Reasons the Vehicle's Dash Lights Go Out - information from the the pros at Shingle Springs Subaru serving Sacramento, CA

The dashboard of your Subaru is filled with instruments that tell you lots of important information, from the speedometer to the temperature gauge to the check engine light and various other warning lights. So it almost goes without saying that dash lights which are flickering or dark are a cause for concern.

There are several reasons this could happen. The good news is that the different causes often present different symptoms. At Shingle Springs Subaru, we want you to go into every situation with good information about your vehicle. That's why we've put together this list. Check the symptoms of your car's instrument cluster below to find out the likely culprit. Then, be sure to schedule your Subaru service appointment to enjoy the best from your vehicle.

A car with dim instrument cluster lights drives down a road.

4. The Lights Are Dim

If the dash lights in your Subaru are too dim, or off completely, you may be in luck. If it's daytime, start by making sure the headlights haven't accidentally been turned on. Headlights in the on position often dim the dash lights automatically. But if the headlights are off, you may still be dealing with a very simple problem.

Once you've checked the headlights, look for the dimmer switch. This switch does exactly what it sounds like. If you've accidentally bumped it, you may have set the lights to a lower level without knowing it. Readjusting the dimmer switch should fix the problem.

A close-up of the instrument cluster in a vehicle.

3. The Instrument Panel Is Partly Dark

If you're driving a newer Subaru model, you probably won't run into this problem since it's likely equipped with independently-lit LEDs. However, as recently as a few years ago, the entire dash was often backlit by incandescent light bulbs. If one of these bulbs has burned out, the part of the instrument cluster it illuminates will also be dark. If this has happened to you, it's best to leave the repairs to the pros.

A dash panel with several lights illuminated. 

2. The Instrument Cluster Is Completely Dark

If the dashboard isn't lighting up at all, chances are you've blown a fuse. Remove the old fuse and replace it with a new one of the same type and this should get things working again. However, if the new fuse blows not long after its installation, it may point to deeper electrical problems that needs to be looked into.

1. The Lights Are Flickering

Flickering dash lights may not be due to a problem with the instrument cluster at all. More likely, it's due to either a dying battery or a bad alternator. The alternator is responsible for powering the electrical systems when your car is running, so a failing alternator won't be able to provide all the power your vehicle needs. The technicians at Shingle Springs Subaru will be glad to diagnose this problem and replace the failing part.

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Shingle Springs Subaru

4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
Directions Shingle Springs, CA 95682

  • Sales: 530-677-8771
  • Service: 530-677-8771
  • Parts: 530-677-8771