Quirky Dashboard Lights on 1994 Lexus LS400



I have a 1994 Lexus LS400. All the dashboard lights, including the needles, are all lit. When I start the car and it is less than about 50 degrees out, the dash lights don’t come on. They remain out until the engine warms up (i.e. the colder it is, the longer it takes).

I figure there must be some kind of sensor in the engine compartment that when cold, has contacts that pull apart, and when warm, return to ‘normal’ position.

Can anyone tell me if this can be fixed? The dealership wants to sell me a $3k dash replacement, which I think is not necessary.



I suspect the trouble is being caused by a bad power lead connection to the instrument cluster. It may be in the main connection to the panel and by just disconnecting and reconnecting it the problem may be solved.


This is a very common problem. Can be very expensive to fix in dealership, or very cheap by do-it-youselfer, if you’re upto soldering on a circuit board. There are resistors on the dash circuit board that have got too old and lost their effectiveness. You need to pull out the boards and replace the responsible resistor, usually it’s just one. I forgot which one I replaced, but only cost me 30 cents. Search on the Lexus Owners Club Forum http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums/, it’ll have all the info you need. Good luck!


Sorry, my memory failed me. It was the capacitor, not resistor.