Mitsubishi Repair Problems? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
The dash lighting is on one of the two fuses for the tail lights, so seeing a lack of tail lights usually goes hand in hand with no radio lighting etc.If you open the hood and remove the fuse box cover, place your hand on the front ecu and then reach in and turn the headlight switch from OFF to TAIL (not HEAD), do you feel the front ecu click?
If it does not click, and all fuses are good, it is indicating a problem either prior to the front ecu or internal to the front ecu.If it does click, then it indicates a possible problem with the front ecu, or more likely a problem post-ecu (fuse panel failure, wiring issue, etc).You should be able to do this yourself by leaving the window down and hood up, then standing over the left fender with your left hand on the ecu and the right hand in the window to operate the switch.
With no click, if all fuses are known good then we know we have a problem either at the front ecu or backward from there (between the switch itself and the ecu somewhere).
This leaves you with either a bad front ecu, a bad ETACS (the box on the back of the dash fuse panel), a bad switch, or a wiring problem in between.
If nothing was done to the wiring prior to this condition forming, a wiring problem is highly unlikely.
There is no way to personally test the ETACS or the front ECU. These can only be swapped to verify. The switch however can be tested if removed using the resistance chart I had uploaded last week. I would start with testing it... going beyond that point (Again if there is nothing noteworthy that happened to the wiring, no fuses blown etc) you will need to get it to a dealer for MUT3 access to diagnose it further without randomly replacing things.
Well not if it is just the switch... those are a cheap fix (well, comparatively speaking). It is a bit unusual of a situation though; while we see all three of those components fail, none are extremely common or anything like that, and the timing for it stopping working is a bit strange too (with regard to recent timing belt I think you mentioned).
Ugh yeah that stinks.
Regarding the socket... double check your fuses in the dash; there is a 15A fuse there for those sockets. If it is good and powered, pull the console apart and check for power at the socket itself, from the connector. If you have power then the sockets have burned out.... most Mitsubishi accessory sockets have a small fusible link on the back (tiny ~1/4" long piece of wire) that burns out if a real heavy draw is placed on it.With no access to a dealer, what you might try after one last verification of all your fuses and inspecting the wiring for anything obvious/loose/damaged, would be to check your local salvage and see if there are any endeavors there you can swap the front ecu and etacs from for comparison (or switch for that matter). Given the alternative of a very expensive boat ride, swapping out parts to confirm operation isn't as bad of an idea then. I am not a fan of replacing anything until it is confirmed faulty, but in a scenario like that where getting the proper equipment to diagnose it is not possible, it does add some validity.