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Thread: Digital dash problem

  1. #1
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    Default Digital dash problem

    I've got an 88 Cougar LS E&G Limited with the partially digital dash, where the speedometer is digital, then the temperature and fuel are analog. Those parts of it work fine, but the lights to the side, like the bright indicator, turn signals, low oil, door ajar lights don't work. I replaced the ignition switch and the emergency brake indicator and the brights indicator light up, but none of the others do. I took off the dash, and used a voltmeter on where all the bulbs go, and there is no current going there. None of the bulbs are burnt out, and all the fuses are fine, so I don't have a friggin clue what's left to check. Any help?

  2. #2
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    The first thing to check is to see if your car actually has those options. Only some cars had the door ajar, low fuel, low oil, low washer fluid, lamp out, etc lights active - believe it or not these were considered options back then. Most 85-88 models have the bulbs present in the dash but they're not active (the systems that light the bulbs and the associated wiring are not present in the car).
    2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

    1988 5.0 Thunderbird SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

  3. #3
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    How would I go about checking to see if my car came with those options?

  4. #4
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    I would say that if the bulbs are good and you're not getting any signal to them, you don't have the options.

    Joking apart, there is no real easy way to tell with most of the systems because Ford hid the modules all over the car. The low oil one is fairly easy to check - look at your oil pan and see if there's a sensor with wires stuck into the side of it. As for the door ajar - if your dome light works but the light doesn't come on in the dash you probably don't have that option. The low washer fluid can be determined by looking at the tank and seeing if there's a switch in it, but the tank is inside the fender so it's not worth the bother.


    Truthfully, in my experience (five fox Thunderbirds and a fox Cougar) it's usually only the fully optioned or high evel (XR7, Sport, TC, etc) cars that have those options, but even fully loaded isn't a guarantee. Heck, my old '87 Sport had the full digital dash and still didn't have those options...
    2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

    1988 5.0 Thunderbird SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

  5. #5
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    Ah, well thanks for explaining it to me. The door ajar light should be pretty simple to rig one up if I get bored, but the low oil and low fuel I guess I'll have to live without. Thanks for the help.

  6. #6
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    I've never seen a car with a base cluster and the systems sentry (sp?) Even though they all have provisions.
    One 88

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