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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2007 Compass and recently have noticed that when I turn the headlights on while the car is running, the dashboard lights as well as the rear running lights won't stay on. The headlights still work, as do the interior lights and breaklights, but the rear lights, dash lights and any other illumination lights (like the radio and gear shift lights) aren't working.

The oddest thing about all of this is that they will turn on and work fine when turned on while the car is not running. If I turn the car on, they will continue to run, but not for long.

If this was a fuse issue, wouldn't they just not work at all? I have no other electrical issues, so this is frustrating!

Any help would be great
 

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I have a 2007 Compass and recently have noticed that when I turn the headlights on while the car is running, the dashboard lights as well as the rear running lights won't stay on. The headlights still work, as do the interior lights and breaklights, but the rear lights, dash lights and any other illumination lights (like the radio and gear shift lights) aren't working.

The oddest thing about all of this is that they will turn on and work fine when turned on while the car is not running. If I turn the car on, they will continue to run, but not for long.

If this was a fuse issue, wouldn't they just not work at all? I have no other electrical issues, so this is frustrating!

Any help would be great
They're on, but very dark. You can adjust them by turning the narrow wheel right beside the lights button (that you just turned to put the headlights on). If you turn the narrow wheel to the end, the cabin lights turn on (just like when you open the doors).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope, they weren't on, but problem solved

The issue wasn't that the lights were on, but I couldn't see them; the issue was they simply were not working. Moreover, there is no way you can simply turn the running lights off while the headlights are on. That is a safety hazard and why I posted.

More about the issue and how it ended up being resolved.

At first the lights simply would stop working. The dashlights, the rear running lights, etc.... I would be driving and without warning the dash would go dark. Turning the lights off and on again would occasionally get them to turn back on, but not for long (2-3 min at most). The fuses were tested and working fine. Then they started behaving like they were possessed. I would turn the car on and then the headlights. The dash and rear running lights would flash five times, evenly spaced and then stay off.

Looking in other forums, it appeared as if either my headlight switch was wonky or my ignition switch was wonky. Neither would have been a fun expense (but it would have been quick).

What it turned out to be was that I had a burned out rear brake light. When that was replaced, everything started working again. And has all weekend. No problems. It dumbfounded the mechanic who simply charged me $9.00 for the light and said "well, sometimes electricity is strange" and left it at that. The problem started right after I was told about the burned out brake light, but I didn't connect the two.
 

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That would make me suspect there is a bad ground somewhere else and all the other lights are hunting for ground through the bulb you replaced. When it burned out, the other circuits lost their ground as well. The blinking was probably the broken filament making intermittent connections as you bounced down the road. With DC current, circuits can pull ground in odd ways when their normal path get's broken or develops too much resistance. I'd pull the bulb out again and see if it repeats.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Will do

I'll check out the lights this weekend for sure. I want to give it a good couple days so I can make sure the problem doesn't re-appear and then I'll check that issue. I'm worried too that the cure is only a bandaid covering a bigger problem.

I think the oddest thing for me is the 5 evenly spaced blinking that went on. That went on regardless of whether the car was sitting still or moving (although even sitting still it could be vibrating causing a connection to form and break).
 
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