The following instructions will lead you through the process of troubleshooting the Instrument Panel Lights.

If possible, place the car in a dark garage. If you don't have a garage, place a book on the top center of the dash. There are small slots sort of near the windshield, be sure they are covered.

The car has a photocell that controls the panel lights. It must be completely dark to perform the following tests.

With the photocell covered, turn your key "on". Do not turn on headlight switch.

Press the fog light switch  button to turn on the fog lights.

Does your CRT and Speedometer dim when you turn on the fog lights?
If the answer is NO:  Move the slide switch under the headlight "off" button back and forth.

Does the CRT and Speedometer dim now?
If the answer is yes to either question, the problem is likely to be the headlight switch.

If the above test indicates the headlight switch is the problem, there is a cure that works most of the time. Note I said most of the time, sometimes the switch does have to be replaced.

Check the photocell for proper operation.

If your CRT and Speedometer did NOT dim when turning on your fog lights, then the photocell may be bad.

The reading in the BCM data for photocell must read 74 or more to put car into night mode to dim the lights.

Check the operation of the dimming pot and the photocell by  using the Reatta on-board diagnostics screen.

  • BCM input BD42 gives the value of the dimming pot (0 min, 100 max)
  • BCM input BD44 gives the reported reading of the daylight sensor (close to 0 - daylight, close to 100 -night).
  • BS03 can override, the dimming value. (See section 8D of the FSM for more information.)

Test the inverters:

There are two (2) 110 volt inverters some of the instrument lights.  One for the dash and the other for the transmission display, (that item, in many cases, is bad) the power window, and mirror control. A good test for the inverters is: they are working if when the "light show" (lifting up on drivers outside door handle) occurs, all of the switches light up.

If only the speedometer, warning lamps and CRT light up and the switches do not, then the inverters could be at fault. I may be mistaken, but I don't think the inverters have anything to do with the dimming circuit of the speedometer and CRT when the headlights/fog lights are activated. As I understand it, the inverters supply 110 volts for the VFD's that provide light to the switches. The console mounted fog light and manual headlight control switches on the '88 & '89 have bulbs. That is also the case with the buttons below the warning light display.

Thanks to Howard, member of the AACA Reatta forum, for this information.

ATTENTION: Any advice or information found on this website should not be considered 100% accurate. Use any information you find here at your own risk. Carefully read and agree to the DISCLAIMER AND FAIR USE NOTICE before using any information found on this website.