Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Dashboard lights flash and then go out

asked by on

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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

Q: Passenger floor flooded with water from leak

There are a few different probable reasons why your Oldsmobile has a puddle of water on the passenger-side floor. Unless your cooling system is filled with only water, it is unlikely the heater core is the problem as there is...

Q: #3 Misfire engine light

Yes, it can be an electrical issue. A misfire at a particular cylinder can be caused by ignition, fuel injection, mechanical issue, or vacuum leak. I'm curious why none of the dealership techs repaired it. Faulty sparks plugs, coils, or...

Q: A garbage truck backed up on the hood of my 2016 kia optima my hood is crunched up to the wind shield. My airbags did not deploy.

Hello, thank you for writing in. To start, there was a major recall of your make, model, and year for an air bag front end crash malfunction. You need to look up your VIN and verify that your vehicle was...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.