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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am pretty sure my dash light burned out...anyone know how to get to it? From underneath or do i have to open up the whole dash? BTW, it's a 92 Sentra XE, 2dr.
 

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Former SuperMod
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I'm thinking you have to get to the bulbs by taking apart the cluster bezel

Good luck! :)

*EDIT: I see you added the car... well then, I'll take off the 2nd part of my post. LOL
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not very good with cars so if you could be more specific that would help. Cluster bezel doesnt ring a bell to me :)
 
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Discussion Starter #4
dash lights

Go buy a manual of some sort...factory service manual will be the most comprehensive, but a Chilton's manual will do (available at just about any chain auto parts store). Anyways, to get at the dash lights, remove some of the front trim panels on the dash; all you need is a screwdriver. The gauge panel then has to be removed, again simply by removing some screws. Be careful not to mess up any wires, when pulling the gauge panel out. You will find small light bulbs on the backside; pull them out and replace. There you go. Or, do as I do...when the lights go out from time to time, give the dash a good whack. Nissan apparently made the connections pretty loose, so you may be able to get them working that way.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
The reason I ask is becuz the problem I get is really weird. I tried installing a new CD player in my car and the deck ending up being bad. Soon as I tried to turn it on I got a really bad smell. After I unhooked it I've encountered the following problem. When I turn on my headlights, my dashlights go out. At night I cant see any of my gauges. The sensor lights still work such as check engine, battery etc, just the illumination lights. I've checked the wires underneath and the fuses and can't see a problem there. Anyone got ideas?
 

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outkast762 said:
The reason I ask is becuz the problem I get is really weird. I tried installing a new CD player in my car and the deck ending up being bad. Soon as I tried to turn it on I got a really bad smell. After I unhooked it I've encountered the following problem. When I turn on my headlights, my dashlights go out. At night I cant see any of my gauges. The sensor lights still work such as check engine, battery etc, just the illumination lights. I've checked the wires underneath and the fuses and can't see a problem there. Anyone got ideas?
yeah thats weird, mah friend installed a deck and then his car did the same thing... but he unplugged the dimmer switch of the gauges and shit. then he put these red neons where his gauges are. and so he can see but it gets relly anoying at timez. i think sumthing is rong with the wires you guys hookd up rong , but hey, idont know mah self so...?
 

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you have a short, the smell was probably burning wiring insulation. only way to find a short is to hunt for it
 

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Removing the dash lights is not that hard. I assume you have a B13. I've removed my consel about 4 times not breaking anything yet. The Chiltons and Hayne's repair manuals are decent for the most part, but my Hayne's book doesn't tell you how to unclip the black face panel that runs from the Center control instrument console to the driver side vents. That's the only problem, uncliping it from the driver side vents.

Removal:
1 - Remove 2 screws (1 behind the ash tray, the 2nd to the left of it). In the center console there is 2 screws either by the radio or temp. controls, remove those as well. Remove 2 more screws on both sides of the steering wheel where the grey panels meet the black instrument console face. (there will be 4 screws here but you only need to remove the outer screws, I think, on each side.

2 - remove the plastic cover around the shifter (auto or manual); just the black square form, not the piece that covers the handbrake.

3 - Try hauling on the center console around the middle or closer to the top on each side. I think there is a clip on each side. Once you get that loose haul the top out further and push the air vents down so they can get past the dash.

4 - Loosen the black instrument panel face. Try to bring up some slack to the left side to you can unhook it from the vents (the furthest edge of the intrument panel face is clipped on the left side of the vent). Wiggle it around and haul forward with moderate pressure. If you can fit a slotted screwdriver between the vent and the panel face, push the vent to the right or push the clip to the left. Using something narrower than a screw driver, but make sure it's strong when you bend it, would be good; less chance of damage. ( I never used a screw driver or other device, I just hauled on it moving it around as I did. I just popped out.
DON'T keep pulling if you think something is going to crack or break. Walk away for a while to calm down. I spent about 20 minutes my first time trying to figure out how it is removed. You will need a fair amout of force to get it loose by just pulling but not with all your weight behind.

5 - If and when you get this clip unhooked, lower your steering wheel if you haven't already. (there is no need to remove the wheel). Get the panel face to come forward a bit and try to get the top to clear the dash board. Try not to damage the dash. There is some flex to the bottom of the panel and tilting it forward should allow you to clear the dash by just barely touching it. You'll figure your own way how to remove it and eventually it will come free. Once it is close to being remove unclip the dimmer switch. You may have other switches or buttons to remove before hand. I have a base model (not even the E model) automatic so all I have is the dimmer switch.

6 - Now is a good time to clean the face panel and all the dirt that was behind it. A little Turtle Wax Plastic/ Vinyl cleaner (stuff in the black, green and yellow bottle) makes it looking new again. Not recommended on clear plastic or where a shine is not desired ie: top of dash.

7 - Remove the 4 screws holding the instrument panel in place. A magnetic philips screw driver would be good here incase you drop one (that's if the screws are steel). When removing any screw, place them in a safe area not too loose them, ie: container with a cover. Not all screws may be the same so knowing what went where would help with installation.

8 - Pull the intrument panel forward from the right side. It will not come out completely but enough to change bulbs. You may want to clean behind that as well, not bulb cluster, just the area behind it. The stock bulbs have a blue plastic coating on them, I suppose to prevent finger prints when installing or possible water or moisture damage. When installing new bulbs it's a good idea not to touch them. Wear a pair of thin gloves, ie: plastic/latex to prevent finger prints(oils on your hands contacting the bulb) which can lead to premature bulb failure in some cases. I suppose I should have followed my own advice.
The bulbs are held in tight and lock into place against the electronic membrane so a loose connection shouldn't be an issue.

9 - If you want to be creative, try installing Eurolite Xenon crystal bulbs from ebay. I bought some crappy painted ones at my local Canadian Tire and they seem to have faded. I tried blue and red combo but it looks stupid; blue for speedometer and odometer and red for gas engine temp (automatic instrument cluster, no tach). I swapped the red out with more blue and it looks a lot better. I used the red one for the Automatic shifter lite.
The B13 uses 194 bulbs I believe. If not, it's 168.

Once it's all done, new bulbs installed, it should be easier to install than remove. The only hard part if getting that far left clip attached to the vent again. You may need to position the vent or force it around to get the clip to lock back in. Also, hooking the left side of the instrument panel face on first may help. I never thought of this until now, but a bent coat hanger the could fit inside the vent to haul it forward may work as well.
Don't clip the vent in untill you are sure everthing is working. If after 2 days you don't like the color of the new bulbs or one has blown out or your wiring is still messed up it's easier to remove the console again since you won't have to fight with the vent clip. I had a little trouble as well getting the vent clip to engage but after a few tries it worked.

I'll try to get a full picture diagram on how to do this some day. I'll post it on one of my websites or make a new one to show you if you haven't done it before.

Just remember, be patient and don't get frustrated so you don't break anything.

If you need more info, PM me or just post here.

Greg
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Thx for the info everyone, hopefully I get this figured out today and let you all know.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
BTW, is there an easy way to spot a short? Is it pretty obvious? I've been poking around the wiring and havent seen anything yet, but there's so many wires i could have missed it already :\
 

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outkast762 said:
BTW, is there an easy way to spot a short? Is it pretty obvious?

Look for any wires that are frayed, split, or burnt. If 2 wires touch, you can get then to spark and melt the plastic covering over the wires. This happened to my tach... the white and red wires touched and I heard a *ZAP* from under the dash. The tach froze and I saw a lil' smoke. Pulled over, checked out the wiring... sure enuff, they touched and sparked.

Also, make sure your ground wires (black) are secure.
 

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Your electrical friend
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I think I know what your problem is. The OEM stereo had it's lights dimmed by the dimmer switch for the rest of the gauge and HVAC lighting, when you put your new head unit in, you might have connected that wire to something, causing a short which should have blown a fuse for the dash lights. (Could also explain why the previous head unit you tried to put in was bad, it may have gotten fried by that light wire). Did you use a wire harness to connect your head unit wiring harness to the OEM stereo harness? If not, that could by why, as I mentioned, you may have done something with that dimmer light wire that you should have abandoned. If you did use a harness then the harness should have abandoned that wire for you and if not, then you should have had an extra wire or two that you didn't use. If you did abandon those wires either when you cut the OEM hanress out or when you hooked up the harness to connect the stereo harness, those wires should have been capped off so that they didn't ground on anything. So I'd check the gauge lighting fuse and if when you replace it, it blows again, I'd bet that that OEM stereo light wire is grounding. If anything else, you may have pinched that wire when you put the stereo in.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
well i inspected all the cabling i could and didnt see anything, although there is a bunch i couldnt get to. I dunno whats goin on for sure cuz after i was prying at all these cables now my turn signals dont work. Could be the entire switch goin bad? Turn signal and headlights are on same switch, and they both have problems now. I'm taking it in to a shop tomorrow, see if they can find the prob :(

EDIT: ill check that out tool, that sounds like it could be a culprit, altough i did use a wire harness.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Answer was a bad dimmer switch! 3 dollar part, 48 bux for labor from the shop :\ This is why i'm learning this car stuff! Dunno why but computers seem much easier that cars!
 

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Your electrical friend
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I might still check out that wiring harness on the stereo. I pulled my stereo out last night since I'm selling my car, and there are two wires that I have taped up and didn't use on the install harness. An orange and an orange with a white stripe. It only takes a few minutes, might be worth checking out, could be why your other head unit went bad and could be why your dimmer went bad, it would all make sense. Glad you've got it solved though. :)
 

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outkast762 said:
Answer was a bad dimmer switch! 3 dollar part, 48 bux for labor from the shop :\ This is why i'm learning this car stuff! Dunno why but computers seem much easier that cars!
HAHA... sometimes they are. Glad it's fixed. :)
 

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Hazard and Defrost Lighting Gone

Ok guys I have somewhat of a similar problem, Every light in my car comes on at night but the center red Hazard light and Center Rear Defrost light in the center. What do you guys think is the problem? is it a fuse? a Bulb? I know how to take the dash apart. Any answers would be awesome. Thanks guys....
 
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