If your dash lights are
dim, it may be because the dimmer transistor is not making good contact
in it's socket. If so, here's a permanent fix for the problem. (The dimmer
transistor is what the dimmer control on your dash is connected to.) You need to be good at
soldering to do this. If not, get someone who is to do it for you.
You'll need a good soldering iron with a fine tip like this:
First, remove the dash
light transistor assembly. If you lay on the floor of your car with
your head near the gas peddle, and look up, you'll see it under the
dash. When you've removed it, place it on a table oriented like this:
Take a small knife and
scrape the contact blades near where the transistor pins come through
-- just enough to roughen them up a bit. Now apply solder to the blades
and pins so that it flows onto both. This is where soldering experience
is needed. The blades will act as heat sinks and suck the heat out of
the soldering iron too fast if you are not careful. Don't worry about
the transistor -- it will not be harmed by the soldering. When you are
done, it should look like this:
If they are still not
bright enough, you may want to try brighter bulbs. They will NOT harm
the transistor (as others have said they might), but the extra heat of
them might melt some plastic.
The reason why brighter
bulbs will not harm the transistor is that the only time the transistor
dissipates any appreciable energy is when the dimmer is turned down.
Chances are, you're not going to turn the dimmer down if the problem
was a dim dash in the first place. And in any case, the transistor is
designed to handle more current than the protecting fuse, so as long as
that doesn't blow, you're fine.
If you should ever have
to change the transistor, use a "solder sucker" (available at Radio
Shack or Fryes) to remove the solder.