I recently bought a 94 Ford Ranger, its seemingly in pretty good running condition, but the electrical
system is not working properly. The dash lights are very dim, in fact you can only see the speedometer at night and not very well. I'm not too worried about the dash lights although that would be nice to have fixed, but the cigarette lighter doesn't work and that is a big deal for me. So I first went to check the fuses and the fuse the cigarette lighter uses was fine, but when I had the cover to the fusebox off I noticed one of the breakers was sparking, looking closer I realized when I took the fuse box cover off the metal cover to the breaker came off with it. Well not knowing much about cars I thought I would leave the cover to the fuse box and breaker off until I could look up some more info on the problem. Last night driving home the fuse box started sparking slightly and I noticed as it was doing this that my headlights were twitching in and out, I don't think they would turn completely off, but would fluctuate from being very bright to very dim, a minute later the sparking and twitching seemed to stop, but you could smell a faint smell of burnt plastic. Is this a serious problem I should be having checked out right away, or am I to blame for leaving the fuse box cover and cover to circuit breaker off and will the problem stop if I simply put the covers back on? Trying to put the circuit breaker cover back on the circuit started sparking as soon as the metal cover touched it, being unsure if I was screwing something up worse I didn't put that cover back on.
I need to know if this is a serious problem that I should look into further, but what I'm still more concerned about is getting the cigarette lighter to work. I found nothing in the owners manual except to check the fuse, which I did and it seems to be fine. I saw a video on youtube on how to fix car cig lighters in general and you needed to pull apart the dash/console to get behind the cigarette lighter and remove some small metal ring. Anyone know anything about this, will it work or cause me more problems? Wanted to get some feedback before attempting to do the process showed in the video.
Thank you for any advice anyone could give me, it would be greatly appreciated!