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Q: Dashboard lights flash and then go out

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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?

A: Hello there, thank you for asking about you...

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.

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