Alfa Romeo Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, (newbie, first tech post!).. Great site, thanks.!!!
Done a few bits to my recent purchase thanks to the advice here, but stuck on a new one?.
I have a 2002 156, and had a few radio problems (intermittent speakers, etc), took the speaker out and found some dodgy soldering.. sorted that, but now the speedo dial is constantly lit when ignition on?!. Rev counter ok, but Speedo always lit?.. Would anything I did with the radio affect the speedo?.. I have re-entered the radio code etc.. and all that is fine, just really confused?..
Thanks in advance..
Timo :confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
Do you have black and orange dials. If so your dials should be lit with ignition on, and seems that you need a new bulb in your rev counter. easy to change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,396 Posts
The dial lights are supposed to be on all the time the ignition is on (100% with the black dials, not sure about the white but they probably are too).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,207 Posts
No, white dials should be off until headlights are turned on. Black dials on permanently.

If you have white dials, the only thing I can think of is that you have created a short with the lighting wire on the radio to ground. Strange though, as that would normally cause your sidelights to illuminate and for both dials to be lit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Full dash story

Hi Guys, thanks for the replies...this is the 'full' story since my purchase...
I have the black dials. They were never lit until I put the ignition on. I noticed the top of the speedo was dim, removed, examined, found bulb out. I replaced all 3 bulbs in the rev counter (just to be safe), with 2.4w capless..all great from then on.. turned on with igntion, and much clearer at night. The radio has been intermittent since buying, one speaker drops, then the other, turn the volume up, they both pop back on etc.. took the radio out, found a dodgy solder 'taped together'.. I sorted this by adding an electrical 'block connector' to bridge the gap.. as the wires I was left with were short in length because of the solder job. All worked fine, but now the rev counter (all three bulbs), are constantly lit when ignition on, rev counter only when side/headlights turned on.
So is my problem that that the black dials should always be on, which means I have a problem with my rev counter (even though it lights when ignition on so bulb cant be an issue?)..or...
Black dials should be off until sidelight stalk on, which means somehow I've screwed the electrics when I fixed the radio?..
Thanks for all the replies...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,396 Posts
...Black dials should be off until sidelight stalk on, which means somehow I've screwed the electrics when I fixed the radio?..
Thanks for all the replies...
As all three replies above told you, the black dials should light up as soon as the ignition is on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, thanks. Just wanted to check, as they've never been on since I bought it, and all the bulbs work on the rev counter, so a short in the speedo seemed the most obvious. Now I just need to work out why the bulbs in the rev counter are only coming on with the sidelights?. I'll replace all the bulbs in the rev today, just to make sure, then see what happens. Thanks again for all the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
..so given that the bulbs should be lit all the time, was upgrading to 2.4W bulbs in the dash (as some people have said they've done), a bad idea for heat/burn out reasons? Should I just replace all speedo and rev counter bulbs with 1.2w and leave well alone?.
thanks
 

·
Registered
Alfa Mito, 2010, 1.4NA, 6-speed
Joined
·
9,357 Posts
I was going to say the illumination bulbs are 1.2W not 2.4 ... that might be part of problem.

You also keep saying rev counter works, but then you are going to replace the bulbs in it! Confusing me at least! :(

All worked fine, but now the rev counter (all three bulbs), are constantly lit when ignition on, rev counter only when side/headlights turned on.
So is my problem that that the black dials should always be on, which means I have a problem with my rev counter (even though it lights when ignition on so bulb cant be an issue?)..or...
OK .. so that means the REV COUNTER is OK although the bulbs may be wrong wattage. With black dials they should be ON when the ignition is ON ... so what's happening to speedo, temp/clock/fuel cluster and other internal bulbs?? With black dials, all dials show glow with ignition on and lights off. They may DIM a bit when the lights are on and this is controlled by the small button with the horizontal triangle to the left behind the steering column. Pressing it cycles through the different lighting levels in the dash. It goes up or down depending how many times you press. It may even be that!

When you remove either the rev counter or speedo, DON'T turn on the ignition if they are disconnected. The rev counter includes the warning sensor for the external bulbs, and you can cause ECU issues as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry, didnt mean to confuse.. I meant as in if the black dials are meant to be illuminated always, and the rev counter isnt, maybe I do have a bulb out and I should check them?. Just seems odd that everything was ok, e.g, dials came on nice and bright when I turned the side lights on etc. until I removed the radio. Then I find out that the dials should have been on all the time anyway? So my plan today is to replace the speedo dials with the correct 1.2W bulbs first, see what that does? But if the black dials are all meant to be lit always, then I need to work out why neither were lit before the radio issue, and why only the speedo is now lit (even if the bulbs are the wrong w)??.. all other bulbs, temp, aircon, etc.. are all fine, its just the rev counter and speedo that are behaving in their own way?.. either both off until side lights turned on, or speedo on and rev counter off (until sidelights)?. It sounds like from all the advice, that the issue is the rev counter should be lit, not as I thought that my problem is with the speedo. The dim button all works fine thanks. Now just the issue of getting the rev light on constantly, hence my thought to check all the bulbs to make sure they are all 100% fine. If I do replace them and it still doesnt come on with ignition, then I'll need your help again... sorry... cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, this is the latest:-

ALL bulbs now 1.2w and all working and checked... radio all working... but the confusion:-
When I turn on the ignition, the 3 x aircon, the speedo, the trip computer, and milometre all light up, the rev counter DOESN"T. When I put the side/headlights on, the rev counter lights up too. This didn't happen before I removed the radio the other day, they all stayed off until side/headlights were on.
I've been told that the black dials SHOULD all come on with ignition, so given that the bulbs are all working, why would the rev counter not come on at ignition, but the speedo does?!.
:confused:

Trying to remove the headrest on the leather front seats, now that seems like a biggie involving getting 'inside the seat' to the clips?.. Wonder why they made it so complicated given the rear just lift at the press of a button?.. oh well. One for a different thread....
thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Think you might be right on the dial front!.. I just noticed this evening that the dimmer switch ONLY affects the rev counter, so I'm now suspecting that during the radio removal, something got messed up behind the dimmer switch causing the lights to stay on. I also think the lights aren't meant to be on permanently on the dash (as was the case before removing the radio!), and that the black dials were sending me down the wrong path... I've checked all the other plugs and leads, etc. so I'm hoping its just one behind the dimmer now.. I'll check tomorrow and let you know.. cheers for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,207 Posts
Do you have black and orange dials. If so your dials should be lit with ignition on
The dial lights are supposed to be on all the time the ignition is on (100% with the black dials)
Black dials on permanently
As all three replies above told you, the black dials should light up as soon as the ignition is on.
With black dials they should be ON when the ignition is ON

I have the black dials.
I also think the lights aren't meant to be on permanently on the dash
Just to reiterate;

  1. If your dial faces are black and your ignition is switched on, the dash lights should be illuminated - regardless of whether the headlights are on or not.
  2. If your dial faces are white, the dash lights should only be illuminated when the headlights are switched on.

You say your dials are black, so the first point here is the relevant one for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,266 Posts
It might be that someone has fiddled around somewhere though. People do swap dials although to be fair they usually swap black for white. How about if the car had a rev counter fault and the only one available was a black dial one so he swapped the speedo dial so they would match?
 

·
Registered
Alfa Mito, 2010, 1.4NA, 6-speed
Joined
·
9,357 Posts
It might be that someone has fiddled around somewhere though. People do swap dials although to be fair they usually swap black for white. How about if the car had a rev counter fault and the only one available was a black dial one so he swapped the speedo dial so they would match?
That doesn't make sense either .. in that case the speedo wouldn't light up on ignition but the rev counter would. Unless of course the rev counter is a white body with a black face ... ;)

Or the rev counter is simply faulty .. but you'd have to swap it out to find out. Do all the pins look ok on the plug and socket on the back? None loose or not pushed in in the terminal block, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
oh gosh, now I'm really confused?! I have the black dials with white numbers, red lights. When I bought the car, none of the dials came on with ignition (only on stalk), then when I removed the radio to check wiring, the speedo now comes on with ignition, but isn't affected by the dimmer switch at all, so at the moment, the most logical thing is, that the wiring between dimmer and speedo should be checked first. If that sorts out the speedo light, and it doesn't come on with ignition (like the rev counter), then somehow, I have the Black dials that DONT light on ignition? Someone swapped white for black in the distant past!?
Because I'm assuming that if the speedo comes on with ignition (as it does now), then the dimmer should affect it if all was well, and then it would be the rev counter at fault?
So, I'm going out to look at the dimmer now and report back... like an episode of Sherlock Holmes this!.. 'The case of the black dials!'....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,396 Posts
...Because I'm assuming that if the speedo comes on with ignition (as it does now), then the dimmer should affect it if all was well
No.
When the lights are off, the dash is on at full brightness, the dimmer has no effect.
When the lights are on, the dash dims to whichever setting you have set the dimmer to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
yeah but the dimmer now has no affect at all on the speedo. I've just checked wiring from dimmer, all good. To add to the (my?!) confusion, I just removed the fuse to the instrument cluster to check it.. the rev counter went out, the speedo was still lit?!..
Basically, the speedo has a life of its own now:-
Comes on with ignition at full brightness, dimmer has NO affect even when lights are on.
Rev counter is affected by dimmer (the 5 stages) but only comes on with ignition.
Removing fuse for cluster only takes out the light to rev, speedo still lit?

so, so confused..
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top