Dash lights out

Tiny
THEBLUEROBOT
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 3.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
My dash lights are out I must have bought it like that here are the details

Good fuse

Turn signal and engine lights show on dash just none of the instruments

Previous owner installed big stereo

Ive tried bypassing the dimmer switch but I may be doing it wrong, the fuse blows everytime I do.

Here is a picture
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 11:10 AM

23 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The dash light circuit is part of the rest of the lights that illuminate a lot more than the dash lights, and all of those interior lights feed off the tail light circuit. Here is a guide and the wiring diagrams so you can see how the system works. Check to see where you are losing power

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

Are your tail lights working because there is a tail light relay that controls the dash lights as well.

Check out the diagrams (Below). Please let us know what you find.

Cheers
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 2:17 PM
Tiny
THEBLUEROBOT
  • MEMBER
I've already posted on several websites and up until now answers have been extremely vague. So far you have written the most.
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 2:49 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Now lets fix this puppy!

The glove box light also is fed from this circuit, but it is not controlled by the dimmer. If that light works, that takes care of the positive side of the circuit. The 12 volts comes from the tail lamp relay, so according to my diagram, you won't have a glove box light unless the running / tail lights are turned on.

The rheostat is an electronic module, but it still can be bypassed. We just need the right wire. You should have a green wire. That's the 12 volts that comes from the tail lamp relay. The white / black wire is the ground wire. The white / green is the ground wire for the lamps, but it goes through the dimmer module first on its way to ground. If you want to bypass the module to see if everything else works, either connect the white / black wire to the white / green wire, or just use a jumper wire to ground the white / green to the body.

If the lights turn on, the dimmer module must be replaced, but be sure that 12 volts is there on the green wire. It won't work if that's missing.

If you had found that 12 volt wire previously, what may have confused the issue is the dimmer is in the ground side of the circuit, not in the positive side like they used to do. The fact there's a 12 volt wire adds to the misery.

If the fuse blows when you ground the white / green wire, one of the bulbs, (sockets) is shorted, and logic would dictate it's related to the radio that was in there. The original radio most likely had two lamp wires. One was hooked to the tail lights to make the display dim. The second one was hooked to the dash light circuit to tell the display how much to dim. If someone reconnected those wires incorrectly, it is possible the tail lamp / dash lamp 12 volt supply got connected to the ground side of the lamps. That short may not cause the fuse to blow with the dimmer in the circuit, but it would if it was bypassed. This is a good suspect if the previous owner hacked off the radio's plug and spliced in the new wires. If an adapter harness was used, it's doubtful removing it is causing this problem.

One more tidbit of value. If the previous owner spliced wires for the radio, and sealed them with electrical tape, that can unravel into a gooey mess on a hot day. The dash is made of plastic, but if a bare wire touches the case of the radio, that is grounded, and a bare wire will be grounded if they touch.

To back up for a minute, with the dimmer still unplugged, and with the lights turned on, you should measure 12 volts on the white / green wire too. If you have that, nothing on that line can be grounded or open. At that point everything points to the dimmer module.
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Monday, November 16th, 2015 AT 3:53 PM
Tiny
THEBLUEROBOT
  • MEMBER
Alright thank you so much for your help thus far you have been very generous.
I tested the green-white and grounded off and was able to get 12+ volts.
So, deducing from your info I bought the $15 dollar switch. And, it still doesn't work!
So then I decided to switch out he tail light relay and everything came back to life :) thanks again for your help.
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Thursday, November 19th, 2015 AT 1:44 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Glad you could get it fixed, that kind of problem can be tough. Please use 2CarPros anytime we are here to help

Cheers
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Thursday, November 19th, 2015 AT 7:19 PM
Tiny
2CARPROS-ARCHIVES
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 127,376 MILES
I just bought a 1995 toyota 4runner for$500 but my problem is it had a dead battery in it. I bought a used charged battery put it in. When I try to start it nothing happens. I do have lights but no dash lights come on just the lights in both front doors and headlights. I tried to reset it by disconnecting the battery and use the vallet switch. Thats the other thing everything I have read thus far says their should be either a toggle switch or a button, I have both? I cant afford to take it to a shop. Thats why I had to buy a $500 car in the first place.I am not opposed to removing the alarm system but I am not sure I want to try unless I know more about the system. I just need the quickest cheapest solution possible as I need transportation to get my mom to doctors.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
POSSITIVE
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
I have lost the tail lights, dash lights & running lights on my 1990 Toyota 4runner.

I have checked all the fuses, and bulbs all okay.

My brake lights, headlights and turn signals all work normally.

Is this likely a relay problem?

I have noticed the fuse keeps blowing I keep replacing whats going on please advise

Only one fuse that's runs my running lights

On the drivers side under dash fuse panel

Over drive and check engine and all other dummy lights messages still work.

Head lights work, break lights work, interior lights work, turn signals work
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
The dash and taillights are in one circuit separate from the others. It has its own fuses and the running light fuse, that should most probably be the taillight fuse.

You need to test where a short has occurred. If anything had occurred prior to this, such as impact damages, you need to be checking that area for wires that could be exposed.

If not, unplug all taillight bulbs to check for shorting.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JERIDILEY
  • MEMBER
Headlight switch replacement will fix the problem.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BABKESM
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 160,000 MILES
I just bought a 97 Toyota Forerunner. Why won't my dash lights illuminate at start up? They only come on with the headlights.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
That is how it should work.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HEATHER5999
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 167,000 MILES
I tried changing the fuse -- that wasn't the problem -- not sure what to try next -- the dash is completely dark at night --help! Recently I had a new stereo put in and the connection to the back window is gone but the dash board was fine -- just one night I noticed it and after changing the fuse that was burnt it still does not light up at night.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
You mentioned replacing a bad fuse. Recheck if the fuse is blown again, if yes, you have short in the circuit. Check the taillights and front clearance lights, are they working?
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RUSSELLHILLS
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 170,000 MILES
When you turn the headlights on it blows the fuse to the dashlights and taillights.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Check for a short in the wiring to taillights if something has been recently installed with screws check there first.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DAVE HILLIER
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
I have lost the tail lights, dash lights & running lights on my 1994 toyota 4runner.

I have checked all the fuses, all ok.

My brake lights, headlights and turn signals all work normally.

Is this likely a relay problem?

Thanks,

Dave
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:44 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Tail light control relay above the drivers kick panel fuse/relay block #1
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:45 PM (Merged)
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
From: Dave Hillier
To: rasmataz
Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:29 pm

Subject: Thanks!

Thanks very much for the help, got my lights working, donated $25.00 to the 2carpros. Com
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:45 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRWNEYDGRL
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 TOYOTA 4RUNNER
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 128,000 MILES
I have a 1988 Toyota 4 runner that the brake lights and dash lights won't work on. I have checked all the fuses and they are fine except the ignition fuse has been rigged. All the other lights work and wiring seems fine as well. What is the problem and where should I go from here?
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:45 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Power to both items go through the headlight switch. Check that.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 AT 1:45 PM (Merged)

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