Dimmer problem on a '97 Camry

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Old 07 Mar 2006, 10:56 pm   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dimmer problem on a '97 Camry


I just bought a '97 Camry and when I was driving it at night I noticed
that when I try to increase the brightness of the dash board, I can't
see the speedometer, only one light is working - the one of the far
right, so I only see part of the tachometer... It looks like I need to
replace the other light(s) in the center of the dash board and on the
left-hand side. I can't imagine that this would be a fuse or wires...
What's the best way to fix that?

Also, I noticed that AC controls are not illuminated at all at night, I
can only see the Defrost and the AC bottons. I can't see the controls
for Low/High air flow or the Hot/Cold air control. Is this a design
flaw or are these supposed to be illuminated wehn the lights are on at

Thanks in advance.


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Old 08 Mar 2006, 08:27 am   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dimmer problem on a '97 Camry

The a/c and heater wheel controls are supposed to be illuminated, yeah.

I have the same problem on my '98. I thought the bulbs were out so I
looked up in my repair manual how to get to them but the week before I
went out to buy the bulbs and take the console apart the heater
velocity wheel control (left wheel) backlight came back up for about
3-4 days then died again so I'm not sure if one or two of the bulbs are
out or if there's a faulty contact behind them or something.

As I understand it, they're a bad desing cause several camrys have this
problem. However your tachometer lights are most likely out, but I
couldn't say for sure about your a/c-heater control wheels backlights.

Taking the a/c control module out of the dash is a piece of cake,
really. The plastic lining that circles around the whole radio/ac
controls dash can be carefully popped out by it's top left and right
corners with, say, a flat screwdriver with a good layer of masking or
electrical tape on it to avoid damaging anything. Then you unscrew some
screws and disconnect some connectors and it's out.

I would buy new bulbs since they're cheap as hell and replace the ones
that are in the a/c modules to see if that does it before securing it
then if they light up just slide the control module back in place and
you're done.

Changing the tachometer lights will be a bit trickier because you need
to take the whole dash out to access them, but it's not something I
wouldn't do myself since I have a repair manual, I strongly suggest you
acquire one.

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Old 08 Mar 2006, 08:51 am   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dimmer problem on a '97 Camry

Thank you for the advice! I didn't realize this problem was common with
I do need to buy a repair manual for this car.

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Old 08 Mar 2006, 09:13 am   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dimmer problem on a '97 Camry

Repair manuals are gifts from the gods. Even if you wouldn't even try
half the shit that's in there, probably because you most likely don't
have a hydraulic lift in your backyard there's even more stuff that you
can do yourself and that will save you buttloads of cash. Like changing
1.50$ lightbulbs yourself instead of paying an overwheight piece of
mechanic crap an unreasonable amount of your hard earned money for his
shady ass time.

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Old 08 Mar 2006, 10:06 am   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dimmer problem on a '97 Camry

I hear you!

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