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An Insighter on this forum asked the question of how to defeat this peskiness. If you use your headlights in the daytime the gauge lights always step down one increment requiring it to be reset for full brightness every time. His gauge switch is now becoming worn and only operates with difficulty. If you choose a lower daytime brightness you may not notice this annoyance.

The following mod will fix this Insight's design oversight.

We simply need to add an additional switch that allows the headlight on signal going to the gauge to be selectively turned off.

One other minor "bug" will need to be allowed to keep the mod simple. Else the connection will need to be made on the back of the gauge unit which requires semi major disassembly. The backlights for Hazard, Climate Control buttons, FCD switch and the Power Window Master switch will be off when the mod is switched "on", but hey this mod is for daytime, right?

Pg. 10-7 of the factory ETM shows C404 in just the right spot both electrically and physically. Under the left side of the dash, in the immediate vicinity of the brake light switch. Light blue, 24 pin, 2 row. Pin 17, Red/Blk, is in the middle near the locking tab. Pin 16 is Yel/Red. Pin 18 is Grn/Red. Cut the Red/Blk wire that is pin 17 about 2" back from the connector for easy splicing.

Option connector D is a blank spade integrated in the driver's under dash fuse box and is fused by #16 in the under hood fuse box pg. 10-1 of the ETM. When looking at the under dash fuse box for this connector it is the center of three near the top edge of the box, immediately above the large gray plug in relay (turn signal/hazard).


Option connector D would not function, Hmmm. Option connector E the far right of the three works fine.

The nearest easy ground point will be to remove one of the 10 mm hex head bolts that are the lower dash support just to the left of the under dash fuse box and install an eye connector.

Use the following diagram to make the bypass system. The use of a relay allows the headlights on warning to still function. The headlight warning is internal to the gauge CPU. When you defeat the headlight input to the gauge, with key off the gauge CPU will not see that the headlights are on and no warning will sound.

To try and narrate the low res of this diagram the wire on the top left is from the Red/Blk wire that is cut for the splice. The new added switch is in the middle. Top right is the return to the other side of the cut. The NC side of the relay is used. The relay coil is energized by option connector D.

Capturing and viewing this .gif with graphics or photo editing software restores its readability.

I selected Radio Shack's #275-248, $4.29, SPDT Miniature relay. This also allows for full assembly of this new "sub harness" on the bench and then slip it through the switch blank for the final four connections. The type of relay chosen and when wired as shown will fail safe. If the relay fails the headlights on warning will operate and the modification will no longer function. The gauge dimming peskiness will revert back to its original function.

The switch selection will be more one of style, I used Radio Shack's #275-1565 $2.59, SPST on-off (not momentary contact). Just keep in mind it should fit one of the blanks on the left hand side of the dash below the FCD button.


Any bright yellow connector or wire jacketed with a similar colored loom is part of the SRS system. Modifying, damaging or disconnecting these wires could cause IMMEDIATE Air Bag deployment! Serious injury or DEATH can occur if your "hit" at the wrong angle. The recommended procedure is to disconnect both 12v battery terminals (to help assure one won't spring back and re-make contact) for 2 minutes before performing any electrical modifications. The "firing" capacitor(s) need this much time to discharge completely. Reconnect the terminals after all wiring modifications are finished.

The mod wires should be sufficiently tied such that the brake and or clutch pedal action will not damage them.

The coin box's action can allow the wires to be snagged during normal opening and closing unless the wires are properly tied and or routed away from this area.

Well I guess that's as complete as I know how to make this mod.

As always HTH! :)

UPDATE: 11/8/04

Installed and is functioning as designed. I would strongly recommend the use of the relay. The mod can be simply done with just a switch but headlights on warning will be disabled anytime this switch is in the disable peskiness position (off). Without a relay its fool proof and I was the fool. 2 days without a headlights on warning (with the wire snipped as I gathered parts) and I get off work to find my 12v battery dead, I left the lights on!
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