Fuse blows causing dash instruments to not function
Weird electrical issue. Will be driving and all of a sudden the dash instruments will no longer function, all of them, blinker, tachometer, speedometer, gas gauge, temperature gauge...done.
If I put a new fuse in everything comes back to life. The fuse that blows is labeled Back-up light, not sure what that fuse has to do with the dash instruments, but that is how it is labeled.
I have been able to blow the fuse on demand by simply turning the blinker on.
Last night I put a new fuse in and drove without using my blinker. The car made it approximately 60 miles, interstate driving, and all of a sudden dashboard instruments go dead. I did not use my blinker and still the fuse blows. I drove it without my dashboard instruments for about 80 miles, car drove fine just wasn't sure how fast I was going.
I got gas, popped in a fresh fuse and was able to drive the remaining 50 miles of my journey with dashboard instruments working. I did not use the blinker.
My car was recently struck on the driver side front, messing up the hood and the headlight assembly. Everything has been fixed, new light etc. I only mention this as the problem started after I got the car back from the body shop.
According to the body shop what he did is not related to this electrical issue. I tend to believe him but I wanted to share the information...the mored details the better.
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Re: fuse blows causing dash instruments to not function
This could be a problem with what he did if the wiring was not correct and he had to replace the head light or any of the wiring harness to make the car like new. There is a short somewhere. It could be that with the accident some wire got trapped in the metal and when they straightend the body they pinched the wire or something to do with the headlight. I would take it back to him and demand that he shows you exactly what he did. Body shops are known for having issues like this and not wanting to take blame fr a problem
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Your car's ground wire is most likely not in connection with chassis properly, therefore you will experience static electrical build-up. I "ground" wire isnt properly connected to chasses frame at the point of contact you can suffer from electrical problems like the one you have.
Can be blower motor easy to test --remove it look for imbalance by spinning to check bearing smoothness / freeplay . Hook up ground then use inline fuse connector with lower than fuse panel ## number of fuse -- find power Eg .car battery -- be sure to ground then connect Fan to visually see it spin .. NOW if you have any type of electronic dash mounted controls for heat / air conditioning - most likely electrical issue is in it . you said blower motor does sometimes function - Test wires that plug in to it for power / find groung then probe by test light when in heat mode = switch to air cond mode if fan functions then problem in controls on dash .. if no test light reaction search wires for short or damage .. As FUNNY as it sounds I have pulled mouse nest out of GM heater fans - They access parked vehicle by drain hole inner fender well it drains water from wiper blade / heater vent area .
There is an electrical fault that causes the fuse to blow. Maybe a wire has chafed against the metal body and vibrations causes it to short out the fuse. This requires checking the wiring from the instrument cluster to the fuse box for worn insulation etc.
I believe it deserves mention here that about 98% of all brake light malfunctions do not have anything to do with a blown fuse. In fact, fuses are NOT the CAUSE of electrical circuit malfunctions at all. Electrical circuit malfunctions cause fuses to blow. It is very important when diagnosing electrical circuits, that you understand this basic "cause and effect", so you do not waste time and effort looking for the wrong source of the problem. If there is a blown fuse involved in your brake light problem, you need to find out WHY. Simply replacing a blown fuse will not fix the problem that caused the fuse to blow and will only result in another blown fuse.
With that said, the fuse that protects your brake lamp circuits is Fuse 6B (20 Amp) in the instrument panel fuse block.
HINT: This fuse also protects your hazzard flasher circuits. If these work (front or rear or both) the fuse is not blown.
The way you describe it, it sounds more like a loose connector or faulty wire to me. Fuses do not blow then "unblow" for a few seconds then blow again. I would recommend checking the power and ground circuits to your instrument cluster.
Another thing that is important that you understand is that fuses do not cause electrical system failures. Electrical system failures cause blown fuses.
With all that said, there are 2 fuse boxes. One is under the hood on the right fender apron and the other is under the dash at the right kick panel.
There are also 2 fuses that provide circuit protection for your instrument cluster. One is 15 Amp fuse #16 in the underhood power distribution center and the other is 10 Amp fuse #9 in the junction block under the dash.
If you do not know where the fuse is, how do you know it needs "fixing"? If your dash lights are not working, there is a possibility that there is a blown fuse. However, you need to realize that blown fuses do not cause electrical problems. Electrical problems cause blown fuses. So if you replace the fuse, it will likely just blow again if you do not fix the problem that caused it to blow.
On the other hand, there are several other things that could be keeping your dash lights from working that has absolutely nothing to do with the fuse.
With all that said, the fuse that protects your dash light circuits is a 7.5 Amp fuse that is located in the Instrument Panel Junction Block at the left side of the dash. It is marked "PANEL"