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Dashboard lights/Tail lights not working

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Dashboard lights/Tail lights not working

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Hello everybody,

 

I recently just installed a new aftermarket headunit from crutchfield.  The new receiver worked smoothly and installed "correctly" when I put my negative cable back on my battery.  I was very excited I got it installed, but the next day when I was driving home I turned on my lights and found out that my dashboard lights were not working.  Later looking at some connections, I also found out my tail lights were not working as well!  I figured since I just installed the aftermarket, that must be it.  I don't know what exactly I did wrong, but I think I have a few suggestions,

 

There were two orange wires that came with the crutchfield wiring harness, but on the head unit (Sony CDX-430ip), there was no orange wire so I could not connect it.  I thought since I didn't need to use those two orange wires (both on the harness) which were the "dimmers" I bunched them together and crimped them together.  Bad Idea?  I don't know.

 

The second suggestion are my ground wires.  Only the orange wires and the ground wires were the confusing ones where I had to kinda guess.  On the wiring harness there was just a normal black wire, but on the Sony HU wire, the ground wire was black and on the end of it was clamp/pincer like (excuse for my lack of stereo knowledge).  I did some research and found out I had to have a screw hold that wire in place, the one with the pincer, but then I didn't know what to do with the wiring harness ground wire.  Soo what I did was combine them together and crimp them off with a butt connector.

 

What I changed today was separating the two orange wires so each have their own crimp connect.  I also separated both ground wires so they are not connected anymore.  I crimped the harness off by itself but left the pincer like ground wire untouched.  I didn't attach it to any metal part of the car.

Nothing what I tried today worked, my dashboard lights are still not working and neither are my tail lights.

My only option left is to attach the other ground wire to a metal part of the car.  I may even have blown a fuse or something (hopefully not).  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

If it matters, I drive a '05 honda civic.

Thanks!



[edited by: aurora at 12:54 AM (GMT -5) on Wed, Jul 22 2009]
Verified Answer
  • Sounds like you blew a fuse, most likely when you attached the illumination and dimmer (the two orange) wires together. Make sure they are separated and insulated properly. Check all fuse panels for blown fuses.

    On a separate note, the ground wires should be connected together. The spade connector on the HU harness is there because some stock HUs don't have a ground wire they connect to, but attach directly to the car's metal chassis for ground. Just clip off the "pincer" and crimp the two ground wires together like the rest of your wires.

    02 BMW 330Ci

    Alpine DVA-9965, and a mix of stuff

    12 Ford F-150

    In progress: Pioneer DEH-80PRS HU -> DLS RA40 amp -> Seas G18RNX woofers & SB Acoustics SB29 tweeters

All Replies
  • Sounds like you blew a fuse, most likely when you attached the illumination and dimmer (the two orange) wires together. Make sure they are separated and insulated properly. Check all fuse panels for blown fuses.

    On a separate note, the ground wires should be connected together. The spade connector on the HU harness is there because some stock HUs don't have a ground wire they connect to, but attach directly to the car's metal chassis for ground. Just clip off the "pincer" and crimp the two ground wires together like the rest of your wires.

    02 BMW 330Ci

    Alpine DVA-9965, and a mix of stuff

    12 Ford F-150

    In progress: Pioneer DEH-80PRS HU -> DLS RA40 amp -> Seas G18RNX woofers & SB Acoustics SB29 tweeters

  • Thanks for the quick reply!

    Okay, will do!  I'll keep the two orange separated and attach the two ground wires together again and buy some fuses tomorrow and replace them.

  • Can you please tell me if you have made any other upgrades to your '05 Civic ? My wife drives an '05 Civic and I will be upgrading the sound sooner or later. Those premium sound stock speakers suck like Hoover.

    Thanks !

    Beer

    GLH Geeked

  • aurora
    There were two orange wires that came with the crutchfield wiring harness, but on the head unit (Sony CDX-430ip), there was no orange wire so I could not connect it.  I thought since I didn't need to use those two orange wires (both on the harness) which were the "dimmers" I bunched them together and crimped them together.  Bad Idea?  I don't know.

    Yep, bad idea.  Normally you connect the CF Illumination wire to the radio Dimmer wire and cap off the CF Dimmer wire.  Since the Sony has no illumination wire, you needed to cap them both off separately.

    The second suggestion are my ground wires.  Only the orange wires and the ground wires were the confusing ones where I had to kinda guess.  On the wiring harness there was just a normal black wire, but on the Sony HU wire, the ground wire was black and on the end of it was clamp/pincer like (excuse for my lack of stereo knowledge).  I did some research and found out I had to have a screw hold that wire in place, the one with the pincer, but then I didn't know what to do with the wiring harness ground wire.  Soo what I did was combine them together and crimp them off with a butt connector.

    What I changed today was separating the two orange wires so each have their own crimp connect.  I also separated both ground wires so they are not connected anymore.  I crimped the harness off by itself but left the pincer like ground wire untouched.  I didn't attach it to any metal part of the car.

    The pincer is typically called a spade lug or ground lug or ring lug.  You are safer here.  You can either connect the lug to metal behind the dash or snip it off and crimp the radio ground wire to the harness ground wire.  Either way will work, but you want the radio ground wire connected to ground somehow or the radio can try to ground itself through the chassis or antenna connection, which is not good.

    Nothing what I tried today worked, my dashboard lights are still not working and neither are my tail lights.

    Check your fuses ...

    Hope This Helps!!!

     

     

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • Okay so I went to local Kragen auto parts to pick up some fuses and a fuse tester.  Opened my fuse box under the hood and looked at the diagram that's on the cover and checked "small lights" fuse.  Turns out that fuse wasn't working so replaced that and voila my tail lights are now working!

    As for my dashboard lights, I checked the fusebox under my steering wheel and saw a fuse labeled "METER" took that out and basically nothing in my dashboard works.  Sorry, I should have been more specific in my original post.  Some of the lights on my dashboard work, such as the oil light, low gas light, engine light, BRAKE light... etc.  The only dashboard lights that were not working were the dimmable ones, so I can't see how fast I'm driving at night since the speedometer isn't lit at all.  Nor can I see how much gas I have or the the temperature.  So I put a new fuse back in for METER and all the non-dimmable lights were back on but the dimmable lights were still out.  

     

    I'm guessing the problem now is I have a faulty dimmable switch, but I could be wrong.  Is there another fuse that controls dashboard lights? I basically checked all the fuses under the hood and checked half of the other fuses under the steering wheel.  The other half, I couldn't test them because I couldn't fit the fuse tester so I guessed which fuse had to be it.  There were only two fuses that were 7.5 amp,  ACC radio and METER.  I had a guy at Kragen Auto parts help me change out the ACC radio fuse but that one didn't work.  I just changed out meter and that didn't work.  There was a 10 amp that was for ACC turn light, but I didn't think that was the problem.  All the other fuses were 15 amp or 20, and that couldn't have been it.  

     

    Thank you for your replies! They have been very helpful!

     

    Oh also, if it is the dimmer switch, where can I get a new one?  And can I install it myself or should I take it to a mechanic?  Again, I drive a '05 civic



    [edited by: aurora at 3:00 AM (GMT -5) on Thu, Jul 23 2009]
  • GLH

    Can you please tell me if you have made any other upgrades to your '05 Civic ? My wife drives an '05 Civic and I will be upgrading the sound sooner or later. Those premium sound stock speakers suck like Hoover.

    Thanks !

    Beer

    I have not made any upgrades to my car except for stereo and speakers.  I had speakers installed by a local stereo shop.

     



    [edited by: aurora at 3:03 AM (GMT -5) on Thu, Jul 23 2009]
  • Do you know the brand and model of speakers they installed ?

    Thanks.

    GLH Geeked

  • aurora
    Oh also, if it is the dimmer switch, where can I get a new one?  And can I install it myself or should I take it to a mechanic?  Again, I drive a '05 civic

    I highly doubt it's the dimmer switch, but it's not beyond the realm of possibilities.  I can't tell you if you can install it yourself or not - I could install it myself, but that doesnt' help you.

    It is most likely another fuse - the best test is not with a fuse tester, but with a DMM (you are looking for a fuse that does not have zero ohms across the two sides, but failing that, often the easiest thing is to pull the fuse and see if the internal wire is broken).

    It's also possible that it is an underhood fuse or fuseable link that went out.

    I don't know what fuse it would be though.

    Finally, it's unlikely, but it is possible that the wiring blew all the bulbs in the instrument cluster rather than the fuse - which would require removal of the cluster to change out the bulbs.

    Hope This Helps!!!

     

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs

  • GLH

    Do you know the brand and model of speakers they installed ?

    Thanks.

    Mmm they're Almani speakers, but I don't remember the model. 

     

    TigerHeli

    aurora
    Oh also, if it is the dimmer switch, where can I get a new one?  And can I install it myself or should I take it to a mechanic?  Again, I drive a '05 civic

    I highly doubt it's the dimmer switch, but it's not beyond the realm of possibilities.  I can't tell you if you can install it yourself or not - I could install it myself, but that doesnt' help you.

    It is most likely another fuse - the best test is not with a fuse tester, but with a DMM (you are looking for a fuse that does not have zero ohms across the two sides, but failing that, often the easiest thing is to pull the fuse and see if the internal wire is broken).

    It's also possible that it is an underhood fuse or fuseable link that went out.

    I don't know what fuse it would be though.

    Finally, it's unlikely, but it is possible that the wiring blew all the bulbs in the instrument cluster rather than the fuse - which would require removal of the cluster to change out the bulbs.

    Hope This Helps!!!

     

    Well I checked all the fuses and compared them with a new fuse.  All of them worked so I replaced the old fuses back.  I'm pretty sure it's not a fuse problem now.  I'm going to my mechanic tomorrow and hopefully he'll be able to figure it out.  Thanks for your help TigerHeli.  Much appreciated.

  • According to Google, you were likely close with your first guess on the dimmer switch.

    Hope This Helps!!!

    2002 Ford Focus JVC KD-A815 Sony CDX-GT410u Sony XT-100HD HD Tuner Stock speakers, no amp, no subs