Question about 1986 Mercury Marquis

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Common Electrical / Lighting problem

Instrument lights are out completely; radio illumination still works with dimmer

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I would suspect the headlamp switch is bad, very common problem on that vechile.

Posted on May 15, 2008

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I have an 06 ford explorer the instrument cluster lights and radio lights don't work


Are these the lights you are talking about ?
Instrument Cluster and Panel Illumination The instrument cluster and panel illumination is used to provide backlighting to the instrument panel, switches, and control components when the headlamp switch is in either the PARKING LAMPS ON or HEADLAMPS ON position. The level of intensity is adjustable by rotating the instrument panel dimmer switch either up to increase intensity or down to decrease intensity.
Fixed Backlighting When the accessory delay relay is energized, switched voltage is supplied to the non-dimmable components and switches.
Dimmable Backlighting When the parking lamps or the headlamps are in the ON position the smart junction box (SJB) monitors the input from the instrument panel dimmer switch. The SJB sends a pulse-width modulated (PWM) voltage to the dimmable components and switches based on input received from the instrument panel dimmer switch. The SJB also sends a message over the controller area network (CAN) to the audio unit, and the instrument cluster to indicate the backlighting intensity level.
If you don't know about PWM an smart junction box your better off taking your vehicle to a quailified repair shop ! You don't the diagnostic tools or technical information . May have DTC'S - diagnostic trouble codes stored in the SJB (computer ). Do you know where SJB is located ?
Visual Inspection Chart Electrical
  • Smart junction box (SJB) fuse 23 (15A)
  • Bulb(s)
  • Circuitry
  • Connectors
  • Illumination source(s)
  • Auxiliary climate control switches (if equipped)
  • Door lock control switches
  • Window control switches
  • Headlamp switch
  • Dual electronic automatic temperature control (DEATC) module
  • Audio unit
  • SJB
  • Instrument cluster

  1. If an obvious cause for an observed or reported concern is found, correct the cause (if possible) before proceeding to the next step.
  1. If the cause is not visually evident, connect the diagnostic tool to the data link connector (DLC) and select the vehicle to be tested from the diagnostic tool menu. If the diagnostic tool does not communicate with the vehicle:
  • check that the program card is correctly installed.
  • check the connections to the vehicle.
  • check the ignition switch position.
  1. If the diagnostic tool still does not communicate with the vehicle, refer to the diagnostic tool operating manual.
  1. Carry out the diagnostic tool data link test. If the diagnostic tool responds with:
  • CAN circuits fault; all electronic control units no response/not equipped, refer to Section 418-00 .
  • No response/not equipped for SJB, refer to Section 419-10 .
  • System passed, retrieve and record the continuous diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), erase the continuous DTCs, and carry out the self-test diagnostics for the SJB.
  1. If the DTCs retrieved are related to the concern, go to the Smart Junction Box (SJB) Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) Index.
  1. If no DTCs related to the concern are retrieved, GO to Symptom Chart .
    • The control illumination is inoperative
    • Fuse
    • Smart junction box (SJB)
    • Go To Pinpoint Test A .
    • The instrument cluster illumination is inoperative
    • Instrument cluster
    • CHECK the audio unit illumination for correct operation.
      • If the audio unit illumination operates correctly, INSTALL a new instrument cluster. REFER to Section 413-01 . TEST the system for normal operation.
      • If the audio unit illumination does not operate correctly, REFER to Section 418-00 to continue diagnosis of the communications network.
    • The audio unit illumination is inoperative
    • Audio unit
    • CHECK the instrument cluster illumination for correct operation.
      • If the instrument cluster illumination operates correctly, REMOVE the audio unit. REFER to Section 415-01 . SEND it to an authorized repair facility. TEST the system for normal operation after the repair.
      • If the instrument cluster illumination does not operate correctly, REFER to Section 418-00 to continue diagnosis of the communications network.

Sep 04, 2016 | 2006 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

Dash lights not working


A year, make, and model would help a lot....

Did they all go out at the same time? is there lighting to the heater controls and radio? Have you checked the fuses? Look in the index of your owners manual under fuses. If you do not have one many manufacturers will have them online. Go to there site and look for "owner" links.

Make sure the dimmer switch didn't get bumped. This will turn off all the instrument illumination as well. It is usually found near the head light switch or on the drivers side of the dash.

Jan 16, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

2011 Jeep liberty, wife said her lights on the radio are not working, said she can not see the clock light or stations , but radio still works? I don't think it's a fuse if the radio still plays.


The lights on the radio are dimmed with the instrument panel dimmer control so usually they are fed with a separate 12 volt signal that is separate from the main radio power. It may have a separate fuse but may not. If it's not a fuse it could be a loose connector going to the radio, assuming the rest of the instrument panel lights are working correctly. I suppose it is also possible that the dimmer control has two sections, one for the radio and one for the panel lights, and the section for the radio is bad. Run the dimmer control back and forth stop to stop a few times, push on it etc. to see if that effects it. I suspect it is somewhere in the dimmer circuit.

Sep 17, 2015 | Jeep Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Which fuse is for the instrument panel back lighting?


Does the radio play ? Are any other back lighting components not lighting ? Does the HVAC control panel light up ? You probably need new radio !
The second interior lighting group includes lamps which may be dimmed. This group may use a combination of vacuum fluorescent (VF) illumination, LED illumination and incandescent lamps.
When the ignition switch is turned to the RUN position, the radio VF display turns ON at maximum brightness. When the park lamps are ON, all incandescent and LED back lighting turn ON at the dimming level indicated by the instrument panel (I/P) dimmer switch. At the same time all VF displays dim to match the indicated dimming level. The panel dimmer switch potentiometer is an input to the body control module (BCM). When the driver selects a dimming setting by moving the I/P dimming switch potentiometer, all incandescent back lighting lamps are provided with a specific voltage. When the I/P dimmer switch is moved from MIN to MAX, all VF displays, as well as all incandescent back lighting respond from minimum intensity to maximum brightness in response to the I/P dimmer switch.

Dose

Jul 14, 2015 | 2008 GMC Sierra 1500

2 Answers

'95 Lincoln town car. Husband was driving uphill and the digital dash suddenly went dark. Radio is working and a/c is not. Exterior light still working and so are interior lights besides the dash


Could be a bad wire possibly chaffing or grounding out to to another wire or frame. Check your fuses. You may want to pull the dash out and check that wiring as well

Jul 07, 2015 | Lincoln Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Instrument panel light malfunctioning.


I have a buddy with a Jimmy and his lights did something similar, but once the dash illumination quit, nothing would make them come back on. We ended up replacing the entire light switch assembly, and it fixed it. We assume the dash illumination dimmer switch was shorted out. You may try getting a can of contact cleaner and taking the switch out and spraying all electrical connections related to your lighting to clean them up, THEN look into a new switch if that doesnt help. Hope this helped!!

Oct 26, 2012 | 1999 GMC Jimmy

2 Answers

Dash lights will not work?


Check that your tailights/parking lights are working (not the headlights) as this fuse and relay feeds all the instument lights too.... Fuse 15amp TAIL & Tailight Relay

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.

Sep 28, 2009 | Toyota Pickup Cars & Trucks

4 Answers

Failure of instrument cluster & console lighting


My 2003 Elantra had a problem when I would use the turn signals. The dash lights would flicker on and off and if you jiggled the arm of the dimmer switch it would turn the dash lights back on. Over time it got worse. AND little did I know it also made the tail lights and front parking lights flicker on and off!!! So it was not good to say the least.
I took the switch out and opened it up. And inside where the turn signal components moved to make their contact connections, there was a build up of electrical contact grease at the bottom making intermittent contact between two points (I'm assuming gravity and vibration over the years moved the grease down there and built up). I cleaned the excess contact grease from the area. Reassembled the switch. Put back in steering column. No longer having issues.

Apr 28, 2009 | 2004 Hyundai Elantra

1 Answer

I need to change the bulb in the analog clock in my 1999 Lincoln Towncar. How do I go about getting to it without tearing apart the dashboard?


you need a special tool to get the radio out. It has pins that spread out spring clips so the radio can pull out.

please rate as solved if this helps.

SECTION 413-00: Instrument Cluster and Panel Lighting — General Information 1999 Town Car Workshop Manual
REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION Bulb —Electric Clock
Special Tool(s) Radio Removing Tool
T87P-19061-A

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Removal
  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable.
  1. Pull out the radio using Radio Removing Tool.
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  1. Remove the radio.
    1. Disconnect the electrical connectors.
    1. Disconnect the antenna cable.
    1. Remove the radio.
  1. Remove the instrument cluster finish panel bolts.
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  1. Remove the instrument cluster finish panel bolts.
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  1. Pull out and position aside the instrument cluster finish panel.
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  1. Disconnect the electric clock electrical connector.
  1. Remove the instrument cluster finish panel.
    1. Disconnect the headlight switch electrical connector.
    1. Disconnect the dimmer switch electrical connector.
    1. Remove the instrument cluster finish panel.
  1. Remove the electric clock illumination bulb.

Apr 23, 2009 | 1999 Lincoln Town Car

1 Answer

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

Mar 29, 2009 | 1991 Jaguar XJ6

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