1998 Mazda 626



February, 5, 2007 AT 1:48 PM

I have read all the comments about dashboard lights, and have the same problem. I have a 1998 Mazda 626, and the dashboard and radio lights are out. All other lights work, along with radio itself, but when I turn the lights on the dashboard lights do not work, and the face of the radio goes dark. I originally thought this was caused when an aftermarket radio was installed, and the original wiring harness for the radio was cut.
I have since obtained a replacement radio wiring harness, and after installing it, the dash lights, nor the radio lights still don't work. There are 2 wires going into the radio harness, a red one, and a gray one, with 2 matching wires in the harness, 1 for illumination, and 1 for dimmer. I tried connecting the red wire to the illumination, and the gray one to the dimmer, and vice versa, but neither way worked.
I then made sure every fuse in the fuse box was ok, removing each one, and making sure they were not blown.
From what I see posted on this site, it looks like perhaps the dimmer switch or headlight switch is blown out. Is there a way for me to test the dimmer switch before I go and buy a replacement? There are 3 wires connected to the plug for the dimmer switch, 1 red, 1 gray, and 1 black. I assume the black is the ground, and then I have the 2 other wires with the same colors as those that go to the radio, 1 red, and 1 gray.
I also see mention of the headlight switch. Would this be the switch that turns on the headlights? Is there a way to test it?
Any suggestions would be appreciated?


2 Answers



April, 6, 2007 AT 7:34 PM


I read your question about your dashboard lights not working. I am having the exact same problem with my mazda 626, although mine's from 1997. Did you eventually find out what the problem was? Not only the lights for my tachometer/speedometer are out, but also the backlight for the heating controls. When I turn my direction indicator on, or I open a door, the warning lights for those things still work. I guess it's only the dimmable portion that went out in your case too?




April, 7, 2007 AT 9:54 AM

Yes, I did find out the problem. It ended up being the dashboard light dimmer switch. When the installer cut the original radio plug installing an after- market radio, he must have shorted out the dimmer switch, which also controls the illumination on the radio, as well as the dashboard lights, and the lights behind the heater etc. When I read that the dimmer switch may have been the problem, I went to the Mazda dealer to buy a new one. I was a little surprised to find out it would cost $145 to order one. Before I spent that much money, I wanted to make sure that the dimmer switch was the problem. By chance, my son has a 1994 Ford Probe, which I knew was also made by Mazda, and thought maybe the dimmer switch for the Probe might fit the Mazda. While the switch did not fit the dashboard, it did have the same plug in the back, and when I plugged it in and tried the lights, they worked. So then rather than pay $145 for a new one, I went out on E-Bay, and bought a used one. Just make sure you buy one that includes your year, as the first one I orded from a 1992 Mazda 626, did not have the same plug in the back. Good luck!

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