Dash backlighting on gauges not working

Tiny
LLCOWEN
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 DODGE STRATUS
  • 136,000 MILES
When I use my headlights, the backlighting that illuminates the gauges doesn't come on. I have changed both fuses. The dimmer appears to be working fine as it dims the odometer properly. All the appropriate lights come on at start and go out as they should within a few seconds. Is there a bulb(s) for this?
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 9:48 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
LLCOWEN
  • MEMBER
I currently have the radio removed too. Could this have something to do with it? I just read that these lights are grounded through the radio ground.
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 10:01 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
What I looked at was instrument cluster illumination. In the diagram, the orange wire with yellow tracer is voltage, comes from the bcm.

The black wire with orange tracer is a constant chassis ground. One way to check a chassis ground, is to use a test lite connected to battery voltage, The other end of test lite, touch the terminal for the black wire with orange tracer, if the lite comes on bright, the ground is good.

Can you check bcm trouble codes? Some of the national brand auto stores will check codes for free.

There are other circuits that use the same ground, but, they are wired in parallel, not sure I spelled that correctly. Your radio shouldn't be a problem as far as ground.
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 10:31 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
I didn't notice any bcm codes for this issue. You may need to replace the printed circuitry for the instrument cluster?
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 10:42 AM
Tiny
LLCOWEN
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your response. I haven't had it put on a computer yet. All the gauges and other lights that temporarily light at startup on the dash are working fine. When I turn the headlights on at night, the dash is completely dark except for the odometer and PRNDL. Not sure if it's electrical or as simple as a bulb.
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 11:19 AM
Tiny
LLCOWEN
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your response. I haven't had it put on a computer yet. All the gauges and other lights that temporarily light at startup on the dash are working fine. When I turn the headlights on at night, the dash is completely dark except for the odometer and PRNDL. Not sure if it's electrical or as simple as a bulb. Are the bulbs labelled as my Haynes manual doesn't provide me with which bulb is which?
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Tuesday, August 13th, 2013 AT 11:23 AM
Tiny
JDL
  • EXPERT
Did you check illumination voltage and ground? Note the wire colors in diagram. Hopefully I didn't misunderstand anything in your post?
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Thursday, June 25th, 2015 AT 7:34 AM

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