My Odometer Light Is Dim, Not Working, OR Flickering? (4 Reasons)

The odometer on your dashboard isn’t something that most people normally look at when driving.

That’s because the odometer only becomes useful when you want to know your car’s mileage.

Then again, you might notice that there’s something wrong with your odometer light while you are driving, and that becomes annoying to look at especially if it’s flickering or is a bit dim.

Why is your odometer light not working properly?

An odometer light that’s not working properly could be tied to any of these reasons:

  • It automatically dims when the headlights are on
  • There must be a blown fuse
  • The bulb needs to be replaced
  • Your car battery could be dying.

The thing about an odometer that isn’t working like it should such as when it is dim or it is flickering is that it is usually tied to the entire dashboard.

That means that there is a chance that the entire dashboard’s lights are not working as well, and that could be a problem because of how some of the other instruments are very important on a daily basis.

This is why you need to check your car once you do detect that the odometer light or any other light isn’t working properly.

Why is my odometer light dim, flickering, or not working properly? And how do I fix it?

When it comes to your odometer, one of the things that you should know is that this is a very important instrument that will become useful once you need to know your car’s mileage such as when you are selling it.

In any other instance, it really isn’t very useful especially when you are only talking about daily tasks such as driving.

But the fact remains is that the odometer is very easy to notice on a daily basis because it is usually close to the speedometer, which is something you look at regularly.

That said, there might be some instances when you actually notice that your odometer lights aren’t properly working such as when they are dim or when they are flickering.

While odometer lights that aren’t working aren’t something that you should immediately be concerned about, it could be annoying to look at a flickering odometer light.

Moreover, there might be a chance that it could be tied to something more serious such as when all of the dashboard lights aren’t working properly. 

That said, here are the reasons why your odometer light is not working properly:

It’s an automatic function you don’t know about

The first reason why your odometer light is actually dimming or might not be working the way you think it should is that it could be one of the automatic functions that happen in your car’s dashboard.

This is quite common in many cars such as when the entire dashboard and not just the odometer lights dim whenever you turn on your headlights.

The reason is probably due to how the car is automatically trying to conserve battery or is probably trying to make you focus more on the road at night instead of being distracted by your dashboard.

So, if this is the case in your car, try to look for the dimmer switch for your dashboard so that you can automatically adjust the dashboard lights.

This should work in most cars that have odometers and dashboards that automatically dim whenever the headlights are on.

There might be a blown fuse

The next reason why your odometer lights could be dim or are not working properly is due to a blown fuse in the car.

We are talking about the entire dashboard here and not just the odometer because a blown fuse will affect all of the lights on your dashboard.

Remember here that a blown fuse in your car can affect the way the car transfers battery power to the entire vehicle, which includes your car’s dashboard.

If this is the case, then you can fix this problem by taking your car to the shop and have the fuse replaced.

This is something that you shouldn’t try out yourself because of how it takes an expert to look at the car’s electrical circuits.

Of course, there is also a chance that the problem isn’t merely restricted to a blown fuse but to the entire electrical wiring itself.

The bulb needs replacement

So, when you do notice that your odometer lights are dim or are flickering or when a certain part of your dashboard is acting the same, it could be due to how the bulb in that part of the instrument cluster is beginning to die out and is in need of replacement.

There will be some cases where this is something that you probably can do yourself especially if you’re working with an older car that doesn’t have a complicated dashboard system.

However, if you are using a newer car with a dashboard that is more intricately designed, you probably need to call for professional help when replacing one of the bulbs on your car’s dashboard.

Your car’s battery is dying

Finally, when you notice that the odometer lights or the entire dashboard’s lights are beginning to dim or are flickering, this could be tied to how the car’s battery is already at its limits and is about to die out on you.

Or it could also mean that the alternator, which charges the battery, is already going bad.

The reason for this is due to how the car’s electrical systems are tied to the battery, and this includes the lights on the different instruments on your dashboard.

So, if you also notice that your car is becoming more difficult to start or when the headlights are also dimming, this could mean that the car’s battery is beginning to die out or the alternator is going bad.

In this case, take your car to the nearest shop to have its battery replaced or to allow a professional to check whether or not the alternator is doing just fine.

Sources

Your Mechanic: How to repair dashboard lights

Capitol Chevy: What to do if your dashboard lights go dark