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?

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.

Was this answer helpful?
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

Get a quote

What others are asking

What does the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) Check warning light mean?

If your car has a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), there is a warning light in the dash designed to come on if a malfunction is detected. However, the light should come on briefly during the cranking process. It shouldn’t stay...

What does the low fuel warning light mean?

Your vehicle information display is capable of providing a number of different warning messages. The low fuel warning means exactly what you think it means. It will display with the word “Warning”, as well as the image of gas pump....

Car shut down due to low battery voltage

Hello. Thanks for writing in about your 2015 Acura ILX. If the battery voltage got that low then it will stall like this. It sounds to me like there was a bad connection at the battery or possibly the engine...

Related articles

How to Check If Your Car Has Recalls
Although Although automobile manufacturers take many precautions to ensure the safety of the vehicles they sell, defects do sometimes escape initial notice. Whether these defects arise as the result of insufficient testing of new technology or from a substandard batch...
All About Car Warning Lights
Your car has a variety of warning lights to let you know when a specific feature is on, or if a part needs service or maintenance.
Top Automotive News & Stories: August 13-19
This week's top auto news: Self driving Ford, Volkswagen security hack, sleek Mercedes-Maybach concept, Audi green light countdown, and more.