What could be the problem
We own a 2000 ford excursion, 6.8L V10 and about a year ago we starting having the issue of the instrument cluster stopping working while we were driving thus leaving us with no guages. Then out of nowhere it would start working again. I have checked and changed all fuses, and relays related to the cluster, and looked for any exposed wires, or connections that might be shorting it out and have found nothing to substantiate the problem. What coulkd cause this to happen?
Yeah, that's weird... I have a car that does something similar. Have you considered replacing the entire cluster?
Simply replacing the cluster without a proper diagnosis sounds like an expensive gamble. The dealer is the only one that will have the scan tool capabilities to test your cluster thoroughly. They may also have information about similar failures and fixes. If you throw enough money at it you might fix it but then - you might go broke too.
It seems to be a common problem with ford clusters, the cause is bad solder joints on the clusters IC board. The cheapest way to repair it is to remove the cluster yourself and see if you can find the bad connections, you might have to use a magnifying glass to see the breaks and re-solder them yourself. Your only other alternatives are sending your out to have to repaired, a used cluster that may or may not have the same problem or a new one, OUCH last I heard they were about 600 bucks. Hope this helps.
I replaced the cluster and I haven't had any issues it since. Hopefully I don't have the same problem again. I tried everything ebfore doing the cluster, but nothing seemed to work. Had a ford mechanic friend of mine who helped me get the cluster taken care of.
Consider looking into the GEM. This is a computer based controller located under the dashboard near the steering column. The GEM controls all other electric accessories. Electric windows and door locks, instrument cluster etc. A replacement runs about $400.00. You'll need to search the Internet to find one.
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