Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Dashboard lights not working

asked by on

I was working on fixing some minor problems in my car. I just replaced the gear in the odometer, and now I’m working on the electrical part of the dashboard. The dash lights weren’t working at all, so I pulled out the bulbs and sanded the corroded areas in the plugs while I worked on the odometer. Then I put the dashboard back in, and all the lights came on and worked! But when I turned the turn signal on all the dash lights flashed at the same time the turn signal was flashing and along with the needle for the fuel gauge. The headlight flashed and worked properly though. And when I turned the right signal on the green left arrow on the dash blinked brighter than the green arrow on the right. When I turned the left signal on the green arrow on the right flashed brighter than the green arrow on the left as if they were reversed. I have heard of this happening with a bad ground in one of the headlights. So I took mine apart, and everything was OK. I also found a wire behind the dash not connected to anything. And I can’t figure out where it goes. It’s a small red plug. I checked the dashboard and there are no wires missing from it. Do you know what might be going on? Do you have any ideas?

A: Hello. There are a couple of things that co...

Hello. There are a couple of things that come to mind. The wire that is not connected to anything could be the wire that is causing the problem. That wire could be shorting the turn signal system once it is turned on. I would also double check the circuit to the turn signal bulbs and make sure there is no wiring that is making contact with other wiring. There is definitely something shorted to ground on your dashboard or the wiring that leads to the dashboard. Have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, inspect the dashboard and its wiring in order to pinpoint the problem and solution.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car will move if it's at 8000 rpm but I only get up to 15 mph

Hello, thanks for writing in. This sounds like your clutch disc is worn out and not connecting the engine and transmission together when you let out on the clutch. You should not rev your engine to 8000 rpm or you...

Q: Potential 84 380sl will be at dealership for checkup tomorrow. Car has 95,000 miles, if sound I will purchase, what should I be m

Look for corrosion, improperly repaired crash damage, of course particularly on the frame, and other physical damage that is costly and burdensome to repair as well as any missing original parts. When you drive the car, ideally it should track...

Q: Instrument cluster shuts down

Hi. A check of the wiring going from the instrument cluster to the BCM is needed. A lot times there is a broken wire, shorted circuit, short to ground, or a corroded wiring or connector. These are all usually the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...