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Old 07-29-2013, 06:58 PM
svt1111 svt1111 is offline
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New here. Problem with 2012 F350

Hello everyone. First post here.

This site has been a good resource for me in leading to my decision to recently purchase (2) F350 6.2's for my company. The first one is a CC F350 Dump with supercab, it is an XL trim. The other is a single rear wheel F350 XLT, supercab.

The problem I am having deals with the instrument panel in the XLT truck. It has auto-headlights ( which I hate) and I've noticed that when it rains and you need to turn your headlights on for safety, not only does the backlighting not illuminate the gauges, but as soon as you turn the rotary dial from "auto" to headlights on, the LED needles go out as well! Trouble with that is, you can't see the needles AT ALL without the backlighting, let alone the numbers on the gauges. The XL truck, with manual headlights, does not behave this way and works properly.

I have a friend with the same truck (2011), XLT, with the auto headlight option, and his instrument cluster backlight works in the daytime with the switch on, and the needles stay lit up no matter what. I find this problem extremely annoying, and the truck is currently at the dealer now for this. The dealer first insisted that I didn't know how to use the dimmer switch. I've had over 40 vehicles, I know how to use a dimmer switch. When I went to pick up the truck at service, I asked the service manager to show me why I was so "dumb" and to make the backlighting work. It was raining and dark out, although it was 9:00 in the morning. He too couldn't get it to work. He called me later in the day and said he tried out other new trucks on the lot, and they all did it! My first free oil change, they also only put 6 quarts of oil in it according to the service record.

My question is, does anyone else have this? I asked the dealer to put a Lariat instrument panel in it, and even said I was willing to pay wholesale for the instrument cluster. I know in the Lariat's the backlighting is on ALL the time, which is what I want. I am a gauge guy. I like to know what my motor is doing, and how fast I'm going. I don't think I'm asking for too much?

Also, the weather stripping on the supercab was poorly fit and needed to be ordered from Ford and re-applied. The build quality on these things leaves a lot to be desired. The bed is crooked, the seats are crooked, the head rests are crooked, etc....

I will say I do like the 6.2 and don't regret it so far. The 6.2 that is in the XLT has the 3.73 and the other truck has the 4.30's. The 4.30 truck pulls our Bobcat with no problem at all, and that weighs about 11k with machine and trailer. It will cruise 75 mph no problem at all, with manual gear selection going between 6/5 as hills require a downshift. I do like the trans in these trucks.

For the record I also have a tuned 6.4 PSD, and have had a few Cummins which I love. I have to say I loved my Dodge trucks more than the Fords, and I've had far more Fords. The Fords look great though, and I love the ergonomics of the interiors. Just don't want to have my first post be a complaint post!

I just need to know what you guys are seeing for the norm with your instrument panels. It really sucks when its dusk, and the headlights come on automatically, and I loose my pointers on the gauges and really can't see anything on the dash at all!!
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:42 PM
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saratoga2011 saratoga2011 is offline
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My 11 did and now the 13 does the same thing... sort of. Both Lariats.

I noticed that with the lights switched on when it's raining, the panel will not dim if it's light enough out. If it gets cloudy and dark enough in a bad storm, yes the panel will dim with the lights switched on. The gauges are really dark at that point, even with the dimmer all the way up.

The lights come on automatically when the wipers are on regardless of where the switch is BTW.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:34 PM
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my 2013 manual says:


"Note:
If the vehicle is equipped with autolamps, it will have the headlamps on with windshield wipers feature. If the windshield wipers are turned on, the exterior lamps will turn on with the headlamp control in the autolamp position."

So only in autolamp for the wipers turning on the lights, and that is the way it seems to work on my truck. The dash lights I haven't quite figured that logic out
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:29 AM
22rimfire 22rimfire is offline
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I haven't had my truck long, and haven't played with the dash lights much, but I do know the blue gauge needles are illuminated always. The backlighting seems to be controlled by the sensor, and if I recall correctly doesn't even come on when the lights are turned to the "on" position unless the sensor trips them on. Funny I don't remember for sure, so I need to check and confirm that. I do remember though a couple weeks ago turning my lights on at dusk and thinking the dash lights were out I kept playing with the guage light dimmer and then I drove into a tree shaded area and they came on. I agree it is kind of anoying. Let us know if the dealer can help this.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:08 PM
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sledjunk sledjunk is offline
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I had the same complaint about the lights, plus, I always drive with full headlights on, but would like to see them turn on and off when I start and stop the engine. A simple fix for me was a piece of black electrical tape over the sensor. (It is the black bulb at the windshield edge of the dash in the center)

Now the lights work as I like.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:35 PM
22rimfire 22rimfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sledjunk View Post
I had the same complaint about the lights, plus, I always drive with full headlights on, but would like to see them turn on and off when I start and stop the engine. A simple fix for me was a piece of black electrical tape over the sensor. (It is the black bulb at the windshield edge of the dash in the center)

Now the lights work as I like.
Good idea. A shame you have to resort to that though. So do your dash lights stay on all the time, or just when your turn on the lights? Sounds like a stupid question I know, but I just wondered if they run on the sensor independently.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:03 PM
svt1111 svt1111 is offline
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Update- picked up the truck from the dealer today. They were completely useless to resolve this issue. When I got home I put electrical tape over the sensor and now the dash lights work as they should. I can't believe we have to put electrical tape over a sensor that we see the whole time we are driving our $50k trucks.

The new weatherstripping they installed seems to have tightened the gap between the can doors and eliminated an annoying friction sound while the chassis twists going over sharp bumps. At least they figured that out.

The problem with the electrical tape is where the sensor is located, it will get a lot of sun exposure and the tape will melt and contract, eventually curling up and needing to be done again. What a royal pain in the neck.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22rimfire View Post
Good idea. A shame you have to resort to that though. So do your dash lights stay on all the time, or just when your turn on the lights? Sounds like a stupid question I know, but I just wondered if they run on the sensor independently.
That is a good question. I honestly cannot remember because now I just leave the switch in the "Auto" position. The lights come on as though it is night. The downside, though, is that the info center and the radio are dimmed and can be hard to see in bright sunlight with sunglasses. Not insurmountable, though.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:50 PM
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My '12 works the same way. If it's not dark enough to trip the dash sensor, then the dash gauge backlights do not come on with the headlights. I have the auto headlight position in my headlight switch, but I don't use it. I can manually turn my headlights on and off just fine.

Just to be clear, in my truck it doesn't matter if you use the manual switch position or the auto position, the gauge lights don't come on unless it is dark inside the truck.

I guess I'm just used to it.

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Old 08-03-2013, 09:00 PM
22rimfire 22rimfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowpoke Slim View Post
My '12 works the same way. If it's not dark enough to trip the dash sensor, then the dash gauge backlights do not come on with the headlights. I have the auto headlight position in my headlight switch, but I don't use it. I can manually turn my headlights on and off just fine.

Just to be clear, in my truck it doesn't matter if you use the manual switch position or the auto position, the gauge lights don't come on unless it is dark inside the truck.

I guess I'm just used to it.

Ya, same with my '13. The needles are lit at all times though, so I kinda memorized the positions and can tell pretty much where I'm at. Still sucks though.
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svt1111 View Post
The problem with the electrical tape is where the sensor is located, it will get a lot of sun exposure and the tape will melt and contract, eventually curling up and needing to be done again. What a royal pain in the neck.
Not so much of a complaint than it is an annoyance for me, but the same thing happens in my 2011. I was thinking about trying some black nail polish or something similar to cover the sensor. Although I do like how my headlights come on when I turn the windshield wipers on...
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:13 AM
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I was thinking of a trailer light lens painted black. I haven't found one the right size yet though.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:26 AM
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2000silverbullet 2000silverbullet is offline
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Take a plastic easter egg, cut it down just small enough to lay on the sensor and paint it black.

Not sure what it would look like on the dash, but worth a shot for almost zero money and not permanent.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:30 AM
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I was thinking easter egg too! But then I remembered how big the easter egg is and how small the sensor is...how about a primer bulb off a lawn mower?? I like the thought of not being permanent.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenewboss View Post
how big the easter egg is and how small the sensor is...
Heat gun to soften up the plastic then take some scissors to it. Primer bulb is good idea, about the same size.

With the amount of junk laying around between myself and the kids, I could surely find something they wouldn't miss. The lights don't bother me anymore though, I'm used to it now after having the truck almost 3 years.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:19 AM
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