Q: Dashboard lights flash and then go out

asked by on September 14, 2016

Two weeks ago my car developed a problem in the instrument panel. While driving, the dashboard lights would go out, but then after I turned off the car and restarted it, they would come back on. A few days later, the left-side lights started flashing (mileage, temp, and volts) and then went out. Next the center speedometer light started flashing and then went out. Then the right side with the oil, gear, and fuel lights flashed and then died out. Except for the tach area (which works fine), the whole dashboard area flashes but never comes on properly. What is the cause of this and how can I fix it?

Electric Problems Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1987 Oldsmobile Toronado. This is something that would require first hand inspection for complete diagnosis. However, there is a technical service bulletin (TSB) that may pertain to your issue. The TSB is number 92-T-141A and it deals with erratic lighting and instrument cluster operation, as all as "System Problem" message as you’ve described. According to the TSB, this problem is caused by either a short on the data bus or a faulty component on the bus - possibly the body control module or instrument cluster itself. I recommend contacting the professionals at YourMechanic to diagnose your electrical problems and repair your Oldsmobile.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

My dashboard and running lights are not working.

There is a 10 amp fuse in the engine compartment fuse box #7 that sends power to the head light switch and powers the dash and running lights. Check to see if this fuse is good and has power to...

ABS light blinks when the car is turned off

This is odd, since generally the ABS light should come on for a few seconds with the ignition ON. My suggestion is to have the system scanned for diagnostic trouble codes which serve as a starting point for further diagnosis....

After fixing my radiator, radiator hose, thermostat, and idle control valve my car continues to idle very high and run hot. Help??

Hello, high idle can be represented by many conditions. A heater core would not cause this unless you have a coolant leak and the core was leaking. There are tests that can be performed to test a water pump (coolant...

Engine oil light flickers when I make a stop

The light is flickering on and off due to the oil pressure being low below 4 psi at idle or the oil pressure sensor is not working correctly. The only way to know for sure is to do an oil...

Power steering failure 2005 Pontiac G6

Hello - this steering behavior does resemble the symptoms from that Recall (14V153000). The specific component that failed for your model was the "steering torque sensor" and should have been replaced as part of the Recall (Bulletin 14116 ). I...

How much does a app sensor cost and cost to repair

That particular sensor is a dealer item only. You would need to call your local dealer for proper pricing. They should scan and check your car's computer system for the bad sensor by looking at the data output by sensor....

Radio/navigation/telephone system freezes

When diagnosing cars technicians can only go off the symptoms they can duplicate. This can be complicated by intermittent issues such as this. Intermittent issues can be caught using various electrical testing procedures but the fault has to happen when...

Rough/ low idle, smells rich, and has a knocking sound near rear (like exhaust is rattling).

Hello. This may be potentially related to the mass air flow sensor or throttle position sensor. Initially, it may have been a faulty O2 sensor, but now since that has been replaced, that part of the system should work correctly....

Epc Light & Sensor

I'm curious if there are any fault codes stored in the engine's computer. The mass air-flow meter or sensor is not the "EPC" sensor. If the vehicle is not running properly with the new mass air meter, there may be...

Related articles

What Does the Key Not in Vehicle Warning Light Mean?
The key not in vehicle warning light tells you when your key isn't detected in your car, so you don't drive off without it. It can be red or orange.
How to Make Sure Your Car is Ready to Drive
Whether Whether you are taking a short trip to the next town over, or heading out on long summer road trip, inspecting your car before you head down the road is a great way to make sure you get to...
10 Biggest Car-Related Headaches and What to Do About Them
You You don’t want to, but if you're a car owner it's inevitable that at some point you will experience car troubles. It's also fairly certain that the machine you rely on will cause you grief when you least expect...