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Old 01-12-2008, 07:28 AM   #1
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Exclamation Instrument console bulbs out? (All at once??)

hey guys!

CAR: 02 Box S

Problem Description:
I noticed the other night that when I switched my headlights on, something was noticibly darker in the cabin. I have ZERO lights for all 3 analog displays, my digital OBC display is perfect, just nothing on the analog gauges. I checked the obvious in the fuse box, nothing. I tried adjusting the trip stick to adjust the brightness just in case it was set to dim/off, nothing. Anyone have any ideas? Woud all of the bulbs (assuming multiple bulbs) go out at the same time or does it seem more likely that it could be something else?

All advice/help would be greatly appreciated....including if I need to, the DIY instructions for replacing the components myself.

Thanks in advance!
-M
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:37 AM   #2
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1st I have heard of this one.

Have you checked renntech.org
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:45 AM   #3
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Hey, Gary.... how have u been, bro? I have been swamped at work and just getting back home and back to 986forum. I looked around but couldn't imagine that all 3 bulbs would go out at the same time, make more sense to be something else like a fuse or controller/sensor switch or something. I guess I could check all of the fuses....not just the instrument display, but I don't know what else to try.

Thanks, man.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:37 AM   #4
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Same thing just happened to me. Did you find the problem/solution? I've checked every fuse in the car and they're all fine.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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Remove and replace the related fuse.
Sometimes they are bad even when they look good.
Also, corrosion on the contacts is often hard to see.
Someone on this site had a similar problem and it was a fuse that looked good but was bad.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:29 PM   #6
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On most cars that same electrical circuit controls the "parking lights" which includes the front and side marker lights and the tail lights. Are you sure it is only the dash lights that are out?
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:38 AM   #7
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Good ideas, guys, I'll check tonight.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:50 AM   #8
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And for some reason, the lamps may be turned down all the way accidentally. Check that too!
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:01 AM   #9
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Similar thing happened to me, but in my case it was the back lighting on all the digital gauges and not the analog. After about a week mine came back on w/o any messing around on my part. I assumed it was a loose connection that was not making a connection.
It's been about 6 months since this happened with no re-occurrence.
I guess I got lucky.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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Alas, I checked all the exterior lights and they're all fine. Also turned the little knob to increase the brightness of the dash, but nada. I don't think all three bulbs could have gone out at once, but I can check. Beyond that, how would I check for a short?
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:23 AM   #11
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OK, it's now driving me mad. I took out the instrument panel and found no shorts (a pair of pants but no shorts). The lights come on now and then, so it's not the bulbs or fuse. Any other ideas? Is there some electronic gizmo that locates electrical shorts?
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:03 PM   #12
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Dash Light Failure

I haven't posted for a while. My wife's '04 Boxster has has a similar problem.

There were times that the dash lights would come on for 30 to 40 seconds then go off. There were times when they would flicker when a significant bump was found in the road. Lately they have been off all the time. We don't get out much at night so it slipped my mind for a while.

I'm taking the car in for the 60k service on Tuesday. I'll come back and post what they find, if they can find anything.

Regards, Rick.
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:41 AM   #13
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If you take it to the dealer, they will most likely tell you to replace the entire cluster at some ridiculous price.

Perhaps better to try removing the cluster and cleaning contact points on the connectors to see if that works.

http://boxsters.addr.com/hacks/cluster.htm

And if necessary, replace all those bulbs:

http://www.renntech.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=1827&st=0&p=8151&#entry8151
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #14
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60k Service and Dash Lights

As promised in an earlier post, I got the 60k service done and had them check out the dash light problem. My wife also had me have them find out why the warning chime didn't sound when the key was removed and the door opened with the lights on.

There were no issues with the service. In my area there is a specialty shop that deals in Porsche service, with several factory certified mechanics and a fairly decent supply of parts on hand. They also have some Porsches for sale on consignment. I had them do the smog inspection when it was due earlier this year, and since the car is off warrenty I decided that the extra two hours to drive to the dealer was not needed.

The dash light problem was traced to a bad light switch. The switch was replaced and the dash lights work OK now. The switch cost $113.95 with 19.60 labor.

The warning chime for the lights was traced to the ignition switch. It was replaced and the warning chime works like it should now. The switch cost $33.95 with 19.60 labor.

Apparently both switches are prone to this kind of failure at around this mileage.

No other issues with the car at the 60k service. We are very satisfied with the Boxster.

Regards, Rick.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:12 PM   #15
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Same problem

I'm in the same boat. Cluster bulbs are no longer working in my 04 Boxster S. I've checked all fuses. I took out the instrument cluster panel, but found it looked nothing like the Bentley book illustrations, so sometime after 2000 it all changed. The Porsche dealership in Tucson said I could bring in the unit and they could take a look. Has anyone tried to replace the bulbs for this year????
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:49 PM   #16
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I have never understood why the light switch cost so much and the VW ignition switch is so cheap
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myfirstBoxsterS View Post
I'm in the same boat. Cluster bulbs are no longer working in my 04 Boxster S. I've checked all fuses. I took out the instrument cluster panel, but found it looked nothing like the Bentley book illustrations, so sometime after 2000 it all changed. The Porsche dealership in Tucson said I could bring in the unit and they could take a look. Has anyone tried to replace the bulbs for this year????
Yours has surface mount LEDs instead of bulbs and must be completely disassembled to replace. That said, there is no way they'd all go out at once. Must be a bad circuit or connection.
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Old 05-27-2015, 05:34 PM   #18
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Listen to PW

Words from the Master and he is right. If you own a car buy a VOM and learn to use it...a serviceable one can be had for 20 bucks

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Old 06-01-2015, 09:24 PM   #19
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I'm having the same problem. My gauge lights turn on for a few seconds when I turn the headlights on and then they flicker off. I tried connecting a gauge cluster form another 1997 car (same year as mine) into my car and the gauge lights still didn't turn on. The odds of both mine and the replacement cluster having issues is quite small. I suppose that means there is a problem with my car, perhaps in the wiring? Does anyone know what I should be looking for? I already tried replacing ignition switch and headlight switch with no luck.
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