Dash Instrument Panel doesn't light up
Hello, I have a problem with my dash instrument panel. The guages no longer light up, so I can't tell how fast I'm going at night or if I have fuel. I had this same problem with my old car but it was so junky it died before we bothered to fix it.
However my turn signal and Highbeam icons do light up.
I checked the fuses in the panel on the driver'* side, then I found the fuses in the panel on the passenger side where the relays are as well, didn't find another blown fuse. I then double-checked all the fuses, still all good.
They went out after I had a friend help me install a CD player, JVC KD-LX111. The wires colors in my car were different than the wire colors he had the instructions he printed out, so we were crossing a lot of wires and doing process of elimination to narrow down which wires were which for speakers, power, ground, and all that. I remember at one point I found when crossing two wires I head a clicking sound from the passenger side around where the second set of fuses and the relays are at. When I showed my friend I guess I was holding it too long and I saw a spark and a I heard a loud pop from where I was hearing the clicking as well.
I checked the owner'* manual, I don't think the relays on the passenger side control anything to the dash. However I don't know how to check if a relay is blown anyways, I don't have an instrument to read them.
Since a mechanic told me I'd have to go to a dealership to fix it, he said usually it'* a circuit board problem and any time he touches it, it would fall apart, I decided to make a quick fix myself. I bought a 15" LED light strip at pep boys, white color light. I put the strip above my instrument panel, I ran the wire into the crack running down the side and hide the bundle behind that black plastic panel cover that runs from the left driver AC vent across the steering wheel and covers the AC controls and Radio. It'* supposed to be tied into a powered wire and a ground, like the dash. But my dash doesn't work anyways now, and I didn't want to tie it into my radio power, so I just stripped the wires back and retied them better to the battery it came with that allows you to see the lights in the store, and bought a flip switch and connected it to that. I then took out a black rubber cap I found in the panel I took off, left of the steering wheel, and drilled the hole a little bigger to let me put the switch through it, and I screwed it tight. Before I had just used the button from the display that came with it but you have to keep holding that down, haha.
Anyways enough rambling. For now that'* working alright, it'* a little too bright but at least if I get pulled over maybe the cop won't give me a ticket.
Could anyone help me? How can I check relays just by sight? Why would my gauges not light up but the green arrows for left and right turn signal and my high beam light do?
I have a 1996 Bonneville SE.