Ford Focus Forum banner

Installing gauges. I need them to dim/light w/ console lights.

483 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  FIRSTFOCUS
Hi guys. Thanks for reading my post. I did a search, but didn't find any one that knew how to wire up the gauges the way that I want to. Heres what I want to do. I need the gauges to aluminate when ever I switch on my console lights (using the headlight switch), and dim when ever I dim the console lights (using the little "wheel" next to the headlight switch). Does anyone know how to do this? I'm sure its just as simple as hooking up the power allumination wire coming from the gauges to a wire behind that headlight switch. But does anyone know which wire to hook up to? I know how to hook up everything else on the gauges, it's just this alumination thing that's got me stuck. Any help would be greatly appreciated. -Nick
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Pull the panel out, and check voltage with a multimeter. black i think is ground, and one of the wires is hooked to the dimmer switch. To check this, check voltage v. ground and dim the switch, it should drop voltage.

Easy to do. I hooked my interior neons to this, so i can dim them.
Ok. Thanks for the tip DemonFire. I'll try that. One more question. Do you think that hooking up 4 gauges and posibly a 5" tach all to that little dimmer knob wire will suck too much power and keep throwing fuses or anything? Or do I have no idea what I'm talking about?
Does tapping into the dimmer on the switch actually work? I thoguht that burnt out guage faces. I'm thinking, if you're talking about those little guages, you can wire them up like how I did and just tap into the sidemarker fuse. It goes on when you turn your headlights on.
EDIT: Yes, I am talking about AutoMeter 2 1/16" gauges.

Yeah, there are many fuses that you can tap into if you just want the gauges to aluminate when your parking lights come on. I would like them to dim though when I use the dimmer knob for the rest of my console lights. So the question still remains. If I tap into the dimmer switch wire to power my gauges, will I burn anything out???
its a possibility. u COULD over load the circut and blow the fuse and worse case burn up ALL the wiring if u put a bigger fuse in. i would design a circuit that runs on ING power and is run through a "pot" (no not the smoking kind). this will give u ther control your looking for without worring about fuse faliure and/or burning wires.
^^^ good point ^^^


a few small guages probably will be fine. so long as the size of the wire can handle the power (i dont think illuminating a few guages will draw more than a few tenths of an amp).
It will be an AutoMeter Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure, Volt Meter, and 5" Monster Tach. Hell, I'll probably just hook them up to a fuse so that they come on with the parking lights. What fuse would I use if I wanted them to turn on with my parking lights?
When I first hooked up my autometer gauges (with red bulbs in them), I had them hooked up to my dimmer. And I found that they weren't even readable at anything but with the dimmer set at the brightest possible setting.
So I just directly tapped them into my parks, that way they are bright all the time.

Unless you have LED bulbs (I don't like them in gauges, but its just my opinion), I doubt the gauges will be bright enough for ya...

Just my 2 cents...
Thanks for the input. I've decided to forget hooking them up to the dimmer. I'll just hook them up the corner lights like lots of people are doing. How would I do this? Run a wire from the cabin out to one of the corner lights? Or can I tap into a fuse in the cabin fuse box?
the orange w/ yellow stripe out of the back of the headlight switch will be the parking light wire you need to hook it up to.

1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.