I have a 97 Chevy Z-71 Silverado and I am having problems with my gauges..
I loose my Tach, speedometer, the light that tells me what gear I am in
and lots of power. Feels like I am starting in 2nd or third gear and doesn't
shift into drive. I was told by a chevy dealer that it was my cluster but I
replaced it with one from a junk yard then sent mine into Tacoma
Speedometer (WA). Tacoma Sp. said there was nothing wrong with the
cluster, so I took it back to the dealership and said there was nothing
wrong with the cluster. They checked it out again and charged me
another $120 for diagnostics and said its still the cluster.
if all your symptoms are related...I would check the alternator for spiking voltages. It may charge the battery alright but if it is output AC voltage instead of DC voltage then this may be the cause.
If you are just putting it in the wrong gear because of the indicator light, just count the detents movement of the shifter. Out of park to reverse,1, Reverse to Neutal,2, Neutral to Drive,3
If the cluster is the only real issue, it may be the ground for the cluster. Sometimes this is at the connector or a splice. I have had to splice my own grounds around a connector to fix a cluster.
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