Question about 2005 Toyota Corolla

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Dash lights dim when outside lights turned on

Rheostat doesn't work

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Dash lights have much to do with the outside lights. There is factory built in system with the dash lights. When the car is driven during night time the dash lights automatically become dim to eliminate the eye irritation to the driver.
If it is equipped with dimmer switch the variable resistance or its electronic circuit may be defective and be replaced.

Posted on Nov 24, 2013

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If not then check:
The rheostat (also known as the dimmer switch) may be faulty
as it controls all the illumination of all the backlight bulbs and other dimable switches/indicators.

In general bulbs all together draw a fair amount of current so it is possible that the wiring or ground at the major supply junction feeders has failed but that is a less common problem.

So check the rheostat dimmer wiring area first as all illumination power goes through it.

There is further simple testing we can do with the three wires at the rheostat you can check the entire illumination system.
If you jumper the white/blk to the white/blk all the illumination lights should come on (that means the rheostat is bad).

Or use a voltmeter and measure the green rehostat wire to ground it should be 12volts (if not time to check the fuse, relay and wiring)

If not then finally declare the instrument panel faulty (like burned up circuit board trace).

Note of interest: the rheostat also controls (dims) other switches not associated with the instrument cluster such as the cigarette lighter bulb and hazard switch and radio player and A/C control switch. So if those are dimming but not the instrument panel backlights then yes the instrument cluster needs fixing or a very close wiring inspection.

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The only possible location I can think these circuits cross is at the headlight switch.The dimmer rheostat or the wheel you turn to dim and brighten your dash lights also should turn on your dome light so I think maybe a new headlight switch assembly or rheostat should fix tour problem

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FROM ANOTHER POST:

the fuse is the #2 fuse in the underhood fuse box. that fusebox is on the passenger side of the engine compartment and it has a black cover on it that is approximately 6" x 3"

the fuse box lid should have a list under the cover of what fuses are what. the #2 fuse is a 15 amp fuse.

if the console lights work then the problem isn't the fuse.

check the rheostat that is used to dim the dash lights. that is the same button you use to reset the trip odometer at the base of the speedometer. that knob actually turns to brighten or dim the dash lights. it may have gotten turned inadvertantly

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