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When my headlights are on, my dashboard is dark

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by charlotte96, Jun 14, 2005.

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  1. charlotte96

    charlotte96 New Member

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    When I turned on my car the other night, I turned my headlights on and my dashboard went dark. When I turned my headlights off, my dashboard lights went on as brightly as the northern lights. So, I drove with the lights on, but couldn't see my speed, gas gauge, etc. Anyone have any advice before I drive this darn car to the far away place where I bought it? Thanks.
  2. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    Dimmer switch, to the left of your steering wheel. Turn the dial up and the lights should come back :)
  3. charlotte96

    charlotte96 New Member

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    That was the answer! Thank you. Sometimes I just don't know the vocabulary that the manual index requires. I appreciate the prompt and accurate diagnosis.
  4. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    No problem. It takes a while to get used to all the controls. Take some time to play around and see what each one does, it's part of the fun of a new car! :)
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    At least you now know how to drive in "stealth" mode :D
  6. NuShrike

    NuShrike New Member

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    Actually, a good question is why isn't the interior display lights self-adjusting?

    I don't remember getting blinded by a car when I turn OFF my headlights like I do with my Prius. :)

    Maybe this can be the next hacking project. Maybe figure out if we can plug it up to the daylight-sensor pod.
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    it's just the IP and screen. In other cars, the IP is not illuminated when the headlights are off (electroluminescent gauges not withstanding) hence the lack of glare at night with the lights off
  8. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

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    [font=Comic Sans MS:7bd9d6f48b]Hi Charlotte, I'm glad you and Galaxee solved the issue so easily.

    Did you notice that if you roll the dimmer dial up all the way, it sort of locks in the top position? In that position, your panel and screen are in full bright mode, day or night. If you roll it back just a bit, when you turn your headlights on your screen will go into Night mode and reverse, so the open areas are dark and streets are light. It looks cool and the bright screen won't blind you, but the panel is still quite bright.

    Enjoy your Pri![/font:7bd9d6f48b]
  9. DanMan32

    DanMan32 New Member

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    Ah, that's what NuShrike was talking about the interior lights not self adjusting and blinding.

    The US cars don't have auto headlights/dashlights, like in Canada. So, we have a Day mode, which has a fixed, full bright dash intensity, and a night mode, where the dimmer wheel controls the intensity of the dash illumination. Going full up to detent puts the dash in day mode, as if the headlights were off.

    Now the MFD normally follows the mode the dash is using, but it too has a separate override to keep it in day mode. If the dash is in night mode (headlights on, dimmer not in detent), then when you press the display button, a Day Mode soft button is revealed. Pressing that will put the display in day mode override. Note, the soft button disappears if the dash is in day mode. the only thing that doesn't seem to change when the display is forced into day mode, is the intensity of the backlight. It dims when the dash is in night mode.

    The display has separate brightness and contrast (and I think color) for day mode and night mode, so you could effectively reverse the look of day and night mode.
  10. NuShrike

    NuShrike New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(DanMan32\";p=\"98721)</div>

    Right, the interior displays going into default day-mode when you turn off the headlights, regardless if it's actually night time. :p

    Would be nice to override that with a light sensor connected to the headlight switch, so might as well wire up auto-headlights while at it. :)

    Actually, I guess I understand this now.. These systems were designed either assuming you would have auto-headlights or you never turn them off at night.
  11. rangerlori

    rangerlori New Member

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    I just got my a 2007 Prius and have a question about the dimming of the dash lights. During the day I can use the dimmer dial on the left to reduce the light in the dash (blue speedometer lights), but at night I cannot dim these light with the dial dimmer. The lights create a large reflection off my dash on my windshield right where I look creating a light hazard. Am I missing something that I can do to reduce this bright light? Thanks.
  12. Charles Suitt

    Charles Suitt Senior Member

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    :) Howdy rangerlori

    You have me puzzled. My speedometer panel is GREEN day and night. UNLESS I RUN WITH MY HEADLIGHTS ON DURING THE DAY, the dimmer switch has no effect - that is, the dimmer switch is inoperative with the headlights OFF and the panel lights default to bright. If you set the panel dimmer switch to less than full bright, when you turn your headlights ON, the panel lights will be dimmed, to say it another way.

    Sounds like you run with your headlights ON during the day. It's a personal choice but I choose to NOT have my headlights ON during the day since the HID headlight bulbs to have a finite life and are quite expensive to replace - in the $250 each range just for the bulbs.
  13. rangerlori

    rangerlori New Member

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    I guess they are green-it is so new that I got my colors mixed up as it has a blue tint :) So you are saying that I need to adjust my dimmer when the lights are off and then when I turn them on at night the panel will be less intense? Thanks for the tip about running the lights during the day. I will be turning them off.




    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Charles Suitt @ Jan 9 2007, 02:50 PM) [snapback]373204[/snapback]</div>

  14. Charles Suitt

    Charles Suitt Senior Member

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    :) Hello Again rangerlori

    Actually, you can adjust your dimmer switch anytime - headlights ON or OFF. Seems better if you adjust your preferred panel light brigthness at night [headlights ON], then when you turn your headlights OFF, the panel lights will be full bright. This assumes you drive with your headlights OFF during the day.

    If you choose to drive in the daytime with headlights ON, you would need to manually adjust your dimmer switch to bring the panel lights to full bright during the day, then readjust for dimmer panel lights at night.

    Simply said: The panel dimmer switch only works with your headlights ON.

    Is that any clearer for you?
  15. RobertG

    RobertG New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Charles Suitt @ Jan 10 2007, 10:09 AM) [snapback]373656[/snapback]</div>

    Another option is to select day mode when headlights are on and the instrument lights are dimmed. As someone else pointed out in another tope of this forum, there are three sets of brightness/contrast settings for the display screen:
    • undimmed
    • dimmed
    • dimmed with day mode
    This is a very interesting forum where I've been learning, even as few topics as I read.
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