Q: Startup problems, no dashboard lights but the headlights and radio are on

asked by on

I have some problems with my vehicle. I tried to start it but it wouldn't. There was no dashboard lights but the headlights and radio turned on. I thought that key fibers are worn so I used the other key but nothing changed. After I turned the key several times, it finally turned on. I am not sure what the issue is. I tested the battery, the starter motor and alternator and every part checked out fine. Do you have any ideas what causes this? Is it the ignition switch perhaps?

A faulty ignition could cause an issue where some systems receive "key on" power and others do not. If the vehicle is not starting with all dash lights and systems operational it could be an issue with the immobilizer circuit. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the equipment to pull possible diagnostic codes from the immobilizer function and who will be able to conduct the electrical tests on the ignition switch to diagnose your starting issue and determine the cause of the failure

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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. Startup problems, no dashboard lights but the headlights and radio are 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: I currently have a 2008 BMW X3 3.0 si. It has the BMW business stereo in it. This morning I went to go leave for work and the stereo stopped working.

First check the fuse to the stereo and see if its burned. If the fuse is burned, replace the fuse and check the wiring on the radio and see if there is anything loose. If the fuse is good, then...

Q: Brakes don't work correctly at temperatures below zero

There are two brake booster vacuum check valves that will stick in cold weather for about a minute. These two valves supply vacuum to the brake booster and will cause reduced power assist to the brakes until they start to...

Q: All my light work when truck off start truck all lights work except headlights go out

If the headlights are working intermittently (i.e., turn off after you start the truck), there is a loose connection, faulty relay or switch, or other electrical problem in the headlight circuit. When the problem occurs, you can find the fault...

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...