Dash Lights blowing fuse
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Dash Lights blowing fuse in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey everyone. I'll start by saying I am the proud new owner of a 2002 white diamond sts and I ...
  1. #1
    cgar44 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Hey everyone. I'll start by saying I am the proud new owner of a 2002 white diamond sts and I absolutely love it! The style and performance for the money is almost unreal. With that being said I do have a few issues that need dealt with including a leaking trunk(who would of thought), leaking air line for the ELC, steering noise, and an interior lighting problem. I have done some research and I think I know what to do for all of these problems except for the interior lighting. Let me describe the problem.

    When it is dark outside and I turn my headlights on the gauge cluster dims a bit like it should and all the button back-lights in all of the doors turn on. Also the dimmer switch seems to be fine as it dims the lights that are on smoothly and without any hiccups. My problem is that all of the button back-lights on the dash, steering wheel, and center console do no light up. I found that I had a blown fuse (I believe it was marked as a dimmer fuse) and that fixed my problem but after driving no more than a mile all of the lights where back off and the fuse was blown when I checked it. Also it seems that my cornering lamps do not work as well as the underhood light. I am assuming/have heard that these are all on the same fuse although I have not been able to confirm this. From everything I have read it sounds like I will have to tear the entire dash apart while on a wild goose hunt for a frayed wire shorting to ground somewhere. I guess my question is if anybody knows of a common trouble point or two that may be causing my problem as it seems strange that a non-moving wire stuffed behind the dash somewhere would be causing this problem. Also If anyone could explain the wiring or direct me to a wiring diagram I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you everyone for any time you spend trying to help a Cadillac noob out like myself
    Also I appreciate all the wonderful information here on the forum. This is a fantastic resource for Cadillac owners and I am so glad I came across it.

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  3. #2
    cgar44 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Bump, anybody have any ideas?

  4. #3
    Aztec ETC ECS's Avatar
    Aztec ETC ECS is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    What I am about to suggest is not for the novice or slow to react & I know that everyone on here will say not to do this but it has helped me find hundreds of shorts and even fixed a few with no further action.

    Replace the blown fuse with a cotter pin & look for the "genie". Be prepared to remove pin or shut lights quickly.
    In your case, it may not show you immediately because it doesn't happen right away.

    I have never had a car burst into flames but if you're skeptical about this procedure, do not try it.

  5. #4
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    WAIT! First off, DON'T jump any fuse terminals with a cotter pin, and wait for the wire to begin to melt. I'm not even going to bother explaining why that's a BAD idea.

    Is the fuse that blows marked DIM?

  6. #5
    Aztec ETC ECS's Avatar
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Quote Originally Posted by MoistCabbage View Post
    WAIT! First off, DON'T jump any fuse terminals with a cotter pin, and wait for the wire to begin to melt. I'm not even going to bother explaining why that's a BAD idea.

    Is the fuse that blows marked DIM?
    I knew you'd say that. I can't tell you how many times this has worked for me. It has even burned the short away a few times without any further problems. And I didn't say wait for the melt.

    You could always do what most mechanics do, start changing things. Starting with the headlight switch. Could get costly.

  7. #6
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Or, instead of risking wire and/or module damage, or throwing parts at it, you could DIAGNOSE the problem first.

    I may know exactly what the problem is anyway, if it's the DIM fuse that's blowing, and it only blows after he begins driving again.

  8. #7
    Aztec ETC ECS's Avatar
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    An intermittent short where the fuse does not blow immediately is very hard to find. Could even be the dash integration module itself.

  9. #8
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    Waiting for the OP to confirm that it's the DIM fuse under the rear seat, and that it blows after starting to drive again.

  10. #9
    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Observation on troubleshooting an electrical circuit ................. How come your home insurance won't pay off your fire claim when they discover you have jumpered a circuit breaker or fuse with bus bar ???

    Does any car manufacturer recommend hard-wiring a faulty circuit to watch for smoke - disclaimer notwithstanding ???

  11. #10
    Aztec ETC ECS's Avatar
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Quote Originally Posted by Submariner409 View Post
    Observation on troubleshooting an electrical circuit ................. How come your home insurance won't pay off your fire claim when they discover you have jumpered a circuit breaker or fuse with bus bar ???

    Does any car manufacturer recommend hard-wiring a faulty circuit to watch for smoke - disclaimer notwithstanding ???
    House current is a bit different than a car.
    And no, it is not recommended but it has worked for me when done carefully. I did post a warning.

  12. #11
    cgar44 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Thank you everyone for your help and ideas, I'm to big of a scary cat to hard wire the circuit open but thank you for the idea regardless and I do appreciate it.

    Regarding my problem. The fuse is under the rear seat and it is labeled DIMR and it is a ten amp fuse. Sometimes when I park it and put a new fuse in it it will blow immediately, other times I will put I fuse in and it will work until I move the car and then it will blow.

    Let me know if I need to do more trouble shooting. Once again I really appreciate all the help guys.

  13. #12
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    I've seen the same symptoms on 3 other cars, mine included, except those would only blow the fuse when the blinkers were turned on. This may be worth a shot anyway:

    Open your hood, and find the windshield wiper motor on the passenger side of the firewall. Follow the harness back several inches, and you'll see a smaller "branch" coming off of it, heading down the firewall. Check if the wires are coming into contact with the A.I.R. system check valve bracket, attached to the rear valve cover. Engine movement can cause the bracket to chafe through the wire insulation.

    .....I'm having trouble uploading the pic of the harness.

  14. #13
    cgar44 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Ok so I looked where you said and sure enough it had chafed through the insulation on one of the interior wires. Because only one wire was visible I just covered it up in a few layers of electrical tape. I'll be driving an hour tonight so I will get back to you all tonight to let you know if that fixed it but for the moment it is not blowing the new fuse I just put in it so I think we may have found the culprit. I'll update you all tonight, keep your fingers crossed for me!

  15. #14
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
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    That should do it. What you should do, is tape the hanging section to the section above it, so it's no longer touching the bracket.

    BTW cgar,

  16. #15
    cgar44 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Dash Lights blowing fuse

    Well I just finished my drive and everything still works so I believe the issue is officially solved. Thank you MoistCabbage and also everyone else who chimed in to offer ideas. I'm slowly getting all of my problems fixed. I found the leak in the trunk and will be fixing it this coming weekend once everything is all dried out. My steering noise is just the intermediate steering shaft doing it's thing so ill be trying the grease kit before I drop a few hundred bucks on the new revised part, I know where the air hose connecting to my left side suspension is leaking but I'm not yet sure if that is something I can do myself, and I recently found out my gas gauge is all screwy. Hopefully a little Techron will solve that problem though Anyways I am absolutely loving the car and Ill post some pictures up in the official picture thread assuming I can figure out how to do it. Thanks again everybody for the help I really appreciate it and I'm super glad you are all here!
    Tankboy40 and Tankboy40 like this.

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