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Instrument Panel Problems

My 1997 bravada will turn over but there are no instrument cluster readings. After jiggling every electrical connection under the hood, eventually instrument cluster activates (or relay warms up?) and engine fires right up. any suggestions ?


  • Out of the blue my instrument and running lights went out. I thought.. oh it is a fuse. (which from my past experiences has been the case) All fuses look good and I see nothing obvious wrong.
     Can anyone provide some input as to what else to look for?

  • Well the only thing that controls both of those functions would be the headlight switch.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    but it would be useful in your case to scare up a wiring diagram of the appropriate circuits and start chasing continuity.

    just for the randy hell of it, what year and model ford ya got, because there are boarders with manuals out there....
  • yeah, but....when you turn the light switch to the first position, what goes on? Right...running lights and instrument lights. I think the answer is jumping up and down and waving its hand here...

    (the eternal optimist).

    Do you use a relay on dinky instrument lights?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    so that's a real good place to start looking, I agree. quite possibly, worth replacing that switch on spec just because they almost got pushed into a recall on those switches, like the ignition switches.

    but if that doesn't do it, you're back to slogging along with test lights.
  • These boards are the greatest thing since sliced bread! Thanks for the responces on my problem. I figuered I would take a look before I ordered a switch. (surprisingly was easy to get too) What I found was a hot lead in the upper corner of the harness plug was not seated well. The corner of the plug was broken or melted so it did not push the pin in all the way. I did a little improvising and 'poof'.. all fixed. Not often we get off this easy with no cost. Thanks again.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the symptom of failure on the ford switches recalled in the past few years has been excessive heating caused by a crappy closure of the block-cut switch elements. some have started fires (I am specifically referring to ignition switches here.)

    based on the history, I'd change the thing out and not look back.

    glad you have your fix... but I'd consider it a temporary fix, and change the switch.
  • Yes, and never use the word "poof!" when you are describing what you did to an electrical system :)
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    one at a time, of course... put a little dielectric grease on each connector finger... and then mate-open-mate the connectors several times to scrape light tin oxide corrosion off and coat the metal with the dielectric grease.

    if that doesn't do it, or if you see some really colored connector fingers instead of metal-looking, scrape 'em down with a penknife, then repeat 1st paragraph.
  • 10 mins before my alternator went out in my 1999 Olds Alero the temp gauge needle started going up and down and then it reversed. So now that I have a new alternator, I thought every thing would go back to normal, but it didn't. The temp gauge needle sits on the otherside of the H and C. Whats the solution?
  • I have the newer 2001 Passat. Seems like my Running lights have poofed. I took it to the VW dealer and they claim that the light casing needs to be repaced since it has a crack in it. They gave me an estimate of over $465 for replacing the light. This car has never been in an accident. So, how could the casing crack? Secondly, shouldn't the extended warranty cover this type of failures?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and the long end points way out to inaction junction 180 degrees away? that's not good. that's a dead gauge and sure enough. will require removing the IP, removing the wiring board from behind it, and then replacing the gauge in many instances.

    if the gauge is stuck between H and C and doesn't move, it could be a dead gauge or a dead function out of the engine control computer.

    I don't like the sound of this. there MIGHT be some hope... a blown ground wire or a dead fuse.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I should think the b2b part of the warranty should cover this. probably a stress crack or maybe a rock flew up and hit it.
  • budbrurbudbrur Posts: 1
    My 2000 Accord's dash lights stay on (brake, door ajar, battery). Also, there is a water leak somewhere that causes the driver's floor panel to get soaked whenever it rains. Can anyone tell me where i might locatate the source of the leak and if it could have something to do with the dash lights. I just had a new aftermarket alternator installed last week.
  • martsmarts Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about buying a 1978 Chevy Caprice with the 350 cubic inch V8 with the 3 speed auto. However it has a non functioning speedometer.
    A component in the gearbox has failed and the currant owner has been quoted £400 plus for the remedial work.
    Is there an alternative method to measure speed with accuracy, without huge cost.
    Someone suggested fitting a Tachometer (Rev counter). Any suggestions?
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    The only components of the speedometer are the nylon drive gear on the transmission output shaft, driven gear and housing, cable, and speedo head. I can't imagine any component repair costing the price you quoted, unless the drive gear has failed and it has the THM 200 transmission. That one doesn't have a separate extension housing and requires trans removal and disassembly to access the speedo drive gear.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    You might have plugged drains in the fresh air cowl (under your wiper blades). Over the years crude can build up in there, forming a gooey plug of organic matter that gets through the screening. This can be blown out with compressed air, but you have to take the cowl piece off to access it.

    If your car has a sunroof, the front sunroof drain could also be plugged. If you open the roof, you can see these drain holes.

    Either of these conditions could cause a wet floor when it rains. The fresh air cowl drains could conceivably affect the dash lights in some way but I don't think the plugged drain in the sunroof could.
  • I do not have an owners manual and my ABS and brake light is on. Do anyone know why this may be? Thanks
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    How about some basic information such as make, model, year?
  • Sorry, I posted on the Durango board and they moved my post. Its a 99 Dodge Durango SLT 4/4. The ABS and the parking brake light just came on. I replaced the ECM last week and had it flashed so I don't think thats the prob Just not sure. Thanks
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