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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 22801
Experience:  ASE Master & Advanced level certified, Chrysler Master Certified, Trans and Hybrid Specialist
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2001 sebring conv limited dash lights go on and off at random...just

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2001 sebring conv limited dash lights go on and off at random...just the tach, odomenter, fuel,temp...not anything else...bumps on the road have no effect nor jiggling the control stick. it just seems to have a mind of its own. I notice if I put the lights on slowly all the other lights go on a split second before the dash lights which makes me think there is some point in the electrical system that is separate and not common. Like 2 different relays? Just a guess. Also maybe it's a problem in the control stick but tapping it or jiggling it seems to have no effect at all.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!


You are just having problems with the illumination of the instrument cluster correct, the gauges all still work fine?


Do you have a voltmeter or test light to do some simple electrical testing?


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes the gages all work fine. Only the cluster lights go on and off. Usually when they go off they won't come back on untill I start the car at a future time.. They may stay on for an hour or a day or two but then they just blink off & may stay off for days. The light below the cluster that shows what gear you are in never goes off and seems to be tied into the lights for the radio, heater etc that work fine.
Only lighting affected is behind the tac,odometer,fuel and temp.
I can get a voltmeter. I have an electronic and electrical background so
I should be able to follow you instrucions with not much of a problem.....John

Excellent. I'm tied up at work this afternoon (I'm a full time tech). I'll get some testing information to you this afternoon as soon as I get a chance!


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Great...thank You

Ok. When the lights go out you'll have to remove the instrument cluster to access the connector on the back side. Once you get there, check for power on the orange wire in pin 12 of the connector. Also check for ground on the black/orange wire in pin 11 right next to it. You are looking for less than 5 ohms to ground on that wire, perfect continuity being ideal.


Let me know what you see and we'll go from there. The fact that they don't come back on until the car is restarted makes me hesitant to be swayed either way at this point between body controller or instrument cluster. Wiring is also a possibility too. We'll get it figured out!

Edited by sprinkles08 on 12/10/2009 at 9:21 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Getting out the cluster means removing the dash? That may be a little out of my league.

I also noticed that when it's colder outside the lights come on more often when I start it but this may just be a coincidence.

Lights off for 2 days. This morning really cold 23 degrees..lights back on. Road bumps have no affect.

I guess my question to you is do you think the problem may be some kind of relay or module that can be replaced? Maybe in the fuse-relay box under the hood? Or most likley a problem in the light switch on the steering colum?

Sounds like you saying there's no easy repair here.

Both removing the dash or getting into the steering colum light switch sounds like I need a pro like you to do the work.

I'll be happy if you can give me your opinion on what I'm saying and your best guess as to the problem area. This doesn't sound like a common problem that Sebrings had.

Best Regards John

No, it's not a common problem on these. Instrument cluster lighting is controlled directly by the body controller. There isn't a relay to power the circuit, and it's not controlled by the switch. There is a possibility of three things that could happen.

The BCM may stop driving the lights because of an internal issue in the BCM. It would need to be replaced if that's the case.


If the wire from the BCM to the cluster shorts to ground the BCM may disable the lights to preserve itself from damage. This would likely keep the lights off for a period before the BCM decided to try powering the lights again.


The last possibility would be a problem on the instrument cluster's circuit board. If there is an intermittent open circuit between the electrical connector and the illumination bulbs it will take the lights down.


It will require removing the instrument cluster to diagnose it while it's happening. It isn't a major job, but will require some dash trim panel removal to get the cluster out.

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