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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. 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: Engine runs with key off.

It sounds like the ignition switch or the mechanism is shorted out. You should remove the ignition switch and verify whether the switch works properly. Otherwise, the issue is likely caused by the lock cylinder.

Q: My car is having trouble idling.

You may have a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and at idle. Since...

Q: I have a crack thats leaking my coolant from a crack in my water pump & thermostat housing im asking what part do I exactly need

It's very difficult to tell you for certain without being there to inspect your Saturn. However, in general, in order to make the correct repairs, you'll likely need a new water pump and thermostat housing along with new coolant lines....

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...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...