Why does 2008 Ford Crown Vic P71 instruments go out and on while car stopped or moving?


Asked by Dec 10, 2014 at 09:07 PM about the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

Question type: General

I have an 08 Ford Crown Vic P71.  Instruments on dashboard go out for 1 sec to 2 secs then come back on.  Sometimes it will go out for 10+ seconds before I tap the dashboard.  They come back on.  The radio, headlights, blower, etc. all continue to work.  Problem located in instrument area only.  It has been taken to two different car shops.  One shop said no codes found.  Didn't know what was causing it.  It was going to cost more hours = $ to find the root of the problem. Second shop charged two hours labor and provided no answers.  What is going on?  Please help & thanks!

6 Answers


I've bought many a used P71 at auction, and had to deal with PDs ripping out their electronics and leaving a mess. I recommend buying a decent digital volt ohm meter and start checking for continuity at the connectors to the instrument panel. You might have a faulty ground in the vicinity of the fuse block, as that is where the PDs start hacking away at the wires they installed for their lights/sirens. The forums at Crownvic.net have good write-ups of troubleshooting electronic gremlins in P71s.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the fast response. Do you think it could be the instrument cluster at all? The gentleman who I purchased this car from told me today it could be an instrument cluster. He said usually it is the odometer that goes out but in my case, the entire panel goes down. Like you, he has purchased many police interceptors at auction & sells them to taxi companies or keeps them for himself for private sale. Thanks again.


Also, do you think it is safe to drive with this issue occurring? It has been occurring off-and-on for two weeks now, and knock on wood, traveling has been fine. Thanks.


Common problem with these instrument clusters. They can be repaired for both the intermittent gauges and odometer dark or very dim. Google mrwhizard for more info.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I think it has to do with the wiring harness that plugs into the instrument cluster. ( for me anyway) I took my dash apart, and found that if I push down hard on the plug for the instrument cluster the cluster starts to work again and comes back on . If i wiggle the wires a little the instrument cluster stops working. I now think I have to learn how to repair the plug and wires that go into the cluster. It might just need some electric parts cleaner. If I get it fixed I will try and come back and post the fix.


I got my instrument cluster fixed everything is working fine. The problem was the cluster itself I took a chance and paid $150 to auto tech rescue in Loma Linda MO. They repaired my cluster I reinstalled it and has been working fine for a week now . one tip once you reinstall the cluster don't pull it it fully back together just install the cluster without the glass and don't reinstall the dashboard. Run like that for a few days because you might have to reset to speedometer needle. The needle pulls right out and you can reset it and push it back in. Good luck

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