What Is An Instrument Panel Light Switch? (Explained!)

The instrument panel/instrument cluster/dashboard is one of the most important parts of any car because of how it allows you to check what is happening to the car such as knowing what speeds you are running at and how much fuel you have left.

In that regard, the instrument panel or cluster needs to be lit especially when you have to drive at night, or else you won’t be able to see the different instruments and gauges on it. That is why cars have an instrument panel light switch.

What is an instrument panel light switch?

An instrument panel light switch is the one responsible for controlling the light on your dashboard or your instrument panel. It allows you to dim, brighten, or even turn off the lights on your dashboard depending on your preferences. In other words, it adjusts the lights on the instruments on the dashboard.

Not a lot of people realize the fact that the lights on your instrument panel are actually very important because, without them, it would be very difficult for you to see them at night or in low-light conditions.

This means that you have to know where your instrument panel light switch is or check whether or not the lights are functioning well so that you would be able to properly use your dashboard instruments without any problems whatsoever.

What is an instrument panel light switch?

It is without a doubt that the instrument panel is one of the most important parts of any car because of how useful it is at helping you keep track of the status of the car.

If you want to know how fast you are going, simply look at the speedometer on the instrument panel.

And if you want to know if you still have enough fuel left in the tank for a long drive, check the fuel gauge on the dashboard.

Because of how important the instrument panel is, you need to be able to see the different instruments visibly and without any problems.

Aside from how the instrument panel is placed in a location that allows the driver to easily see it depending on the car manufacturer, the instrument panel itself must be visible enough in any kind of condition.

That is why the dashboard actually has a light that is there to help you see the instruments at night or during low-visibility conditions.

However, the lights on your instrument panel can be controlled depending on your own personal preferences.

There will be some cases when you might want them bright enough so that you can see them during low-light conditions. In some instances, you probably would want to keep them dim because bright lights might distract you while you are driving.

That is where the instrument panel light switch comes in.

The instrument panel light switch is the switch that is responsible for controlling the lights on your dashboard. It’s as simple as that.

This switch serves no other purpose aside from allowing you to control the lights on the instrument panel.

Nevertheless, it is still quite useful because you will never know when you would need to brighten up or dim the lights on your instrument panel.

Instrument panel light switch purpose

As mentioned, the only purpose of the instrument light switch is for you to control the light on the dashboard.

So, in case you want to keep your instrument panel lights dim enough because you can still clearly see them while you are driving, then you can just use the panel to adjust the lights and dim them.

You can also use the same switch to brighten up the lights in case you need to see them during low-visibility conditions.

And if you have no use for the instrument panel lights because you can still see the different instruments, you can just simply use the light switch to turn the lights off.

It really is as simple as that. The instrument panel light switch may only serve one purpose, which is to control the lights on the dashboard, but it is still very much useful for those who want to be able to properly see the different instruments on their instrument panel.

Some people might find bright lights too distracting while some people might want to make sure that the instrument panel is visible enough because of how important it is to any drive.

The instrument panel light switch is also a good way for you to diagnose whether or not there is a problem with the lights on your dashboard.

There will be times when your instrument panel lights are quite dim, and it might make you think that the lights are already burnt out.

However, by using the instrument panel light switch, you would know if the bulbs need to be changed because you might have just accidentally adjusted the instrument panel light switch and dimmed the lights without even knowing you did.

So, before you have a mechanic check the lights on your instrument panel, you might have just accidentally adjusted them through the dashboard light switch.

You can check it out yourself before you go out spending a lot of money on having your car checked when there isn’t even a problem with it in the first place.

Where is the instrument panel light switch located?

If you want to know where your instrument panel light switch is, the location actually depends on the car manufacturer and on the make and model of your car.

There is no definite location as to where the instrument panel light switch is located but you will always find it within your reach.

There are cases where you can find it in the form of a knob or dial on the console near your steering wheel so that it will be easy for you to turn it on or off or to adjust it while you are driving. In some cars, the instrument panel light switch can be found as an actual switch as part of the headlight control switch.

Again, it will depend on the make and model of your car and on the manufacturer of your car.

As such, be sure to thoroughly read your manual or to look for the light switch yourself.

It surely won’t be too far from your reach because of how important it is for you to be able to easily adjust the instrument panel lights in an instant.

How do you repair your instrument panel lights?

There is no way for you to repair or replace an instrument panel light switch aside from taking it to a servicing shop to have it checked and repaired by professionals.

However, if the problem is in relation to the instrument panel lights themselves, here are some quick fixes that might help you:

Check the instrument panel light switch

In some cases, the problem with your instrument panel lights may just be because you accidentally adjusted the dashboard light switch.

  1. Turn the car on without starting the engine. From there, turn your headlights on.
  2. Find the instrument panel light switch and then check whether or not you actually adjusted it by accident. Adjust the dial, knob, or switch and see if the instrument panel lights are adjusting as well.
  3. If the lights are adjusting, then that fixes the problem.

Replace the dashboard lights

There are also instances where the dashboard lights have gone dim because they are already burnt out. In such a case, you can replace them yourself.

  1. Disconnect the battery from the car to prevent any electrical shocks while you are changing the lights. If you are changing anything that is electrical regardless of whether you are talking about your car or your house, it is important for you to make sure that the source of electricity is turned off or has been disconnected.
  2. Remove the dashboard rim of your car so that you can access the insides. You have to understand that removing the dashboard rim is dependent on the make and model of your car. But, in most cases, you will have to use screwdrivers because screws might be holding the dashboard rim in place.
  3. From there, remove the instrument cluster faceplate, which covers the dashboard gauge panel found under it. Again, use a screwdriver whenever necessary. Disconnect any wires and switches that may be connecting the faceplate and the dashboard gauges.
  4. You will find light bulbs at the back of the instrument panel faceplate. Remove them and replace them with newer ones. Older cars use standard bulbs but the newer ones may be using LED bulbs. Read your car’s manual thoroughly to know which lights you need to use. In the alternative, you can simply remove the lights first and then go to a nearby hardware store and show them to a staff member so that you will know which lights your car’s instrument panel uses.
  5. After you have replaced the lights, place everything back in their proper places. Try turning the car on without starting the engine. If the lights on the instrument panel seem okay, then you did a good job in replacing them.

Sources

HAVE THE DASHBOARD LIGHTS IN YOUR CAR STOPPED WORKING?

How to Repair Dashboard Lights

How to Fix Dashboard Lights That Won’t Light