A body dash light electrical gremlins

Discussion in 'Sparky's corner' started by gusszgs, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. gusszgs

    gusszgs Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,
    Just a question for the electrical gurus out there or very good with electrical issues.
    I have a buddy with a ‘68 Olds Cutlass A body and he’s having this weird issue with his dash lights.

    Ok, ALL exterior lights do work perfectly. That is, signals, brake lights, parking lights, high beam/low beam ect....
    The issue arises when the parking switch is pulled out at dash to put the lights on the signal indicators in the dash half light up......sort of glow.
    Now, when the right signal is applied at the turn signal arm, the LEFT blinker flashes alternating with right dimmly. When the left is applied, the RIGHT blinker flashes, same thing. ONLY in the dash, not on exterior of car.
    We installed a new high/low beam switch in the floor to no avail. It needed a new one anyway so not biggie.
    The back wiring was hacked into at one time to have a trailer harness installed. It was a terrible job BUT. has been totally cleared up with new proper connectors ect and all the cheesy extra wiring removed, and put back to factory like.
    Like I say all rear tail lights work perfectly now. So the only problem is this funky stuff going on in the dash inticators only.
    He did say he installed a new headlight switch as well, but that was quite awhile back.
    This has been an issue on this car since he bought it back in the 80’s
    Any ideas where to look or what may be the source of this dash light problem. Could a signal flasher or 4way flasher cause this?? Very annoying when driving at night. With headlight switch off the signal indicators in dash work properly (left and right)
    I’m suspicious of the dash switch myself but I’m not good with electrical gremlins really.
    Any help is appreciated thx
    Oh, couple of things I forgot to mention. There is no emergency brake in car, so that wire is disconnected and his fuel gauge does not work. Not sure if these items would play a role or not, just trying to provide as much info as I can.
  2. buick64203

    buick64203 Just plum crazy Staff Member

    I would check all turn signal bulbs. Make sure someone didn't jam a single filament 1156 where a double filament 1157 should be. Test all bulbs against the battery with some test leads to make sure they are capable to working. Also test the ground wires with a continuity tester or a DVOM. I bet you'll find your answer with those tests
  3. gusszgs

    gusszgs Well-Known Member

    Ok thank you very much. I’m not sure on the bulbs other than the fact they do function outside properly. But the front signal bulbs are a question
    Not sure if they are supposed to be an 1156 or 1157
    Presently they are 1157’s I will definitely have a look this weekend. Likely tomorrow
  4. Daves69

    Daves69 Too many cars too work on

    Sounds like a dash ground or a ground in the " ribbon" wiring on the back of the dash.
  5. gusszgs

    gusszgs Well-Known Member

    Guys could a faulty 4way or signal flasher cause this possibly.
    Also meant to mention that the high beam indicator would “glow” as well with the parking lights on.
    BUT, when the the new hi/low switch was installed that was eliminated. The high beam indicator (red light) does not function at all when high beams are applied. OMG so funky! Lol
  6. PaulGS

    PaulGS Well-Known Member

    Olds used hollow pins for the male connections on the circuit boards.

    A few removals and the solder joints tend to break.

    The other thing to look for is corrosion - that white stuff that kills electrical circuits.

    All grounds need to be checked as well.
  7. Steve Craig

    Steve Craig Gold Level Contributor

    Olds have the washer style ring behind the headlight switch ?
    Buick has it with a tab & onto the tab is a ground wire with a crimped spade terminal end.
    I had a wiper motor do weird & not so wonderful things without a solid ground path.
  8. 87GN_70GS

    87GN_70GS Well-Known Member

    Its a bad ground
  9. BrianinStLouis

    BrianinStLouis Silver Level contributor

    I once had an '84 Delta 88. As stated above, one of the tail light bulbs was incorrect. Caused all sorts of weird issues.
    Dash lights wouldn't work with the headlights or parking lights on, unless you stepped on the brake.
    With the headlights off, the front parking lights worked in unison with the brake lights.

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