How Do You Bypass a Car Dimmer Switch? (Explained For Beginners)

The dimmer switch is one of the most important parts of a car as it enables you to control the brightness of your lights.

If it stops working, there is no way to adjust the brightness inside your car, though you can bypass it.

In that case, how do you bypass a car dimmer switch?

Here is how you can bypass a car dimmer switch

You can bypass a car dimmer switch by first locating a fuse that powers the switch. Next, remove it and connect jumper cables to the terminals. Reinsert jumper wires to the fuse box port with their ends attached to the fuse’s terminals and electrical component that the dimmer switch powers.


If you’ve never bypassed a car dimmer switch but are ready to learn how to do it, you need to stick around to learn more.

We’ll discuss in detail how to bypass a car dimmer switch, what an instrument panel dimmer is, how it works, how to change the switch to a regular one, and a lot more.


What Is An Instrument Panel Dimmer?

An instrument panel dimmer is a switch that allows the driver to adjust the brightness of the vehicle’s dashboard lights.

Some vehicles have an automatic dimmer, which adjusts the brightness of the dashboard lights based on the amount of light in the vehicle’s surroundings.

How Does An Instrument Panel Dimmer Work?

The instrument panel dimmer consists of two resistors and a switch that are connected in series. Turning the switch changes the resistance in the circuit, which in turn affects how much current flows through it and how bright or dim the dashboard lights become.

Where Is An Instrument Panel Dimmer Used?

Instrument panel dimmers are used primarily in automobiles with LED or LCD dashboards because they allow drivers to adjust their brightness while driving at night without affecting other electrical devices in the vehicle. They may also be found on motorcycles, boats, and RVs.

What Are the Benefits of An Instrument Panel Dimmer?

Instrument panel dimmers provide drivers with control over their lighting, meaning drivers can focus on driving without worrying about blinding themselves with bright lights at night or straining their eyes trying to read gauges with insufficient lighting.

How Do You Bypass a Car Dimmer Switch?

Here’s how you can bypass your car’s dimmer switch:

  1. Open up the vehicle’s fuse box by using a flathead screwdriver to pry open the cover. Once open, locate the fuse that powers the dimmer switch.
  2. Remove the fuse and attach jumper wires to its terminals.
  3. With one end of each jumper wire connected to each terminal of the fuse, reinsert it into its port on the fuse box. The other end of each jumper wire will be connected to an electrical component that is powered by the dimmer switch.

Why Should You Bypass Your Car Dimmer Switch?

There are many reasons why you might want to bypass your car dimmer switch.

If you are having trouble with your headlights, whether they are too bright or too dim, this is a quick fix.

It can get you back on the road without replacing any major parts of your vehicle.

Bypassing a car dimmer switch is also relatively easy once you know how to do it. By following the three steps outlined, you can bypass your car dimmer switch in just a few minutes.

Can You Disconnect a Dimmer Switch?

You can disconnect a dimmer switch. The way to do it depends on the type of wiring that is used though. A standard dimmer switch will have three wires: the neutral wire (white), the hot wire (black), and a ground wire (bare copper). If the dimmer switch is wired using these three wires, then you are in luck because they can be disconnected using the same method as any other light switch. 

However, if you have an older home or your wiring is not typical, it’s likely the dimmer switch was wired using only two wires. That includes a hot and a neutral. If this is the case, then you cannot disconnect a dimmer switch in the same way as a regular light switch. This is because you would leave yourself with an open junction box.

What Does a Dimmer Switch Do in a Car?

A dimmer switch allows you to adjust the light intensity of your car’s headlights or dome light. The dimmer switch works together with the rheostat, which is a variable resistor. The rheostat is built into the dimmer switch and is controlled by the dimmer knob. This rheostat controls the amount of current flowing in the circuit to your lights.

Turning the knob clockwise will increase the current flowing to your lights, making them brighter. However, counterclockwise reduces the current flowing to them, causing them to be less bright. Most cars have a dimmer switch that controls both your headlights and your interior lights. Some cars have separate switches for each set of lights.

How Do You Change a Dimmer Switch to a Regular Light Switch?

The following steps will help you change a dimmer switch to a regular light switch.

  1. Deactivate the Breaker

Turn off the power to the room you’ll be working in by deactivating the breaker at your electrical panel or fuse box.

  1. Discharge Stray Electricity

Flip the toggle on the dimmer switch up and down a couple of times, then turn it on and off. This will discharge any stray electricity that may be stored in the unit.

  1. Discard the Wall Plate

Remove the wall plate from the switch with a screwdriver. If there is any paint or other debris where the screws go, remove it with a utility knife so they will turn more easily.

  1. Remove Wire Nuts

Unscrew the two screws holding the switch into place and remove them from the box. Remove any wire nuts or plastic connectors covering wires and unscrew them from their terminals on the side of the switch.

  1. Confirm Voltage and Rewire New Light Switch

Check for voltage with a non-contact voltage tester inside any of your remaining wall boxes (those in rooms not affected by turning off your breaker). If you receive no response, you can proceed with rewiring your new light switch. Secure a new light switch and turn on the power supply.

Why Change a Dimmer Switch to a Regular Light Switch?

There are numerous reasons why you might want to change a dimmer switch to a regular light switch. The most common one is that for some reason you don’t like the dimmer switch and would prefer just having a standard light switch. Some people find dimmer switches hard to use or confusing for their kids or guests. 

Furthermore, older people with reduced eyesight can find it difficult to distinguish between different settings on a dimmer switch. You may also wish to change the dimmer switch because it is broken and the replacement part is expensive and hard to find. If this is the case, it may be easier and cheaper just to replace the whole thing with a regular light switch.

Another reason is compatibility. Some bulbs don’t work with dimmer switches; these include halogen bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). If you use these types of bulbs and find that they don’t work with your dimmer switch or they flicker when turned down low, then you may want a change.


How do you bypass a dimmer switch?

How do I replace a dimmer switch with a regular switch?