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What year is your vehicle? It could be a control cluster, or "brain" as it is often called, which is directly behind the AC?Heater control knob. This would require removing much of your dashboard which is NOT a enjoyable experience! Peace. God bless.
General advise:Before removing anything check the fuses.For reacing the bulb:Must pull off the panel,remove the knobs by gently force them out,under must have some screw/clips to allow remove the panel.The panel may need help to pop from sides,don't force it,use plastic card/tool.Exersize on a old radio removing the control knobs.Some cars u have to unscrew the down side usually the ashtray.The bulb may be hard to identify,exersize removing bulbs on a wasted dashboard from a car/scooter...
You didn't say the year or the model or what country your in so I can't tell what kind of car you got except you got a BMW Theres a knob near the headlight switch that lets you turn the lights brightness of the cluster up and down. This switch can be turned all the way down and the bulbs will and can burn out and the fuse for panel illumation can fail and iff it did an aftermarket radio is most likly as peaple hook them up and use the dash illunination wire for a grond wire. Look the fuse panel over for blown fuses and if their all good ( you need a test light to do this as the fuses will only come hot witht the lights on and certain model years the key has to be on and the engine running) This dimmer switch should come hot with th lights on and it's just 3 wires Ground the light bulbs and the light wire from the headlight switch. the headilght switch can be bad but again I don't know what year the car is as some of the older mosels you turn the knob to brighten or dim the panel lights ( the fuse can be labled panel ) he ire should come hot when the lights are on ( and lit) If not and the fuses are good your either checking or changing the headlight switch. The cars that i've fixed all seemed to be burnt out bulbs and it depnds on the year and the model as to how you do this. American market cars used different bulbs and holders than european cars and Sough africa use still others.
Check your fuse box, Should be under your dash, right above where your clutch would be. Read the back of the panel, it will tell you which fuse goes where. check that fuse, or replace it. I cheat and put a higher amp fuse in all my fuse spots.
The dash board has many light bulbs and the gear shift and the window switch all work on this circuirt. The radio if its stock turns up and down on this circuit too. The running lights are relaed to this circuit too as the runnings lights go out the dash does too. ( It's a DOT thang ) Lets you know that your running without tailights! But the dash can go out by it's self and aftermarket radios and their installers are the culprit. The dash light wire is in the stock radio harness and their used as ground wires and left to touch ground and blow the fuse. The fuse is called gaugesand it's a 5 amp or 7.5 amp. It's in the dash board fuse box behind the change holder that your left knee might hit if it were to hit the dash. If all the lights in the heater control and the gauges and the gearshift and the power window switch are all not working look for a blown fuse and it's cause. ( radio wireing ) or the running lights are out too and a bad marker light frunt or rear running lights. the park fuse may be blown and cause this and the dash lights won't work either. The dash dimmer switch can and does fail. It pops out by prying it out the frount theres 3 wires on it one is ground. one comes on with the lights and the other is the one going to all those light bulbs I just talked about. With the lights on one wire will be hot ( use a test light to check) A cheap one at the parts store or wally world only costs a few dollars at the most. If two wires are hot its on and it's godd one of these two will brighten and dim as you turn the switch. if only one wire is hot and the others stay cold the one that is hot jumpered to the one thats not black (ground) will make the lights work. Your right you could have bad bulbs but theres at least 15 of them and whats the liklyhood of blowing all of them at once ( doesn't happen unless theres a real bad problem involving crashes and jump starting. The cluster comes out by removeing the covers and then the speedometer cluster itself. If any of the lights work that the dimmer controls work and the gauges are't lit then this is the direction your going.