Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: I took out the instrument panel out of my dashboard and when I put it back in just the dashboard lights won't turn on

asked by on

I took the instrument panel out of my dashboard and when I put it back in I didn't have enough time to reconnect the dimmer knob and later on in the day I went to move my car in the drive way and when I turned the car on I turned the lights in the on position and nothing lit up on the dashboard at all the little symbols lit up for the one second when I started the car. But nothing lit up when I turned it to the on position so I'm wondering what could be creating this problem I thought maybe it won't turn on becouse the dimmer knob is not plugged in yet but before I go and break something I just wanted to have a professional opinion

My car has 172000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. You are correct in that the dimmer switch can render the dashboard dark. Start by hooking up the dimmer switch, and in the process, make sure all of the other electrical connections are clean, dry, and tight. If the lights on your dash board still do not illuminate, then you will want to check all of your fuses and relays. It is also possible that the wiring connections have failed. However the likelihood of these being the issue is not very high. The dimmer switch completes the circuit and you need it, or to bypass it completely, for the dash to work correctly. If you are stuck and require more help, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • I took out the instrument panel out of my dashboard and when I put it back in just the dashboard lights won't turn on

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: Exhaust sound

The exhaust would need to be inspected to determine the cause of the noise; it could be coming from the muffler, or indicate a problem with piping, or the converter. I recommend that you have a mechanic, such as one...

Q: Suddenly cannot shift car into gear.

Hi there: There could be multiple problems on your Saturn that are causing this problem you're experiencing. If your clutch is worn it won't allow you to put your car in gear. When you step on the clutch, the transmission...

Q: Drive belt is squealing

This may be a matter of a belt tensioner out of adjustment. Your drive belt has a tensioner pulley that maintains a specific amount of tension on the belt in order to keep it tight, but allow it to flex...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...