

2009 forward HHR* (US8 )

2009 forward Malibu* (US8 )

2009 forward Aura* (US8 )

2009 forward Solstice* (US8 )

2009 forward Saturn SKY8 (US8 )
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #7
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Now I'm beginning to wonder if I have a radio malfunction since my car was built back in 2008. I would think that I would've had the radio with the chimes but we'll see. I could very well be wrong!

Anyone else want to "chime" in? (Sorry I couldn't resist!)

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Old 10-28-2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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Well from what is posted above, which I believe is a copy of an internal GM document, it says the 2009, from initial production, does not have the ability to adjust chimes, etc.

So take it for what it is worth. It appears none of the various 2009 models with the US8 or US9 radio has the ability.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy View Post
Well from what is posted above, which I believe is a copy of an internal GM document, it says the 2009, from initial production, does not have the ability to adjust chimes, etc.

So take it for what it is worth. It appears none of the various 2009 models with the US8 or US9 radio has the ability.
It's cool. That's why I said I could very well be wrong.

Thanks

Blue
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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My understanding is it is only the MY 2009 and forward that has the inability to adjust volume. Verify your radio is not a Delphi - somewhere on it you will find Delphi on one of the many stickers. Of course you will have to remove the radio to examine it.

ChevyMgr and I went around and around in this thread:
http://chevyhhr.net/forums/showthread.php?t=22327
about my inability to adjust the “Chimes” until he found the Service Bulletin you pasted above.

My chimes are way too low; I cannot hear the turn signals at speed or with the radio on. Sitting at a stoplight is OK. Yes, I do have a hearing loss (explosion), but I’ve never had this problem with any other vehicle. By the way it is not only the turn signal chimes I can not hear.

If this is not your problem, then as noted above you may have a malfunctioning radio.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:23 PM
 
 
 
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