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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched but I want to see if someone can give me more specific advice.

Okay here's the deal. Last year during a big snow storm, I was driving and I looked down and my gauge lights weren't working all of a sudden. All of them were out. But my other interior lights ie: turn signals, all accessory lights and my clockpod, stereo and heater control lights all worked just fine and were still lit up. Got home and noticed that my right tail light and side marker lights were out too. I looked on here, searched and found that I needed to replace the right tail light fuse. Fuse # 20, it's a 7.5 amp fuse. It was blown so I put in a 15 amp fuse because that's what I had available to me. Okay fixed.

Well. . . this past saturday I was driving and yes, it was in a big snow storm again. The first one of the year in MN. When I first started driving I noticed that one of my bulbs in my gauges was flickering. The one that lights up the redline area of the tach. It's never done that before so I thought that was weird. Then awhile later I look down and my gauge lights are completely out, just like last year. I also smelled something weird, like something electrical was smoking or blew. I don't remember smelling that last year when the gauges went out but it was over a year ago so. . .

Got to my destination, checked the fuses and they were all okay. My headlights, tail lights, side marker lights are all working fine. I'm stumped. :confused: Got home later and took apart my gauge cluster to check the dimmer switch, and circuit board. Circuit board on the back of the gauges looks fine. Don't know how to tell if the dimmer switch has failed but everything looked okay on the outside. Nothing was melted or anything. Put everything back together.

This morning at work I search on here and thought I would double check a couple things again. Went outside to my car and realized that my right tail light and side marker lights are out now. Went under the hood and checked fuse # 20 and now it was blown. The 15 amp fuse, when there's only really supposed to be a 7.5 in there. I replaced it with a 30 amp fuse because that's the only extra fuse I had. I can't tell if that fixed my gauge lights because it's sunny outside right now but my tail lights and side marker lights are working now. I really don't think that fixed my gauge lights though because that fuse wasn't blown originally. I think there is something else going on.

Does this sound like the dimmer switch went out?! I just have no idea what to check or look for next. Can anyone give any advice?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If it is the dimmer switch, what would need to be replaced? Is it what this site calls the Rheostat?!

OEM Mitsubishi Parts

Number 11 on the diagram. I'm debating if I should just buy it and try it out?!
 

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BoomGoesTheDynaMitt
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Remove that 30A fuse and install a 7.5A fuse immediately. You could start a fire or melt wiring with that over rated fuse :nono:

I doubt your dimmer has failed. If it had, ALL of the gauge lights would be out or very dim (when a good fuse was installed). The dash light "flickering" makes me think you have a short somewhere. I would remove the cluster and check again. I would also remove that tail light and check its pigtail.
 

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BoomGoesTheDynaMitt
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rheostat = dimmer switch = potentiometer. All the same thing. I really dont think a new one will help you. If you want to see what happens when your dimmer switch stops working just unplug it. You'll notice that all of the gauge lights stop working.
 

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(b)org banugee
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It's uncommon for one of those to go. When I tell someone to check the rheostat, it's because they've forgotten to plug it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
rheostat = dimmer switch = potentiometer. All the same thing. I really dont think a new one will help you. If you want to see what happens when your dimmer switch stops working just unplug it. You'll notice that all of the gauge lights stop working.
One bulb was flickering when I first turned the car on (which I thought was weird because the bulbs are LEDS and nothing like that has happened before) but the rest of the bulbs were fine. Then about 15 or 20 mins later ALL the gauge lights stopped working. All of them don't work now.

I will put a 7.5 amp fuse in as soon as I am able to. . . have to run to an auto store to buy more fuses.

It seems to me that something failed or blew to make my gauges go completely out and THEN the #20 fuse blew at a later time. My gauge lights stopped working on Saturday morning and I think I didn't blow that fuse until this morning (Monday). A fuse was not blown in the beginning when the gauge lights first went out because I checked all of them.

So. . . it's not a fuse. What is it?! :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
And if I have a short somewhere, how would I go about finding where it is?!
 

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(b)org banugee
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Your instrument panel might be shot. There are two diodes in the illumination circuit. One or both might be bad (if one goes, the other usually follows -- they don't like lots of reverse current).

You should also check fuses 20, 21, and 22 under the hood, as well as fuses 20 and 23 in the cabin.

On a hunch -- did your fuel or temp needles go squirrlley on you at the same time as the bulb was flickering?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your instrument panel might be shot. There are two diodes in the illumination circuit. One or both might be bad (if one goes, the other usually follows -- they don't like lots of reverse current).

You should also check fuses 20, 21, and 22 under the hood, as well as fuses 20 and 23 in the cabin.

On a hunch -- did your fuel or temp needles go squirrlley on you at the same time as the bulb was flickering?
I didn't notice my fuel or temp needles going squirrelly when the bulb was flickering. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary except for the actual bulb flickering. And then later, I looked down and all the lights were out.

If the instrument panel is shot. . . would the needles on the gauges still work?! Because the needles still work fine. . . just no back light.

:scratch:

I will check those fuses after I am done with work. And my boyfriend is bringing me a whole bunch of extra fuses so I can replace that one with the correct 7.5 amp fuse.
 

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(b)org banugee
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Your speedo and tach would be unaffected. It's just the temp and fuel gauges that could be part of the problem (or just symptoms of it).

Out of curiosity, was it an earlier post of mine that directed you to fuse #20 -- I remember someone else (or you earlier) having the exact same problem, with the boyfriend having claimed to have checked all fuses -- only to find #20 blown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your speedo and tach would be unaffected. It's just the temp and fuel gauges that could be part of the problem (or just symptoms of it).

Out of curiosity, was it an earlier post of mine that directed you to fuse #20 -- I remember someone else (or you earlier) having the exact same problem, with the boyfriend having claimed to have checked all fuses -- only to find #20 blown.
When my gauges went out the first time I did a search and found out that I should check fuse #20 under the hood. I never posted anything that I can remember. That was over a year ago. And this time, I knew that fuse from before when they went out so I checked it again. So I don't think it was me but I don't know for sure.

As far as I can tell my fuel and temp gauges are working as they should be. I will keep an eye on them while driving home but like I said before, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. If my instrument panel was shot, my fuel and temp gauges wouldn't work?!
 

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(b)org banugee
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It is entirely possible for it to fail in a way such that those two gauges work, but the instrument lighting does not. The behavior of those two gauges is just an indication of one possible point of failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I did more investigating last night. Re-checked ALL fuses and relays and they are all fine. Took apart the dash and tested the wires going in and out of the rheostat (dimmer switch). There is full power going in but nothing coming out so I think the rheostat is my problem. And to me, that would make sense because when my gauge lights went out I smelled something electrical and the rheostat is right there so. . .

I can't find any junk yards around me that have a 3G so I might just have to order the part from oemmitsubishiparts.com. Or if anyone knows someone who's parting out an eclipse let me know!

I will post when I get the part to let everyone know for sure if that fixes the problem.
 

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John's Auto in Blaine had 2 3G's last time I was up there, but that was this summer so...

Glad you narrowed it down, it certainly sounds plausible that it's the dimmer itself, i could imagine it shorting and blowing a fuse (at which point the lights would of course go out). If you're feeling creative then you might be able to bypass it and just go full brightness? I am not necessarily recommending it, just throwing it out there as a possibility, maybe as a short term thing or for testing.

I've ordered form here a few times, one more place to check for your part: Mentor Mitsubishi Parts
 

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Just looked: type in your model year, then Mitsu, then Eclipse, and go. Next page, in the upper right just type in "rheostat" to save the time searching on the left. Should come right up, looks like $40 plus shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have the entire dash unit for sale in perfect condition. Let me know. ts from a 2000 GT manual.
Well I got a rheostat from John's Auto in Blaine, hooked it up and . . . NOTHING! :mad: So I have no idea what to do now. I dunno what's wrong. At this point I'm assuming it's something with the circuit board?! :confused: John's Auto has a couple gauge clusters but they are both off cars with manuals and my car is an automatic/sporty so I think the gauges are different.

Thanks Clipse3GT for the offer. I would jump on that in a second if the gauge cluster was from a sporty. :sad:
 

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(b)org banugee
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Are the corner lights back on, but with the gauge lights still out? Does the clockpod or cubby light up when the headlights are on? Have you replaced any of your exterior lighting with LEDs?

Try this: replace all the gauge LEDs with the regular bulbs that were there to begin with. DO NOT just put one regular bulb with the other LEDs or you will see smoke for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I found the problem. FINALLY! I took the gauges out again and looked at the circuit board on the back and sure enough, there is one tiny spot that is fried behind my gas gauge so it isn't making a connection anymore. I didn't notice this before because the first time I took it apart I was in my TINY, one car garage which has totally bad lighting. This time I took it apart in my boyfriend's garage/shop which has great lighting.

So I ordered a new circuit board from oemmitsubishiparts.com. It should be here this week hopefully. Then the problem will be solved! I hope!

BTW citm2000, my right side marker light and brake light came back on when I replaced that fuse that was blown. Gauge lights are still out. My clockpod, stereo, heater controls, cubby light etc all work fine. My gauges are LED bulbs. I do have some exterior lights that I used LEDs also. My 3rd brake light, rear side marker lights, back up lights.

The LEDs in the gauges have worked fine with no problems for probably 3 years maybe. I don't know why that would be a problem all of a sudden.

I will replace the circuit board and see what happens.
 

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(b)org banugee
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I didn't necessarily think the LEDs were the source of the problem -- I was just running down a hunch. If non-poloar, non-diode's worked, then it would point to which component (most likely a diode) on the board was toast.

You've been very lucky with the LEDs you've installed, especially the corners and the cyclops. Lots of times an LED in the cyclops tricks the ECU into thinking the brakes are on all the time, which makes cruise control, automatic transmissions, and ABS go nuts. The LEDs in the corners, combined with the gauge lighting is often a damaging combination.
 
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