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Old 07-28-2015, 05:06 PM   #1
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Back light on gauges out .

Hey everyone , my backlight on my gauges went out . Oddly enough it went out after I changed my rear liscence plate bulbs . The plate bulbs work perfectly . I checked all the corresponding fuses and they all were good . I even swapped out a completely different gauge cluster along with the side oil gage and still had the same problem . Only thing that lights up is the green square that shows the mileage. The green signal lights appear when signaling also . Other than that nothing else . Any ideas? . Probably need to re-check fuses .


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Old 07-30-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
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So I was told by a co-worker that my rear lights were out last night on the way home . He said the back of the car was completely black meaning nothing was on . This is soooo weird because I checked my lights last night before I left and everything was on and there is no way they can turn off when In motion.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:18 PM   #3
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So turns out that wasn't even me that my co-worker seen. Same colour car .... Go figure. Last night I got into my car turned the lights on and magically the back light was on again ..... Very strange right ? I thought I was in the clear up until 10 minutes later they went out again on the highway . I got home , turned the car off and back on and they were on again . Possibly a bad ground wire somewhere ?
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:04 PM   #4
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That side gauge cluster has the transformer included that powers it, there's info. here on aftermarket ones to use separately if it gives up entirely.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:24 PM   #5
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Im thinking its a loose connection somewhere . Last night it did the same thing . Turned off while driving , I was messing with the side switch and they turned back on again while driving . Did this maybe 5 times , I would just flip the switch back and on again and they would light up . Eventually it stopped doing it and they wouldn't come back on at all .
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:43 PM   #6
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Same issue here 2000zX3sct !
I started tapping on the fuse panel and also cycling the light switch.
When I move from lights off to parking lights on, sometimes I can get it to turn on.
And just like you said, it will stay on for a hot minute then, off. Or flash a little bit while driving. The rest of the car appears to be okay thus far.

I'm going to eat it and try a new switch assembly.
Actually, that's a lie. I'm going to take the existing one apart first then go from there.

I will keep you posted if you think it will be helpful.
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:03 PM   #7
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Did you ever resolve your issue?

I noticed the pads on my switch contacts were a bit dusty and noticed slight signs of arcing. I dusted then off with emery cloth, blew it out with compressed air & reassembled the switch.
My backlight still flickers but for the most part it stays on. I'm going to call the switch the culprit for me. Any luck on your end?
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:13 PM   #8
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One time I tried to see if the gauges would get brighter if I cranked the dimmer wheel up to "11" by bypassing the bumpstop built into the faceplate (I had the faceplate off.) Lesson was that the inverter doesn't like getting too much voltage from the dimmer, it only made the gauges flicker.

I've taken apart a few headlight switches for LED conversion and I've seen different dimmers (rheostats) in these headlight switches, they're probably from different suppliers. I think certain types give too much voltage because of the bumpstop tolerance and eventually make the SVT inverter go haywire (or burn out) until you turn it down a tad. Or maybe the rheostats could develop static over time like a volume knob on an old radio, the inverter probably doesn't like the "noise", vibes, bumps, and playing with the slider can make the problem come and go. Those are my theories...

The original switch that came in my car would flicker, the replacement (that happens to have a different stat) has been working flawlessly for years.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:44 AM   #9
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Very interesting and great info.

I notice my dimming works great on the rest of the vehicle and also the backlight when everything works. However, when the backlight is flickering, the rest of the dimming circuit seems to operate....I would expect the rest of the dimmable components to react the same if they are on the same rheostat and switch?

Do you happen to know the inverter and rheostat numbers or values before I yank it back out?
I may have some parts here at work I could play with.
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Old 08-18-2015, 02:46 PM   #10
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Do a search for instrument panel electrostatic lighting. You'll get a lot more info on resolving the problem. Me, I just replaced the auxiliary gauge pod, which is where the inverter resides.
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