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Old 10-08-2017, 02:37 PM   #1
prometheus_aflame
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Default 1990 245: No console lights around dash interior

1990 245 NA. 250k on the clock purchased as a daily. The car runs ok and needs some TLC. My first agenda item is the interior backlight lights on the dash and shifter. All of the lights are out except the dimmer bulb on the cluster, the cluster lights, and the momentary switch lights on the dash when engaged. I had a look at the fuse panel diagram and fuse 16 appears to control interior lights. Turning the dimmer switch on the dash brightens the bulb in the cluster, but not the backlit portions of the rest of the interior. The internal roof light doesn't work either. I had a problem on the road where the headlights cut out and I had to reengage them by turning the light selector switch back to standby (position 2) and them back into the full beams (position 3). I've been looking for anything online related to the dimmer itself, but it doesn't appear to be fully dead, just not lighting up the interior. Help is appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:39 PM   #2
amazonphil
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ive seen headlights fail and replaced the switch temporarily with a pull switch from a 122, its just a switch. You can check it with a meter to see if it is working or bunned. when you turn the lights off and back on you are also opening and closing the contacts inside the headlight relay. they may be blackened and intermittent. if you pull the relay maybe you can pop the cover and pull some 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper through the contacts to get it going until you get a new one. headlights are important so I'd replace it if you have issues. the dash light dimmer is probably a variable resistor , you could jump it and get full brightness or replace it If it still kind of works i'd see if you can measure the ohms resistance with it unhooked and you can likely replace that with another variable resistor or even use a switch to engage a resistor for half or part brightness instead. If you hooked it so you had a switch and half brightness or full brightness that might be good enough, who needs the variable feature really? you might try spraying the switch with de-oxit to see if that revives it.

also check the buttons on the door, they often go flakey causing the interior light not to come on when you open the door but the dome light should still work in the always on position. if someone has been changing the radio or the heater blower or pulled the tranny then sometimes the little lights and things get left unplugged. Its really cool to get them all going at once, not uncommon some don't work.

if your fuses are going oxidised it's worth the time to unhook the battery, pull all the fuses and clean the fuse holders with a brush and contact cleaner then refit new fuses. sometimes the fuses get corroded or sometimes they can break with out appearing blown.. you can check each one with a meter to make sure you have continuity through each fuse. if the fuse holders get hot from a bad contact they can use their springiness, see if they are weak, sometimes you can re-form them a little to get them to hold the fuse with better tension. .

if you have fingers the size of a three year old that's perfect for pulling the fuses. If not get some spares, I always seem to drop them and they go down under the floor carpets never to be found until you have to pull all that apart so good to have a few spares, or think ahead and lay a cloth down to catch them.

Last edited by amazonphil; 10-08-2017 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:03 PM   #3
billkaz
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Had a similar issue with the first Volvo I bought. Turns out all the bulbs were burnt out.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:53 PM   #4
prometheus_aflame
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amazonphil View Post
the dash light dimmer is probably a variable resistor , you could jump it and get full brightness or replace it
Do I have to remove the instrument cluster to wire these two leads together? I found the following related forums that seem to reference the same problem.

http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=263767
http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=290170
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:26 AM   #5
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The dimmer either works or it doesn't and it sounds like yours works. As was said, it's likely bulbs are out. Connectors can also be corroded, just troubleshoot light by light. It took me a little to get all the cabin doohickies working in my car but it wasn't hard.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prometheus_aflame View Post
1990 245 NA.
I had a problem on the road where the headlights cut out and I had to reengage them by turning the light selector switch back to standby (position 2) and them back into the full beams (position 3).
I highly doubt that your headlight problem has anything to do with the dash light dimmer.

The problem with the headlights is most probably the headlight relay.
It's located on the left (driver's) fender rail under the hood, just back of the battery.
It's beside the 25A fuel injection fuse.
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Old 10-09-2017, 12:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coalminer View Post
I highly doubt that your headlight problem has anything to do with the dash light dimmer.

The problem with the headlights is most probably the headlight relay.
It's located on the left (driver's) fender rail under the hood, just back of the battery.
It's beside the 25A fuel injection fuse.
they're separate circuits. the headlight relay that is more likely to cause problems is the one against the firewall in the passenger compartment on the driver's side under the rug. the hi-lo one rarely goes bad.



the contacts corrode which makes them hot when energized, which melts the plastic of the relay plug, which causes the contacts to make poor contact with the relay.

easy to fix though, I just bypassed the corroded plug with new spade connectors

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