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  #1  
Old 01-14-2001, 04:57 AM
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All of a sudden I have no lights in the instrument cluster, heater control and power window switches. All fuses are OK. Any suggestion?

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  #2  
Old 01-14-2001, 05:11 AM
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Year and model would be helpful.

Vin
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2001, 05:29 AM
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It is a 86 300E

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  #4  
Old 01-14-2001, 05:54 AM
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Your dimmer is set too low. It's on instrument panel. There are two knobs one for setting the clock on the right and the dimmer setting on the left. Turn it clockwise.

Vin
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2001, 10:45 AM
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I had the same thing happen with my 300E. I normally wash the car myself, but I had gone to a car wash and while cleaning the interior, they apparently bumped the dimmer. After checking the fuse box and everything I could think of, no change. All I had to do was touch the dimmer and the lights came back. The instrument cluster lights on this model are notorious for being dim. I have to turn the dimmer all the way to the right (max setting) and the lights are still dim.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2001, 02:38 AM
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No luck guys, I turned the dimmer all the way clockwise, counter-clockwise couple of times, no lights. I also checked the fuses again, they are fine

Any help?
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2001, 03:21 AM
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It might be the dimmer switch itself. How does it feel? Is it real loose or some resistance?
Keep playing with it. Had one car with the same problem had to turn it back and forth many times. I changed the switch and solved the problem.
Did you notice when the problem started? Even if the switch is bad it should stay on if nobody touches it. Maybe someone cleaned the car, as Crowe mentioned.



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  #8  
Old 01-16-2001, 09:38 AM
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Take the cluster out, check the back of the cluster for a burned fuse, which looks like a red lighbulb, if it is just replace it. While you are there, you can also check the contacts of the dimmer with a multimeter. You can replace it yourself (two screws and a $30 part). You may/may not have the fuse, based on when in 86 you car was built. Starting on 87, according to the manuals, they do have it. I did not have it in mine. I ended up taking my cluster to Steve in Gainesville, Fl where he found a couple of blown wires in the board. All fine now. BTW, mine happened after I changed one lightbulb. Did you do anywork on your car?
If you did not do any work in your car, most likely is your dimmer...
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2001, 01:51 PM
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You guys are good detectives, I did changed over to euro headlights with Piaa bulbs 2 weeks ago, but I don't see the connection and I do remember the dash worked after that at least for a couple days. Dash removal is my last resort therefore I am asking if I am missing anything obvious

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  #10  
Old 01-16-2001, 06:46 PM
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I might try replacing the fuses anyway, even if they look good. My lights, then my instruments, worked intermittantly until the day I heard a buzzing from the dash, and the lights and instruments raoidly flipped on and off. Turned ouit to be a hairline crack in a fuse that let the fuse sometimes work, sometimes not. Replaced fuses and the problem went away.
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  #11  
Old 01-18-2001, 08:15 PM
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Still No Dash Lights

I replaced the whole brightness switch but still no lights, what's next?


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  #12  
Old 01-18-2001, 08:32 PM
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Did you look for that red fuse behind the cluster while you had it out?
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2001, 09:00 PM
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I am not certain, but if I am wrong, hopefully, someone with better smarts will correct me. If I am not mistaken, there is a combination relay which is is in those circuits. I will check my manual and see if this is accurate. If this relay does exist, then it's in the rear of the fuse box. I'll get back on whether or not this is accurate...
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2001, 07:40 AM
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I think the combination relay you mean is the one for indicators, rear screen defroster and windscreen wiper (not for the dash illumination as far as I know).

It is possible that the fuse (tiny little red bulb-fitting-like part) in the back of the cluster is burned, although I am not sure whether the "86 models already had them.

Did you check power on the in-going dash light wire whilst you had the cluster out? You can check the pins in the plug with a test light to know wether power comes from the light switch...

I've seen some clusters in the past with burned circuits as well (these clusters were without the fuse). Behind the combi-gauge (fuel, temp & oil pressure) a line in the circuit was burned and had to be re-soldered in order to get the dash lights to illuminate again...

Just passing some ideas.
greetingz,
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2001, 09:28 PM
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Hi, checked the wiring diagrams. There are relays, but none of them directly control all of those components. What I did find is that most of that stuff is fused thru # 5, 7, and 9 fuses, with 7 and 9 having the most common ties. I would replace all three, but before doing that, check the fuse terminals with a test light with the key on to see if you are getting power to the terminals. If no light, then I would next suspect the ignition switch, as this fella controls all of those systems..Hope this helps..
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