• Tiny
  • wkissell
  • 1990 Mercury Topaz
  • 177,000 miles

Some of the instrument lights stopped working, specifically the backlights for the speedometer and automatic transmission. The bulbs checked out as did the fuse (#13). Since these are controlled by the headlight switch, I thought I'd replace the dimmer relay, but I can't find it! It's not on the fuse box under the dash, and I can't find anything under the hood. Any ideas? I was also wondering if it could be the headlight switch itself, although the headlights do come on. Thank you!

Thursday, March 14th, 2013 AT 8:20 PM

1 Answer

  • Tiny
  • caradiodoc
  • Expert
  • 25,257 posts

Hold on. Before you get wrapped around the axle, what "dimmer relay" are you referring to? A relay turns on or off. Dash lights are variable with the dash light rheostat. If some of the bulbs on the instrument cluster are working properly, you know the rheostat is working along with the headlight switch so you can forget those. Most commonly a few of the dash back lighting bulbs will just be burned out. Since I don't know how you determined they "checked out", if they are indeed okay and other bulbs on that circuit work, look for a crack in the copper circuits that connect them. If you just checked the dead bulbs visually, replace them.

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Thursday, March 14th, 2013 AT 11:38 PM

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