If your dash lights give up on you during a long drive on a dark road, it could mean trouble. Imagine not being able to read your speedometer and tell how fast you are going. You'll become too paranoid about exceeding the speed limit and being pulled over, and at the same time, feel like you're going to be home a few minutes later than normal. It's not a very scary thought, but a disconcerting one nonetheless. You inspect the dash lights and tap on your meters, but nothing's happening. The thing you have to know about your dash lights is that a rheostat makes them work. It is a device that controls the resistance in a circuit, and acts as a switch that allows you to control the brightness of the dash lights. It is usually a very reliable piece of equipment, but over time, the internal contacts corrode and the resulting damage can halt the current flow through the rheostat. When this happens, the dash lights to stop working and need to be replaced. We present Dash Light Rheostats 101-a guide to choosing the perfect dash light for your car.
Which features should I look for?
The kind of dash light rheostat to buy depends on your car make and model. Most websites are helpful enough to let you look up rheostats that match your vehicle. A rheostat is basically made up of a coil, contacts, and a casing. A common problem with damaged rheostats is the resistance coil being completely disintegrated. In this case, a fix is impossible, and a replacement is necessary. Look for coils made of sturdy stainless steel-you'll need this kind to ensure a long coil life.
The casing can be made from metal or plastic, and as long as the interior components are protected from moisture and dirt, then either material is recommended. Metal and plastic cases are known for their durability, which is an important quality given that the case protects the coil from pressure and corrosion.
Should I buy an expensive rheostat?
Dash light rheostat prices range from $30 to $55. Buying more expensive ones might not ensure that you are getting the best rheostat made from quality material. Consider the suggestions given above with regards to the coil material and casing. An inexpensive rheostats might do the job, but the material it's made from might not last long. A dash light rheostat is a very small component, but it plays a large part not only in controlling your dash lights, but also for keeping your driving safe.