How to Check Your Dash Lights

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Checking dash lights in a car involves turning the dash lights on, finding the dimmer control, dimming the lights low and brightening them up again to determine if any lights are burnt out. Wait until dark to check the dash lights to get a better view with automotive advice from an ASE-certified master mechanic in this free video on car maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Maintenance & Troubleshooting
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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Mark and in this segment I am going to cover how to check your dash lights. What works best to check your dash lights is that you have got a dark room or a dark environment and that way you can see if they are well lit and you can also count and make sure that all your lights are present. I can't provide that for you on this camera shooting because the lighting necessary but the first thing we will need to do is turn the dash lights on and that can be accomplished just by turning your headlights to the run position. They don't need to be turned to the full notch on headlights but just the running position. We are going to get an irritating ding for a few minutes while I have this on so please bear with me. To check the lights themselves you should have a dimmer control sometimes that is located on the light switch itself or on the dash and I should be able to turn this knob to watch the lights all go up and come down. I know that is difficult for you to see. Also look at the lights and make sure everything is well lit. You should be able to see the full spectrum of the speedometer or the tachometer and the speedometer and your warning gages. They should be well lit all the way around. If you have one corner of one section that is not very well lit, look on the other side is it well lit over there? If you can see where the light is omitting so it gives you a good indication of where the light bulb is located because if you need to make a repair to replace a bulb you have to pull your dash out in order to access this to do that. If you have no lights at all or they won't dim or just plain won't come on the first thing you will probably need to check is your fuse and that information can be found in your owner's manual on the vehicle. I'll turn the lights off to stop that and you can find the information in the owner's manual on the fuse for the dash lights if your lights don't come on. Also you can get after market repair manuals to give you more detailed information on how to diagnose the fuse, the switch, the dimmer controls and the dash lights themselves. It can also explain to you how to remove the dash correctly so you can get access to replace the bulbs. So that's how you check your dash lights.

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