Dashboard can’t light up at night, hard to see

A bulb in my dashboard has gone out. I feel like I can live with the problem, but how long and costly is the repair if I decide to fix it?
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
The bulbs in your dashboard play a big part in safety. Some bulbs illuminate the gauges while other bulbs light up warning indicators, which are used to inform you when something is wrong with your vehicle. An example of such an indicator is the Check Engine light. The length and cost of the repair varies for every car, but typically this type of repair will take one to two hours. The job requires the technician to remove the gauge cluster from the dashboard to gain access to the faulty bulb.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

If the dashboard isn`t lighting up at all, chances are you`ve blown a fuse. Remove the old fuse and replace it with a new one of the same type and this should get things working again.
Step 1: Locate the fuse for the dashboard lights.

This fuse will be located inside one of the fuse boxes for the vehicle. The fuse boxes may be hidden under the hood near the engine or tucked away under the dashboard. Refer to the owner`s manual of your car if you are having trouble locating the fuse.

The interior illumination through the head light dimmer control should be checked that the dimmer is turned to its brightest setting when the lights are on. If so then the light switch power supply for dimmer control needs replaced.
It sounds like you have a bad vehicle speed sensor. The sensor fails causing the speedometer not to work, which causes these lights to come on since they need to see a speed signal. The sensor and wiring should be tested first, but it will more than likely need the sensor.
The Dashboard Lights Flicker

If you notice any flickering, be sure to check your battery before you end up stranded. Similar to dimming headlights, these flickering lights are a sure indication of a failing car battery.

A little oil from the kitchen will make your dashboard look as new as the day you drove it off the lot. Allstate Car Insurance and Elite Auto Repair suggest using olive oil but really any kind of oil will do, whether it`s olive, vegetable or coconut oil.
The first thing you can try, to turn off the car, then restart the engine. The second step is to disconnect your battery, wait for a few minutes then reconnect the battery. Another option is to continue to drive your car, and hope the light will reset itself.
Vehicle warning indicators, better known as dashboard warning lights, can be a vehicle owner`s worst nightmare.
The dimmer switch inside your vehicle serves to adjust the light levels of your dash lights. If you`ve accidentally bumped the switch, it may cause the lights to become too dim. Finding the switch and adjusting it may solve your problems.
When all your dashboard lights turn on at once, it most commonly indicates an issue with the alternator or the charging system. It is common for all the dash lights to come on with no alternator output; low voltage can cause unusual electrical issues. The alternator should be tested at the time of battery replacement.
On average, the cost to replace dashboard lights is between $50 and $200. Depending on the severity of the problem, some cars may only require a new light bulb, while others may need an entirely new unit. The best way to determine the exact cost is to take your car to a certified mechanic for an inspection.
Bad bulbs or fuses

If the vehicle battery isn`t the reason for your flickering car lights, you might be looking at a failing light bulb or a bad fuse. Light bulbs are an easy and quick fix and present an opportunity to upgrade to new LED bulbs.

Small cracks can be repaired. The entire dashboard must be replaced if the cracks are deep and long. The dashboard should be replaced if the cracks have a spider web appearance. Filling the crack with silicon or using a dashboard crack repair kit, available at most auto parts stores, is a temporary fix.
Maintain Your Car Dashboard

Once your textile surfaces are clean, you can move onto the car dashboard. Using a handy can of WD-40 Specialist® Motorbike Silicone Shine , spray all of your dashboard liberally with the handy solution. Work the product in using a clean microfibre cloth, and buff away any remaining residue.

Look at the fuse wire. If there is a visible gap in the wire or a dark or metallic smear inside the glass then the fuse is blown and needs to be replaced.
The dimmer switch inside your vehicle serves to adjust the light levels of your dash lights. If you`ve accidentally bumped the switch, it may cause the lights to become too dim. Finding the switch and adjusting it may solve your problems.
On average, the cost to replace dashboard lights is between $50 and $200. Depending on the severity of the problem, some cars may only require a new light bulb, while others may need an entirely new unit. The best way to determine the exact cost is to take your car to a certified mechanic for an inspection.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Abs light, emergency brake light, steering wheel assist light, engine light, EPC light, traction control light
ANSWER : Hello, thank you for writing in. The vehicle does utilize a lot of the same sensors for these systems. Are there any other codes that are coming up when this code appears? If so you will want to take these into consideration when processing the repair and making a diagnosis. The module may be bad, and replacing it should fix the problem. The lights should turn off once the main computer recognizes the new module and the sensors sync up. If you believe the sensors need to be cleaned you may do so. Do as minimal as possible to make sure you are not damaging the sensor or disrupting the wiring inside. A bad connection would make the lights stay on. With so many lights that are effected by the module being illuminated, the module is likely bad or does not have a connection. Check the connection first and then resort to replacing the unit. For more help with these electrical tests, contact our service department.

Okay so when I turn my lights on at night my brake lights do not work, when I don’t have my lights on they work fine.
ANSWER : Hi there. Based on your inquiry, it’s highly probable that you have a damaged light switch or some electrical fault inside the turn signal relay. However, it’s also possible that the brake switch above the brake pedal could also be the source of your problem. Due to the fact that multiple electrical components might be causing this issue, it’s a smart idea to first have a professional mobile mechanic complete a brake lights are not working inspection, so they can determine what’s causing all of these issues and recommend the right repairs.

No dash lights, back right tail light is out, no parking lights. Brake lights work though as does head lights.
ANSWER : Hi there. In many cases, when you have electrical problems like you’re describing, it’s caused by multiple electrical component failure. It’s likely that a few electrical relays are not working; especially if you have systems that utilize the same components (such as your brake light and tail lights). I would recommend having a professional mobile mechanic come to your location to complete an electrical problems inspection first, so they can pinpoint what is damaged and recommend the right repairs.

Dashboard display hard to read – 2015 Buick Encore 2.0 L Automatic
ANSWER : Unfortunately, there is not yet a "fix" for this issue. General Motors is aware this feature is problemmatic for a number of people, but has not created a modification for this.

All dashboard lights and tail lights do not work after driving through a lot of snow. Headlights work. And brake lights work.
ANSWER : Hello. We’ll be happy to help you. There are a few things that I recommend checking to discover why your lighting system is malfunctioning. The headlight dimmer switch should be checked. Along with the wiring harness above the right front tire behind the fender well cover. Also
the main fuse under the hood should be inspected because other people with your particular vehicle have had similar lighting issues if that fuse goes bad. It will be a great idea to check the rest of the fuses in that area too while checking the main fuse. Once the fuses are checked inside of the main fuse box then I would check the fuses inside of their interior fuse box. The interior fuse box should be located on the driver side of the dashboard near where your legs would be. If you need more assistance with repairing your vehicle please keep in mind that our organization provides Mobile Mechanics who can help you diagnose and repair your vehicle, all at competitive rates.

Intermittently, dashboard and interior lights do not work
ANSWER : Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1988 Oldsmobile Toronado. This is something that would require first hand inspection for complete diagnosis. However, there is a technical service bulletin (TSB) that may pertain to your issue. The TSB is number 89-T-129 and it deals with an "Electrical Problem" message on the message display and erratic air conditioning operation. The solution is to replace the HVAC control module with an upgraded one. There is also another TSB 89-T-140 which deals with intermittent climate control and instrument cluster operation due to a faulty solder joint in central power supply. The fix is to replace the unit with an upgraded model. I recommend having the pros at YourMechanic diagnose the electrical issues and repair this problem for you.

2012 equinox reduced power light engine light and traction light came on. Lost a lot of power got home and all light except engine
ANSWER : Your car has what is called a "safe mode" that will be engaged by the computer when it detects that something critical has gone wrong related to any of the major components in your engine chassis or power train. This may be related to a number of things, most of which should have been registered in the computer when the check engine light came on. I recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to inspect your check engine light and diagnose any codes registered by your vehicle’s computer.

Car starts, dashboard lights flicker, air conditioning shuts off
ANSWER : Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1993 Isuzu Pickup. It sounds like a bad ground in the instrument panel circuit. Looking at the wiring diagram, I see the AC heater control panel and instrument cluster share the same ground, which is designated G200. That is the first place I would start. Electrical diagnosis and repair can be tricky, so I suggest you have a professional look into this for you. A certified technician from YourMechanic can inspect your car’s electrical problems and make the necessary repairs.