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Instrument Cluster Problem!


Old 12-03-2009, 11:49 PM
SpencerS is offline
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Thumbs down Instrument Cluster Problem!

TLDR: Parking lights and Instrument Cluster wont light up, fuse keeps blowing, help?


About 3 days ago I purchased a used 2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4wd. The first 2 days of driving it were great at night no problems what so ever. However as of today my parking lights(amber colored ones) and my instrument cluster will not light up when i turn my lights on, everything else is illuminated (odometer, blinkers, dome lights).

Now i did find a blown fuse in the parking light slot (slot 13 or 14 cant remember off the top of my head). I replaced the fuse for testing purposes and fliped on the lights and the instrument cluster lit up and the parking lights worked, so that rules out a blown bulb. Now when coming back from the gas station I turned my lights on then it shorted out again, but what was weird was it cut out the radios power then the radio came back on. I check the parking light fuse and it was blown again. Mind you i replaced the fuse just under an hour before this.

The previous owner installed a after market pioneer deck and speaker system in all 4 doors before i bought it from him, i am unaware if he did it himself or had it installed professionally(im guessing he did it himself). He also replaced the light switch and the Dim wheel himself before i bought the truck.

Any advice at where to start would be great.


edit: the previous owner mentioned something about this being a canadian truck and having day lights or something and explained that thats why he repalced the light switch. (Hope that sheds some light)

Last edited by SpencerS; 12-03-2009 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:37 PM
racoon114 is offline
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Location: Raywick, KY
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i had a similiar problem when i installed a pioneer stereo in my 01 dakota. I have the infinity audio in my truck and there was a extra wire on the stock cd player that had to hook up to the power antenna wire on the pioneer. With out that hooked up my intrument cluster when dead. IT would like up but none of the gages would work. I dont know why the is any connect between the radio and the instrument cluster but there is. I would check the wiring on the cd player
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:10 PM
SpencerS is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: California
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Well, m yproblem is the ooposite of yours. The gauges work but it just wont light up at night when i turn the lights on, it shorts out the fuse.

I will check the wiring tho to make sure there are no hot wires hanging around. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:34 PM
SpencerS is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: California
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So i took out the deck today and after searching the net for about an hour i found the deck wiring diagram. It turned out that the grounding wire was hooked up to the illumination wire(black/yellow). So i cut that wire and taped it off.

The radio doesnt work if its not grounded so i was wondering how i was going to ground it, but the antenna hook-up is acting as a ground now. I taped off the grounding wire and everything works fine now. No Shorts or blown fuses...yet!

I have one question, is it safe for the antenna hook-up to act as a ground for the deck?

Thanks for your time.

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Old 12-04-2009, 08:55 PM
01SilverCC is offline
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Location: Clermont, Florida
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You should ground the black ground wire on the Pioneer unit to a good clean solid ground point. One of the very best ground locations is under an existing bolt in either kick panel. The shield on the antenna coax cable will ground the radio, but it is not a very good ground, electronically speaking. It has higher resistance than chassis metal. Using the antenna for ground can cause dimming and blinking of the radio lights, engine noise and alternator whine, distorted output and in some cases no output at all. In your 2000 Dakota there should have been a silver colored braided grounding strap behind the radio location. At one time the strap was bolted to the back of the chassis of the original Dodge radio. You can use that strap as ground for the Pioneer, but the factory ground straps have been known to become contaminated over time and you eventually wind up with another bad ground problem. It's always best to ground to solid, clean, bare metal, whether you are talking about a radio, fog lights, amplifier, or any other electrical component.


Last edited by 01SilverCC; 12-04-2009 at 11:13 PM.
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