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My dimmer switch gets hot when connected and that causes my instrument lights and marker lights to stay on. Replaced it three times, same problem. 1995 ford explorer

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Hi cpitucker, I'm glad to help!

Tucker, anytime you replace a component you think is causing the problem and the problem is still there. What this means is you have a direct short to ground on the power side of the circuit. Now, sense your marker lights and instrument lights are staying on then your short is in that circuit. Start by unplugging the cluster first and see if the short go away. If not, plug the cluster back in and unplug one marker lamp at a time, if the short is still there then you'll need to trace the wiring for each component to find the damaged area. Hope this helps and have an awesome day Tucker.

Posted on Aug 14, 2014


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One problem may be the orange bulb check. It's located next to the headlight relay on the driver side under the hood next to the fuse box. It's in a covered box too. The soldering gets tiny cracks from age/vibration. Needs to be replaced. Try ebay or your $aab dealer.

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SOURCE: Instrument lights won't turn off

hi,seem lighting switch is grounded or wiring for cluster is grounded,if can remove the lighting switch disconnected the wire,see if light in cluster is off,switch or wiring must check,ty

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SOURCE: 1998 Ford Explorer blinker problems

Have you checked the contacts to make sure they have good contact with the bulb base? I have a 1995 Ford Contour. The turn signal went out. I replaced the bulb and it would work when it wanted to. I checked the contacts and sure enough they weren't making good contact with the bulb. I took a screwdiver and slightly bent the contacts a little. It has worked good ever since.

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SOURCE: 97 Honda Accord. Dash & taillights blow fuses.

Bad grounds cause weak dim lights and intermittent operation a positive circuit shorting to a metal ground causes shorts and blown fuses burnt connections. You need a wiring diagram for the circuit and need to trace the wires and look for a short. Or if there is no short in the wiring and this vehicle uses a module computer for the lighting the module could be faulty.

Posted on Nov 21, 2009

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1 Answer

2002 buick lesabre instrument panel lights dim. Dimmer switch has no effect. Dimmer was replaced.

This is more than likely an internal fault in the instrument cluster since the other lights stay bright and you can control them. I suspect that you may need to remove the cluster and have it rebuilt to cure this problem

Apr 09, 2017 | 2002 Buick LeSabre

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Radio stopped working now dash lights stay on 09 focus

With the parking lamps ON, the instrument panel dimmer switch uses electronic circuitry to provide a variable pulse width modulated (PWM) output to the instrument panel and all applicable switches depending on the driver-controlled level of intensity, The dash lights stay on with headlamp switch off ?
Have checked the fuse's for the Radio ?
Visual Inspection Chart Mechanical Electrical
  • Audio unit
  • Compact disc (CD)
  • Antenna
  • Battery junction box (BJB) fuse 11 (30A) (subwoofer amplifier)
  • Central junction box (CJB) fuse(s):
    • 31 (20A) (audio unit hot at all times)
    • 41 (7.5A) (audio unit hot in RUN/ACC) (early build)
    • 57 (7.5A) (audio unit hot in RUN/ACC) (late build)
    • 62 (7.5A) (audio unit hot in START)
  • Audio unit
  • Speakers
  • Subwoofer amplifier

Do you know where the central junction box Is ?

Pinpoint Test A: The Audio Unit Is Inoperative/Does Not Operate Correctly
Normal Operation The audio unit receives voltage at all times through circuit 29-MD15 (OG/BK), voltage in RUN/ACC through circuit 75-MD15 (YE/GN), and ground through circuit 91-MD15 (BK/GN). The audio unit is operational with the key in RUN or ACC.
    Possible Causes
  • Fuse
  • Circuit 29-MD15 (OG/BK) open
  • Circuit 75-DA4 (YE/GN) open
  • Circuit 75-MD15 (YE/GN) open
  • Circuit 91-MD15 (BK/GN) open
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Dec 30, 2016 | 2009 Ford Focus

1 Answer

Why aren't parking lights working?

Park lamp fuse 20amp located in the under hood fuse box .DRL control module
Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) Control Module
Right of the steering column, behind the IP
Park, Sidemarker, Tail and License Lamps
Voltage is applied continuously to the PARK fuse to the headlamp and the instrument panel (IP) lamp dimmer switch through CKT 1340.
When the headlamp and the (IP) lamp dimmer switch is in the PARK or HEAD position, voltage is applied to CKT 9 thus activating the following lamps:
• The park lamps
• The side marker lamps
• The tail lamps
• The license lamps
The park/turn lamps are the only lamps that do not activate yet receive a current from CKT 9. The park/turn lamps do not activate because the voltage drop across the front side marker lamps is much higher than that across the turn lamp filaments Step
Normal Result(s)
Abnormal Result(s)*

Turn the headlamp/instrument panel (IP) lamp dimmer switch to the PARK position.
The following lamps light:
• The license plate lamps
• The taillight lamps
• The front side marker lamps (Domestic)
• The front parking lamps (Domestic)
The headlamp position lamps (Export)
Refer to Park Lamps Inoperative
Park Lamps Inoperative

Inspect the PARK LP fuse.
Is the fuse open?
YES - Go to Step 2
NO - Go to Step 3

Repair a short to ground in CKT 1340.
Is the repair complete?
Go to Exterior Lights System Check

Turn the headlamp/instrument panel (IP) lamp dimmer switch to the PARK position.
Use a test light in order to backprobe the headlamp/IP lamp dimmer switch harness connector between terminal R and ground.
Did the test lamp light?
Go to Step 7
Go to Step 4

Use a test light in order to backprobe the headlamp/IP lamp dimmer switch harness connector between terminal O and ground.
Did the test lamp light?
Go to Step 5
Go to Step 6

Replace the headlamp/IP lamp dimmer switch. Refer to Headlamp Switch Replacement .
Is the repair complete?
Go to Exterior Lights System Check

Repair the following conditions in CKT 1340 between the PARK LP fuse and the headlamp and the IP lamp dimmer switch harness connector terminal O:
• A faulty connection
• An open circuit
Is the repair complete?
Go to Exterior Lights System Check

Repair the following conditions in CKT 9 between the headlamp and the IP lamp dimmer switch harness connector terminal R and S204:
• A faulty connection
• An open circuit
Is the repair complete?
Go to Exterior Lights System Check

Feb 18, 2016 | 1999 Pontiac Montana

1 Answer

1992 s10 dash lights do not work, everything else works fuse looks fine and replaced anyway!!!

The instrument cluster dimmer switch is either faulty, or may simply need to be unplugged and reconnected. I have seen this many, many times on vehicles. Over time and with use, the connections lose connectivity due to the lack/depletion/dissipation of electrical contact grease that is used from the factory for electrical connections. When you have removed the dimmer switch, and unplugged it, spray the connections on the wiring harness, as well as the switch with either electrical contact spray, or WD40, reconnect and start to move the dimmer control as far as it will turn in both directions. If that isn't the issue, I would recommend that you remove the instrument cluster, and check the bulbs, and connections. (Bad bulbs, especially all of them at once, is rarely the case.) If the bulbs are good and the connections are clean and making a solid connections from the wiring harness to the instrument cluster, you are looking at buying a dimmer switch.

I hope that you have found this information to be useful, and if I can be of any further assistance, please let me know. Thank you for using fixya!

Oct 01, 2013 | 1992 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer

1 Answer

I have a 1997 cavalier z24 that is having some electrical problems. The tail lights, side marker lights, and instrument cluster lights do not work. I've already replaced the fuse, but it keeps...

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Marker Lights Posessed

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Jun 22, 2012 | 1998 Plymouth Grand Voyager

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Hi i have an 1986 toyota 4runner the dash lights and running lights stopped working... fuse is blown and checked wires in the tail lights, marker lights and behind the dash with no luck... is there a...

The tail and marker lights and Instrument lights are on the same circuit so both will go out if the fuse for this circuit blows. If fuse continues to fail, check the tail light or marker globes, including the globes for the number plate, for a globe that may have an internal short causing the fault and replace as necessary. As you have already checked the wiring near the light fittings for any chafed wires that could be shorting to the body causing the fault, then a closer inspection of the wires inside all the light assemblies for any shorts may be needed.

It could also be that the instrument dimmer control has failed and is causing the fault. The electronic bits inside the dimmer control for these lights sometimes go faulty. Try disconnecting the connecting plug on the rear of the dimmer control and checking if fuse still blows. If fuse continues to fail, then the fault in the tail and marker lights circuit.

Remove all the tail, number plate and running light globes from the light assemblies and leave the instrument dimmer control disconnected and check if fuse still blows.

Disconnect the plug near each of the light assemblies to see if any of the individual assemblies is causing the fault. With all light assemblies disconnected and fuse continues to fail, then the fault must be in the main wiring loom some where.

If you have a Multimeter, it could be used to determine which light assembly has a fault between the lamp supply and earth connection.

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99 3500 dodge ram problem: low beams don't work....replaced bulbs ,hi beams fine however when switched to low the blue indicator dash lgt stays on & the lows are very weak. Connections seem to be...

Is headlamp connector a three wire connector? One should be voltage, hot all the time, use a digital multimeter to check for voltage. The others should be ground. Your dimmer and headlamp switch are on the ground circuit. One way to check ground would be to use a redundant ground jumper wire, If the lamp then works correctly, the problem is ground. Hopefully you can bypass switches to rule them in or out. If you bypass switch and lamp works correctly, then the switch is faulty. Just my opinion.

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Feb 10, 2010 | 1999 Honda Accord

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The lights on the instrument panels as well as the radio flash at intermittent intervals. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when this happens (i.e. hot or cold car, bumps or no bumps, turns or no...

I had intermittent instrument light problem that went dark for months, until today. :o) I read somewhere that it could be the dimmer switch and didn't think that was my problem as the dimmer worked (dimmed the radio and transmission indicator light) and playing with it never seemed to help with the problem. I did find it odd that dimmer was not completely linear, as it would get brighter up to a certain point and get slightly dimmer with the last little bit of travel.

Today, I took the instrument cluster apart to fix a broken clock, sticking gas & voltage gauges, and to explore the instrument light problem. I took apart the dimmer switch, and to my surprise (was expecting a simple POT), it was a very complicated PCB with some IC's, resistors, transistors, etc. I thought, "all this just to dim the light???" Anyway, I found the POT (potentiometer) and gave a few squirts of WD-40 and found it turning smoother. After putting it back together, the instrument light came back and the dimmer is now perfectly linear. Apparently, less than perfect POT causes some sort of funny logic through the network of IC's and transistors and can cause the instrument light to go on or off randomly at certain intervals.

Anyway, I'm so happy to have the light back along with a working clock and not having to punch the instrument cluster to see how much fuel I have. Not really a posting type, but wanted to help someone else out there with a similar problem with same cause.

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