Question about 1993 Chrysler Imperial

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Head lights will not turn on, fuel guage missing, radio turns off

As the subject line indicates, I'm having various electrical issues. I believe they are all related though.

Firstly, the headlights will not turn on - I have the automatic lights, which turn on when it gets dark enough. At night the running lights turn on and the instrument panel dims as they should but the headlights (neither low or high beam) will turn on, although I can "flash" the highbeams by holding back the turn signal stalk. Have changed out the light switch and the low beam headlamps, checked the fuses for the headlights. For a while I could bang on the dashboard, in the center of the dash, and the lights would come on but that stopped working.

The radio turns off if I hit a bump - and I can get it to turn back on if I either hit another bump or if I bang the dashboard.

The LED readouts for the fuel guage and Oil pressure guarge (far left displays) stopped working. Has happened in the past, and again banging on the dash would bring them back. Not working now though (See a pattern?)

I've checked all the fuses and they all appear good. Am I safe in assuming that these issues are all related? Is there a junction box or relay box or plug panel under the dash, somewhere behind or above the radio, that something might be loose in? That all of the above are wired through?

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  • Mark Sep 07, 2011

    Wow. I'd forgotten I had posted this, what, 3 yrs ago? LOL! Thanks for the ideas. Yes I still have the car - going on 185,000 miles, just rebuilt the transmission and am determined to see if I can get over 200,000 on this beast :)

    Radio - yes, I'd figured out that it was a relay somewhere, but had not dug into which realy where. Thanks for the location of relay box - had not realized it would involve removing the glove box. At least I have an idea of what to look for now. In addition to turning on when I would hit a bump (although even that doesn't always work anymore) the radio would sometimes turn on when I first started the car then run for maybe 5 minutes before shutting down. I had figured it was a loose connection somewhere - so that when the car was cold the connection was made but once the car had a chance to warm up the connection expanded with heat and broke the connection. Or the relay is bad, as you suggest. I'll dig further into seeing if I can replace this Brand Name speakers/radio relay.

    Headlights - I forget what I ended up doing, but I got the headlisghts working. If I remember correctly I ended up replacing the High Beam bulbs and things started workign correctly. What I thought were the high beams that I was flashing were really the low beams.

    Dash lights - actual lights burned out? Hmmm, interesting. As far as I can tell, the entire dash display is a single sealed unit, so my only option is to replace the entire panel. It looks like something that a shadetree mechanic like me can handle with a screwdriver and a nut driver. The cost of the panel is not too atrocious, around $150 last time I priced it out.

    As for your auto doors not closing properly - in the fusebox under the hood, just in front of the firewall on the drivers side. I don't remember the name of the relay, but there is a relay that handles the motor for the headlights cover. It's the one you are supposed to remove when trying to change the headlights to keep the covers open. I would try replacing that, see if it helps. I had a problem this summer with the radiator cooling fan working sporadically, basically not turning on automatically (causing things to overheat), but would turn on if I swatted the fuse box or jiggled the relay for the fan. The relay had gone bad, replaced it and all ahs worked fine since.

    Thanks again for the response.

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This is an old post so I don;t even know if you still have the car, but here is what I know.

1) Your radio issue is probably a relay. It is a relay bank located above your glove box. The entire glove box assembly will have to come out. This relay is a little different in appearnace thatn the others as it is skinnier and taller. It is called the Brand Name speakers/radio relay.

2) Your dash readouts are due to a burned out bulb. These are not LED. They are regular 124 bulbs. They've burned out. Banging on the dash probably allowed the filament of in the bulb to touch and temporarily worked.

3) I have a similar problem with the headlights. My headlights turn on manually, but they don't turn on like they are supposed to via automatic photo sensor. When turned on manually, the doors open and the headlights are on. When I manually turn off the headlights, the doors don't close. I've checked everything and I was told it may have something to do with the Body Control Module. I am not completely sure as this research is ongoing.

Posted on Sep 07, 2011

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