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Dashboard Lights Going Off and On?

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December 12, 2020

I have an 2005 Hyundai Elantra. I just put a new alternator and battery into it, but the headlights flicker and the dashboard lights turn off and on. Something is draining the battery, but I just don't know what it is. Any ideas and how to get it fixed would be appreciated.


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Bronze Feedback Medal for 2021. 15 Feedbacks
December 12, 20200 found this helpful
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Did you do the replacement parts yourself, or hire it done? If hired done, take the car back to them if the problem only occurred after their repairs, as they obviously caused the problem. If you did the repairs, double check any wiring you handled, to make sure all electric connections are clean and tightened, and that positives and negatives were not inadvertently switched. If you need help, Advantage Auto, Auto Zone, and others will do a free diagnostics on the electric system for you, and let you know what's wrong. Good luck.

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December 14, 20200 found this helpful
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So if your headlights are flickering and dashboard lights turn off and on there is a fuze box located under the hood of your car. If you are not sure where to locate this you can google the make and model of your car and it will tell you where to locate it. All cars are different when it comes to the location. After locating the fuze box make sure to open it, nine times out of ten there will be a picture on the fuze box lid indicating the purpose of each fuze.

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My suggestion would be to locate the one for lights and most likely this is what is going on. Any of your local auto part stores carry fuzes or even a hardware store. If you go in and tell them which one you need they will help you. They are really easy to replace. If this does not work any auto part store has a machine they can hook up to your car that will most likely tell you what is going on. Good Luck

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24 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 3, 2020

I have a Ford F250 Power stroke. While driving all my dash gauges and air stops working. They just flat line and then a couple minutes later all is good.

What could be causing this? Also this only happens once in a while. Sometimes not for weeks.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
July 3, 20200 found this helpful
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You have some sort of electrical short that is causing this problem.
Most likely the reason it only happens once in a while is the bad wire touches another wire or some part of the truck.

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You should also check your fuses.
An electrical short is probably one of the more difficult problems to solve as you may have to check the complete electrical harness to find the problem and as you can see it is intertwined and involves all of your gauges.
This could be dangerous so please get it checked out as soon as possible.

You might try going to a local auto parts store - AutoZone, Advance, Carquest, Pep Boys, most any of these have system checking machines and they may be able to help you. Not all of them will have the machines but keep trying until you find one as a dealer will charge just to check it out.

It's possible you could find the problem if their machine can help you. Otherwise you will have to take it someone (dealer) who has an experienced person working on electrical systems.

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Sorry, but it will probably be an expensive repair.
However, it will only get worse if not fixed and it may start affecting your lighting system or anything else that works off the electrical system.
Try the auto parts store route first.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
July 6, 20200 found this helpful
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This is an electronic short in the car. My daughter had the same issue in her car, but it is the same as your truck. All of a sudden all the gages would shut off and then after time they would come back on. If this is not taken care of soon the engine will be effected and all of a sudden you can loose power to the engine and the car will stop running.

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You will need to pull over and wait around 40 minutes or so before it cools off and you can go again. In her car they replaced a few electronic switches but they were unable to find the problem and it persisted because she waited too long to have it looked at. That is what they told her.

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March 11, 2020

I have Mercedes Benz C180. My dashboard lights go on and off, especially when I accelerate on a high speed and sometimes when I press the car horn. I have taken it to several garages, but it could not be fixed.

Please help out.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
March 13, 20200 found this helpful
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Start with your local auto stores - AutoZone, Advance, Car Quest, Pep Boys, NAPA, Discount, and Google Auto Part stores foreign with your zip code; start taking to each one to see if they will run their diagnostic machine on your car.

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This is a free service and some stores have more elaborate machines than others. Keep going until someone finds the problem.

This is probably a short in your electrical system and one of the most complicated things to find and repair. Sometimes it is just a faulty fuse but usually in the wiring. This may be in your electrical harness and that might have to be replaced (which will be very expensive).

Just try these auto parts stores first before taking your car to a foreign service shop so you will know a little about the problem before they tell you their diagnosis.
This is a safety hazard as it might cause more damage like a shortage and burn up the wiring system.

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September 30, 2018

I have a 2013 Chevy Impala, the headlights and dash lights will flicker like there is a bad alternator when I turn the car on and intermittently (especially after turning the car on in the morning after sitting overnight). The battery charging station code came up, basic Auto Zone test showed a good alternator, but a low battery charge.

I switched out the battery, the code has gone away, but the headlights and dash lights still flicker. Any ideas on what to check to fix the issue?

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
October 3, 20180 found this helpful
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Most of this type of problem was in older Impalas (forum links are from 2006) so it may not be the same problem.

I also believe it is an electrical short and you may need a specialist to check it out. It may not be a dangerous thing but you will only know for sure when it is checked out.

I would suggest you take it to a dealer even though it may be an expensive service charge.

You sure do not want your lights to flicker out one night when you are on the road so be safe and have it checked.

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November 29, 2017

I have a 2013 Chevy Malibu, my dashboard lights go off then come back on, during that time all of the meters go haywire until the lights come back on. This happens sometimes multiple times in a row. My interior lights don't go out or dim, what could possibly be the problem?


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
December 1, 20171 found this helpful
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Normally in the glove box of cars you can find fuses for the lights. You could also have sensors in there instead of fuses. Check this and make sure you don't have a short or one is not burned up.

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April 7, 2018

I have a 2004 Impala. While driving sometimes the dash goes blank where park, drive, and mileage shows.


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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
April 8, 20180 found this helpful
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It looks like you have a short in your dash wiring. Something is probably rubbing/touching occasionally and that is why it to only happens sometime.

You may/will have to take your car to a repair shop, preferably a dealer shop as an electrical short can be difficult to pinpoint but dealer shops may be more familiar with that problem.

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August 23, 2019

I have a 2000 Ford Windstar van. My dash lights come on for a few minutes and go back out. What would cause it to do that?


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March 31, 2019

My 2006 Honda Civic dashboard lights go off and on while I am driving.


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
April 1, 20190 found this helpful

You have a short in the electrical system. You will need to have the car serviced.

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October 14, 2015

The dash lights and interior lights in my Chrysler Sebring 2002 convertible only work every so often. Could you tell me what the problem might be? They work maybe once or twice a month.


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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
October 15, 20151 found this helpful

There is likely some small problem with either the switch or the wiring. My interior light works for all doors except for the driver's door, which is a real nuisance. My son, who is a jouneyman mechanic, tells me to live with it. I suspect it would be a fussy thing to fix, and if you are paying a mechanic, might be expensive. However, if your dash lights are not working, that could be a safety issue. It might also be a fuse. Speak to your mechanic about it at your next oil change. If it was just the interior light, I wouldn't bother, but the dash lights are necessary.

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September 3, 2019

Why do some of my dashboard lights come on and my speedometer works
only sometimes?


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January 4, 2012

The dashboard lights in my car go off sometimes, then on for a while, then off again or flicker. Do you know what is causing this and is there a cheap way to fix it?

By Jean M.

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January 4, 20120 found this helpful

This happened to me and it was a fuse near the battery under the hood. There are 2 fuse boxes, one inside the car and one under the hood. You'll need your manual to check what the fuses all go to in order to check them and to make sure you have the correct one. (There's usually a schematic in the book on it mapping where they go.)

It is possible to find the information on the internet using a search on your model and year of car if you don't happen to have that. It could be a loose wire or electrical problem, but it's so cheap to check this, you may as well start there.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 104 Posts
January 6, 20120 found this helpful

If you have an Auto Zone in your area go there. They have a code reader that can detect the problem. You buy the fuse, bulb, etc. and they will replace it for you at no charge. I don't know what I'd do without the people working there and NO I don't work for them and have no interest in promoting them other than the fact that they have saved me time and money. Probably any of their competitors will do the same thing for you. I just use Auto Zone because they are nearest to my home.

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July 26, 20160 found this helpful

all my dashboard lights are flashing. Auto zone said it has to with the alarm system

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July 10, 20180 found this helpful

I have a r350 and all of a sudden the dash lights flicker on and along with the emergency signal lights that steady blinks and the trunk keeps clicking like its opening or closing both even when the ca is off

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August 6, 2019

I have a 2003 Chevy Silverado and periodically all the dashboard lights come on while I am driving and then go off. It has more than 300,000 miles. What could be causing this?


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July 26, 2019

I have a 2006 Grand Jeep Cherokee. All my lights in the dashboard flicker off and on. What could be the problem?


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