#5 (5A) keeps blowing

Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 3.9L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 185,700 MILES
Right now, I’m having problems with it. My gauge lights don’t come on so that I can see my speed or anything at night. Also, my fuse for the panel dim which is #5 (5A) keeps tripping when I have my head lights on, and my dimmer switch all the way up. I changed the dimmer switch, but it keeps tripping the fuse and it has already started to have fuse smoke. So, I don’t ever see anything about this so I don’t know what could be wrong with it.
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Saturday, May 7th, 2022 AT 7:49 PM

26 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
That fuse powers more than just the dash lights as the diagram shows. I suspect you have as issue in one of those items causing a short and blowing the fuse as a result. At the lower settings the dimmer absorbs a lot of the current while turning it up causes the failure.
Probably the easiest way to find the problem will be to go to the junction connector 4 at the left side of the dash and unplug it. Then see if the fuse fails. If it does then check the shift bezel light circuit for the short.
The others will be a bit harder to find as you will need a way to measure the current sent into the various circuits.
Does it have the stock radio in it? If not, that could be the problem if it shorted in the radio?
The only other way to test would be to unplug the parts listed and see if the short goes away. Then trace the circuit that causes the fuse to blow.
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Saturday, May 7th, 2022 AT 10:05 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
I do have an aftermarket radio, when I bought the truck, it had it, but when I look at the wiring now it looks like they just hooked it up straight to the factory radio wiring harness and called it good enough.
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Monday, May 9th, 2022 AT 5:09 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Unplug it and see if the fuse stops blowing.
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Monday, May 9th, 2022 AT 6:03 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
I don t think that s the case, but I ll try it but now I get to play the fun game of my new headlight switch getting hot.
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Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 AT 4:06 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
The switch is getting hot because of the short that is blowing the fuse. The dimmer for those lights is nothing but a resistor in the headlight switch. Until the short is repaired it will get hot as it normally only carries the current that keeps the lights lit up. With the short, however, it is trying to protect the fuse from blowing and sinking the extra current due to the short. Finding the wiring fault will take care of both problems.
Start with the easy things, it's fairly common for radios to develop faults in the wiring, especially aftermarket units so I suggest starting there. Then the ash tray lamp, then the HVAC controller and finally the instrument cluster. Unplug them looking for the higher current draw. It's also possible that the wiring itself rubbed on a bracket or similar and is shorting there.
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Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 AT 12:49 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
So, it s not my radio, I looked at all the wires for it and everything didn t seem off. I pulled my #5 (5A) fuse out and the lights for my headlight switch started working and the switch didn t overheat, so I don't know if I should just keep it out.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 12:47 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
If you can live without the lights in the dash, then leave it out. The A/C, radio, dash, and ash tray lights should be out with the fuse out. If they are not, you have a different issue where they are getting power from somewhere else. However, if they are out then you still have a short in one of them. If unplugging the radio, not just looking at it but actually unplugged, and the issue is still there then you need to look at the other light feeds. Removing the fuse and having the switch cool down just confirmed it is in the light circuit the dimmer feeds. But it's your call.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 2:24 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
I ll probably just run without it for a bit until I get it fixed, but my ash tray never had a light when I bought the truck, but my A/C and radio are getting power from somewhere else because they still work same with my dome light when the fuse is out.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 2:51 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
My dash lights are also still on, just my tacks don t have lights.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
If that's the case, then you have what we call a thief circuit. There is a short between two different power sources or there is a crossed wire. Do those lights go off with the key or the light switch?
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 4:18 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
The radio and the dash lights go off when I turn the key off.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 4:39 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
This is what it does.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 4:49 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Okay, the video shows an obvious problem. The lights on your dash are not the OE ones, they are some LED strip lights added later, The OE lights come on behind the gauges and the light goes through them. My guess at this point is that someone tried to connect the LEDs and the radio up to the factory dimmer and damaged the dimmer circuit from high draw.
Now if you added that strip it is a different issue. Please advise.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 7:00 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
I added the LED lights after this all started because it was hard for me to see the gauges early in the morning on my way to work. So I can see the gauges so I know that s not the problem because they are going through my cigarette lighter port with USB.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
The OEM lights for my gauges never worked because of the problem I have going on the OEM bulbs were replaced but still nothing.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 7:08 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Okay, I was hoping that was the case but wanted to check. What make and model is the radio? Did the lights go out recently or were they out when you first got the truck?
Trying to narrow down what may be the issue. I have seen similar issues when the light feed for a stereo was connected to the dimmer feed from a car as it tends to mess things up. Before the switch burnt out did the lights in the shifter, ac and ash tray work? Could they be dimmed? You said it doesn't have the ash tray light, I wonder if it does, but it fell out and is now shorted somewhere behind the dash. I wish this truck was here, it would take about an hour to sort out the problem, just hard to explain the thoughts behind the testing. See if you can find the joint connector 4 I attached the diagram for, it is behind the dash on the left side, what it does is act as a bridge connector, with it unplugged it would be easier to test the other circuits.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 7:26 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
I took out the ash tray to see if I could find any wires or bulbs, but I didn t find anything to indicate that there was ever a light there in the first place I just never fully took apart the dash to look behind all of it. The lights for the gauges were out when I bought the truck. The radio is a pioneer fh-s520bt. As for dimming the lights I ve never been able to if my dimmer switch is all the down the lights stay where they are. If I move it up a tiny bit my dome light comes on the only thing, I am able to dim is my miles/trip on the truck. As for my A/C now that I realize it the lights for that don t work as for the sifter light what do you mean by that if you re talking about the headlight switch the first switch light for it didn t work until the original fuse broke. And I agree it is had to explain and realize some of the stuff over text.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 7:45 PM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
And tomorrow I will try to find the joint connector 4 after work to test it.
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Sunday, May 15th, 2022 AT 8:13 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
You shouldn't have the shifter lamp installed, but the wiring may still be there. The ash tray lamp is usually in the plastic above it so that when it's open it lights it up.
Looking at the info they have to check to see if the radio has the orange with white stripe wire connected to an orange wire in the truck (or if any wire is connected to an orange wire). If it is, try disconnecting it and see if the other lights now work.
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Monday, May 16th, 2022 AT 12:49 AM
Tiny
FUNNYNATHAN22
  • MEMBER
I had a solid orange wire with a solid black going in at the same time and it was connected to a different solid black wire when I disconnected it I was hearing a sound like my hazards were on but no other lights came on.
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Monday, May 16th, 2022 AT 2:35 AM

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