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Dodge Repair/'02 Ram 1500 SLT: dash board lights out


QUESTION: I noticed last night when I turned my head lights on I didn't have any dash board lights except the odometer was lighted.  Is this a blown fuse or?


ANSWER: What is the year of the vehicle?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I drive a 2002 Ram 1500 SLT, Quad Cab, short bed - middle size engine.

Hi Maryann,
The closest year manual I have is the '04. If your '02 is identical then it appears that the dash board lights (and by that do you mean everything from the cluster to the radio to the heater panel lights and also dome light, cargo light, funeral setting light, etc.?) are controlled by the headlamp switch and it allows you to choose from about 5 different light levels. Is that how yours works? The switch actually has 12 different positions in the '04 (headlights/park/lights, fog lights as well), is that like yours?
If so, then it is not a simple answer like a fuse. It turns out that the instrument cluster is a highly sophisticated and complex device. The requested dash light settings are not by a fuse just for that purpose and rather the requested levels are sensed as being different amounts of resistance in a wire that is called the panel lamps 'driver'. The two ends of that wire are on pins 6 and 7 of the headlamp switch and that includes all the other switch positions for cargo, dome, and funeral lights controlled by that switch. Have you also lost control to turn on the cargo, dome, and funeral lamps? If so, then I would check the connections of the wires on pin 6 and 7 of the headlamp switch, otherwise it is more complex a problem.

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Roland Finston


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