There's a short on the line, typically to the tail lights. The dash light circuit taps off the tail light circuit but it has its own smaller fuse.
A simple trick to finding a short is to replace the blown fuse with a pair of spade terminals, then use small jumper wires to connect them to a 12 volt light bulb. A brake light bulb works well. When the circuit is live and the short is present, the bulb will be full brightness and hot so be sure it's not laying on the carpet or against a plastic door panel. Now you can unplug electrical connectors and move things around to see what makes the short go away. When it does, the bulb will get dim or go out.
Start by looking for a chewed-up trailer wiring harness and for wires in the trunk that were hit or crushed.
Thursday, October 25th, 2012 AT 6:18 AM