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It is a must to have tail lights and dash lights for safe driving, especially at night. But sometimes, tail and dash lights become problematic, which makes driving worst. However, knowing the fixing process at home is a worth-saving solution. But do you know how to fix tail lights and dash lights not working?

Check for the dimmer switch, fuse, bulbs, lights sockets, battery, and wiring for quickly fixing the tail or dash light problem. Once you have identified the problem, fix it accordingly.

Fixing the dash or tail lights is a simple job. But you must learn the techniques for quick and perfect job completion. Learn here how you can eliminate tail and dash light problems.

Tail lights and dash lights not working

It is essential to immediately identify and fix the problem if your vehicle’s tail lights or dash lights are not working. There can be several reasons for the problem. But here I have listed a few of the major problems that make your car’s tail lights or dash lights not working.

  • Faulty Dimmer Switch
  • Blown fuse
  • Faulty bulbs
  • Faulty Light socket
  • Car battery issue
  • Wiring issue

How to fix tail lights and dash lights not working [ Easy problems & Solution guide]

tail lights and dash lights not working

Problem 1: Faulty Dimmer Switch

You may experience tail lights and dash lights not working due to a faulty dimmer switch. You may see the lights are on but dim. When you switch on the vehicle, lights immediately turn on and become dim.

You must check for the dimmer switch. The dimmer switch is responsible for lights. You may experience a die problem in the dimmer switch or its settings. So check for the dimmer switch and resolve the problem.

Solution 1:

  • Check for the dimmer switch; it is located on the steering column lever, in the center console, or on the dashboard. It is a form of button or knob.
  • Once located, check for its settings. If the problem is with the setting, adjust and check the lights. 
  • If you see the dimmer switch is broken or blown, you must change it. 

You should use the most suitable dimmer switch to prevent future issues. My recommendation is Standard Motor Products DS72T Dimmer Switch. It is an excellent and affordable choice that is compatible with every vehicle. Its performance is impressive.

Problem 2: Blown Fuse

Blown Fuse

Fuses are an essential part of every electrical system. You cannot get lights if your vehicle’s dash or tail lights have blown fuse. So, for proper working, you must check and remove the fuse with a working fuse.

Solution 2:

The light fuses are also located in the fuse box. Generally, cars or trucks have two fuse boxes. The first one is under the hood, while the next is under the steering wheel or near the dashboard. The controlling lights are located inside the fuse box under the steering wheel.

You should have a multimeter to check the fuses if you do not have clear damage to them fuses. I recommend Innova 3320 Auto-Ranging digital multimeter for testing the fuses. It is simple and compatible with all types of electronic systems.

  • Take a screwdriver, unscrew the dashboard, or under the steering wheel fuse box cover. Remove the nuts and gently pull up the cover.
  • You will see many fuses; try to locate the fuses connected to your vehicle’s lighting system. 
  • Examine and ensure there is no physical damage to the fuses.
  • Now check and ensure their performance. Connect both ends with the multimeter and switch on the vehicle; if the voltage is passing, you have no issue with fuses. Otherwise, replace the fuses with new fuses.

Problem 3: Faulty Bulbs

Faulty Bulbs

It is a common problem that you may not have a problem with the other parts except the bulb itself. 

You must check the bulbs; you can easily identify the bulbs by checking their spark wire. If you cannot examine it, it is better to check the bulbs properly and ensure they are okay.

Solution 3:

  • Take a screwdriver and unscrew the screws of the light. 
  • Remove the lights cover and then remove the bulb. 
  • Connect the bulb to a battery and check it.
  • If the bulb is dark, or you have a problem with the bulb, replace it with the new one to get rid of the problem.

Problem 4: Faulty Light Socket

Light sockets are responsible for supplying power to the bulbs. If the light sockets are problematic, your dash or tail lights are not working. It can happen for several reasons, so you must check and replace the socket if needed.

Solution 4:

  • Open the light cover and check the light sockets. Check for damage; if you recently experienced an accident, it can cause damage to the sockets. You will need to replace the sockets if sockets are entirely damaged.
  • Examine for corrosion or discoloration. If you see the sockets are corroded or discolored, you must clean them or replace them if needed. 
  • Also, check for the socket pins that connect to the bulbs. Pins should be cleaned; if the pins are dirty or corroded, arrange for cleaning or replace the sockets.

Problem 5: Battery Problem

You may have no issue with lights or lighting systems, but you have a low charging or bad battery. You cannot switch on the lights if your battery has a problem. So you must check for the battery whenever the face lights are not working issue.

Solution 5:

  • Open your vehicle hood and check the battery
  • First, connect the multimeter to the battery, but ensure you have correctly connected the terminals.
  • You will see 12V on the multimeter display screen if the battery is okay. But if the voltage is less than 12 V, you have low charging or a problem with the battery. A low-power battery can be charged to remove the issue. But if you have a bad battery,  you Should replace it with a new one.
  • Connect the battery to the power source to recharge; if the power source is far away, then it is better to remove the battery and plug-in it in with the power source.
  • Leave the battery on charging for 20 to 30 minutes, and then check the voltage by connecting it to the multimeter. If the voltage is 12V, you have low charging; keep the battery charging for 2 to 3 hours to recharge it entirely.
  • If still voltage is less than 12V, you have a bad battery that needs replacement. I recommend ExpertPower 12v 33ah Rechargeable Deep Cycle Battery. It quickly recharges and lasts for a longer time than average batteries.

Problem 6: Wiring Problem

Wiring Problem

You have checked all the above problems but have yet to find the problem. Finally, you must check the wiring to clear the problem. 

If you have burnt or cut your wires and cannot supply power, lights will ultimately not work. So must check for the wiring and ensure no issue to get rid of the problem.

Solution 6:

  • Wear plastic gloves for safety while checking the wiring
  • The wiring box is located under the steering wheel or inside the dashboard
  • Check for the wires; if you do not see any damage to the wires, check the wires with a multimeter.
  • Connect both ends of the wires with the multimeter. It should display the voltage if the wires are okay. If the multimeter does not give a response, you have a problem with the wires. Replace the wires.
  • Sometimes wires are okay but loosely connected; if they are loose, tighten them to ensure a proper power supply.

Why do my brake lights work fine, but the tail lights don’t?

If your brake lights are okay but the tail lights are not, you may have an issue with the tail light’s fuse, bulb, or socket.

How do I reset my dashboard lights?

You have two ways to reset the dashboard lights.

  • First, switch off the car for a few minutes and then restart the engine.
  • Secondly, disconnect the battery for a few minutes and reconnect it.

Why Rear lights and dashboard lights not working?

You may have an issue with the fuse, wiring, or battery if the rear and dashboard lights are not working.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How to turn on the tail lights in Toyota?

No need to turn on the tail lights. Tail lights are also connected to the same switch, so tail lights are also on Toyota whenever the headlights are on.

How to turn on the dashboard lights in Toyota Yaris?

Find a control switch for dashboard lights under the steering wheel on your Toyota Yaris. Switch on the control switch to illuminate the dashboard lights.

Why are ford ranger tail lights and dash lights not working?

Check for fuse, wiring, or battery if tail and dash lights are not working

How to fix dashboard lights that won’t light?

Check for the socket, wires, or fuse to fix the dashboard lights not working.


Troubleshooting the tail lights or dash lights is simple if you identify the problem. You can check for several problems and can fix them accordingly. It will not only save you time, but also you can save a lot of money. So better to try it yourself before hiring a professional guy for troubleshooting.

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