Question about 2002 Nissan Maxima

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My dashboard lights go out every time I turn the headlights on in my 2002 Nissan Maxima. Everything but the clock goes black (radio, heater, speedometer et al, etc. I was thinking this was possibly a fuse. I bought the car used and it did not come with a manual for troubleshooting. Also, the heater/AC fan has just started making an awful noise but goes away if you keep it running.

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  • rebelnlunit2 Apr 23, 2009

    I cut my lights on and my dash lights go out and none of my interior lights work, my electric locks

  • Anonymous Mar 29, 2014

    When headlights are turned on I noticed the interior clock when activated to show me the time goes out or dim??

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Lol, i think it is that your dimmer switch is all the way down or bad. as simple as it seems, that is really what it sounds like. try messing with it.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009

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Hi, sandiwalsh.

You probably have a bad headlight switch. (Not a fuse: when a fuse blows, the things involved don't work ever.) That switch also turns on the lights for the radio, etc., so that you can see them at night. If, instead, the switch sends that electricity to ground or along some lower-resistance path (headlight relay??), the lights for the radio, etc., will become dark or dim when they shouldn't.

The business part of these switches is just plastic and can crack, which causes all sorts of interesting things to happen. Rough operation and effects resulting from moving the switch around are good signs that this is the case. You don't say where the headlight switch is, on the dash or on a stalk. If the former, you might be able to pop the switch out by reaching under the dash and releasing any clips that are holding it in place, and giving it a look. If the headlight switch is on a stalk, that's harder, but the comment about rough operation still applies.

I'm not sure what to make about the detail regarding the clock, except to note that the clock has a separate circuit, since it has to have power all the time.

Your heater/AC fan has a bad bearing. The fans aren't expensive, and probably not hard to replace. You might be able to do it yourself.

Good luck.
Ken

Posted on Dec 22, 2008

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