hmm dont sound right, you need to look up the color code for your car for the wireing harness. Google should pop something up. I would believe there should be one wire on the factory harness that controls the light on the factory radio. This wire is used to also dim the lights on aftermarket radios. Find what wire this is, and see where it is connected. You may have to use a volt meter to see what state the line is in with lights on or off. But I would think you dash lights would work without the radio in. And if they dont, then sounds like the aftermarket radio is powering your dash lights which isnt good, and could damage the unit.