1997 Toyota Corolla dashboard lights not working - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
7th Generation (1993-1997) Specific discussion of the 7th generation

 
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#1 Old 12-02-2010, 04:44 PM
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1997 Toyota Corolla dashboard lights not working

When I got the car, only the right half of the dashboard illuminated. A few nights ago, the right half went out, and the left half started working. After checking some of the fuses by the driver seat, the entire dashboard went out (except for the seat belt, check engine, and oil lights - they turn on for a moment when I start the car). I read that the dashboard light fuse also controls the tail lights as well, and those are in working condition.

So I'm not sure if it's the fuse or the light bulb behind the dash that have gone out. I do not have the owner's manual, and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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#2 Old 12-02-2010, 08:03 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Yes, you're correct in saying that the tail light fuse also controls the instrument cluster lights. Have you got a dimmer switch on your dash? If so, then it could be due to a faulty rheostat (which is located on the back of the switch). If it malfunctions, it will cause issues with the instrument cluster lighting, such as going completely dark. Try and swap it with another one if you can, or bypass the switch completely.


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#3 Old 12-08-2010, 05:33 PM
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Thank you for the welcome. I was hoping it wasn't something too in depth like that lol. I found this image on this forum of the driver side fuse box:

Thread can be found here:
Cluster and Brake Lights Blew Out. Replaced Fuse and...

As I stated I do not have a manual, but the bottom left fuse in my car is a 7.5 Amp, (red/orange color) I pulled it out today and it did not look blown in the center. In the thread above, the box cover states that a 15 amp fuse is required. Could this be why the back/brake lights work, but the dash does not?

While writing this post I decided to take a picture of my fuse box, and a couple of the fuses don't match up. Here's the picture from my iPhone, should I attempt to put the correct fuses in place?


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#4 Old 12-08-2010, 07:35 PM
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Yes, I'd attempt to put all of the fuses in their correct location. It looks like the 10 amp fuse and the 7.5 amp fuse on the bottom row are mixed up. Swap those two over.

Here's a diagram of the driver's side fusebox from my owner's manual which should come in useful:



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#5 Old 12-08-2010, 11:47 PM
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Okay, so I just swapped those 2 fuses at the bottom around (7.5a/15a) and the dashboard still does not turn on. Is it possible that the wrong amperage in the fuse box caused the light bulbs themselves to go out?

Also, according to the manual page you posted, I realized that my fuse box has all kinds of errors in it. In the picture taken from my iPhone, the yellow fuses are 25 amps. Nowhere in the manual does it show a 25amp fuse going anywhere. I bought a fuse kit from a car shop, and according to the manual this is what the fuse box should look like with the new fuses. Here is a comparison of what it should look like, and what it actually looks like.


(The two bottom-left fuses have been corrected, picture not updated)
Also, the top right fuse isn't even there (30 amp-green), not sure if that is going to be a problem lol. So should I correct the entire fuse box? Should I use entirely new fuses, or is it possible to mix the old and new ones together? And since swapping the two bottom fuses didn't turn on the dashboard, should I attempt to swap out the light bulbs in case they have gone out?

I'm trying to be as specific as possible, I rely on my car to get to work so the last thing I want to do is kill it, thank you for your help.
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#6 Old 12-09-2010, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojas0608 View Post
Okay, so I just swapped those 2 fuses at the bottom around (7.5a/15a) and the dashboard still does not turn on. Is it possible that the wrong amperage in the fuse box caused the light bulbs themselves to go out?
If the 7.5 amp fuse wasn't blown, then chances are that the bulbs will still be ok, but it's worth checking just in case

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojas0608 View Post
Also, according to the manual page you posted, I realized that my fuse box has all kinds of errors in it. In the picture taken from my iPhone, the yellow fuses are 25 amps. Nowhere in the manual does it show a 25amp fuse going anywhere. I bought a fuse kit from a car shop, and according to the manual this is what the fuse box should look like with the new fuses. Here is a comparison of what it should look like, and what it actually looks like.


(The two bottom-left fuses have been corrected, picture not updated)
Also, the top right fuse isn't even there (30 amp-green), not sure if that is going to be a problem lol. So should I correct the entire fuse box? Should I use entirely new fuses, or is it possible to mix the old and new ones together? And since swapping the two bottom fuses didn't turn on the dashboard, should I attempt to swap out the light bulbs in case they have gone out?

I'm trying to be as specific as possible, I rely on my car to get to work so the last thing I want to do is kill it, thank you for your help.
Yeah your fusebox does have quite a number of wrong fuses in it, lol. I'd start by correcting every single one of them, using the diagram as a reference. You can mix the old ones and new ones together, providing the old ones aren't blown.

Just to reiterate what I said in my first response in this thread, does your Corolla have a dimmer switch on the dash? (located below the vent near the driver's door).


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#7 Old 12-09-2010, 08:53 AM
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Oh sorry, I didn't mean to dodge the question. Yes, my car does have the dimmer switch, however I was hoping to avoid a real technical repair like that. I found a guide for removing the dashboard panel and replacing the bulbs, I will try that as soon as I get some free time. As well as fix the fuse box lol.

If the bulbs don't work out, is the dimmer switch repair costly or a major hassle?
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#8 Old 12-09-2010, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojas0608 View Post
Oh sorry, I didn't mean to dodge the question. Yes, my car does have the dimmer switch, however I was hoping to avoid a real technical repair like that. I found a guide for removing the dashboard panel and replacing the bulbs, I will try that as soon as I get some free time. As well as fix the fuse box lol.

If the bulbs don't work out, is the dimmer switch repair costly or a major hassle?
Ok cool. In that case, I'd start by checking the dimmer switch. You can either replace the switch by getting one from a junkyard, or you can bridge the wires together and bypass it completely (this is a good way to tell if it's the switch at fault or something else causing the problem). It would be best to use a digital multimeter so you know which wires you're meant to join together. If you don't have a multimeter, they're cheap to buy and come in handy for other jobs. Simply pop out the driver's side vent section and you'll see the wiring leading to the dimmer switch. There should be three wires: 12v, ground and variable voltage out. Using your digital multimeter, determine which one is the ground wire, then simply join the other two wires together and hopefully your dash lights should run


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#9 Old 12-11-2010, 11:37 AM
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So here's a little update. After I switched the bottom two fuses around, the left side of the dashboard started working again. So this morning I went ahead and placed all the correct fuses in, and the dashboard lights went out again. Seems like we were making more progress with the incorrect fuses. Any clue where to go from here? Clearly the lights work.
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#10 Old 03-30-2011, 04:48 PM
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Can I wake a dead thread?

I'm in the middle of a similar issue...I have NO tail lights OR dash lights and the fuse is good. Where else can I look?
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#11 Old 03-31-2011, 12:48 AM
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visually the fuse can look good all it wants but i have actually come across some with hairline cracks that cause it to be "blown". test it for continuity with a multimeter in the beep mode. if it beeps its good, if it doesnt its bad..... OR, replace it with a known good fuse.


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#12 Old 03-31-2011, 05:51 PM
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I didn't have time to update last night.

I figured it out...The PO installed a couple of fuse extensions that I removed when I first bought the car.


Basically the extension boogered up the fuse slot and was preventing contact. I found the 2 tabs/prongs that I put in my fuse bin and put them back on the fuse and everything works as intended. I spent 2 hours chasing this problem testing fuses and relays. At least I have abetter understanding of my cars wiring now.
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#13 Old 08-19-2011, 12:55 PM
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My problem was of a different nature - Post deleted.

Last edited by thebossman33; 08-23-2011 at 02:44 PM.
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#14 Old 01-15-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi-Corolla View Post

Just to reiterate what I said in my first response in this thread, does your Corolla have a dimmer switch on the dash? (located below the vent near the driver's door).
This sounds like what's going on with my girlfriend's 2007 Corolla. The TAIL fuse is fine. She's OK with bypassing the dimmer. I follow what to do with the two (non-ground) wires. But how do I get to them - what's the procedure?

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