Malfunctioning Dash Lights & How to Diagnose

Reasons the Vehicle's Dash Lights Go Out

Your vehicle's dashboard serves as a crucial source of essential information, providing details about your speed, remaining fuel, potential issues that require attention, and more. Therefore, malfunctioning dash lights can pose safety risks. At Nate Wade Subaru, we're committed to enhancing your understanding of your vehicle, and that's why we've curated this informative page. Below, you'll discover various potential causes of dash light issues, accompanied by associated symptoms that can serve as valuable indicators, guiding you toward the appropriate solution.

4. What if Your Dash is Completely Dark?

If your dashboard is completely dark, the initial step is to check for a blown fuse. Consult the owner's manual to identify the fuse corresponding to the dash lights. Ensure the vehicle is turned off with the key removed from the ignition. Access the fuse box and use the puller to extract the relevant fuse. Hold it up to a light source to inspect the wire inside. If it's broken, replace the fuse with a new one of the same size and amperage. Should the fuse burn out rapidly, it could indicate a wiring issue in your car. If all electrical components cease functioning, potential culprits may include the alternator, battery, or other problems within the electrical system.

3. What if Your Dash Lights are Dim?

Your vehicle's dimmer switch plays a crucial role in regulating the brightness of your dashboard lights. If you've inadvertently bumped the switch, it could lead to excessively dim lights. Identifying and adjusting the dimmer switch may resolve the issue. Another possibility is that your headlights are inadvertently turned on, causing the dashboard lights to dim as a typical response to headlight activation. Checking the headlight settings and ensuring they align with your preferences can help rectify this situation.

2022 Subaru Legacy-closeup view of passenger side headlight- dark blue

2. What if Your Dash is Only Partially Lit?

In contemporary vehicles, dash lights often consist of individual LEDs designed to last for the entire lifespan of the vehicle. However, in older models, dashboards were backlit by conventional light bulbs. If one of these bulbs burns out, the corresponding area on the dash loses illumination. In such instances, we advise bringing your Subaru to our Nate Wade service center for professional bulb replacement. This task typically involves removing the entire gauge cluster from the dash, making it a job best handled by experts like our factory-trained technicians in the dealership service center.

2022 Subaru Impreza- instrument panel

1. What if Your Dash Lights are Flickering?

The alternator plays a crucial role in the functionality of your Subaru by not only recharging the battery while driving but also powering various electrical components, including the dash lights. If you notice flickering lights, it could be an indication that the alternator is not functioning properly. This issue may extend to other electrical systems such as headlights and the radio, potentially affecting the battery's charge and making it challenging for your Subaru to start. In such cases, it is advisable to bring your Subaru to Nate Wade's service center for a thorough inspection and, if needed, replacement of the alternator.


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