Instrument Cluster Circuit Board Repair
It is important to not let instrument cluster repairs go too long. If a cluster is failing then you will simply not know if there is damage to your engine, or if you are running low on oil. A broken instrument cluster can also make it difficult to sell your car. If you have a broken instrument cluster, the best thing to do is to take it to a professional for repair.
The best option is to work with ISS Automotive and get a replacement or repair.
What's important when getting a repair or replacement?
It is important that you get the following with any repair or replacement:
- Lifetime Warranty
- Free Programming
- Parts that match your VIN
- Customer Service
- Technical Support
- Programming to your mileage
- Potentially upgrading to LED lights or other gauges
How much does it cost to fix the instrument cluster?
Price ranges depending on:
- Any customizations
- Any Upgrades
- How old of a vehicle do you have
- How difficult is it to find older parts
In general, prices can range from $189 to more than $300 depending on the repair or replacement. Keep in mind that repairs will generally be less expensive than a replacement. A replacement will be easier and you will have very little downtime. This is important to consider if you only have one vehicle and can't afford the downtime.
The average cost of a repair is about $180.00 to $250.00.
Where can I get my instrument cluster fixed?
ISS Automotive is highly recommended for instrument cluster repairs. All clusters are fully remanufactured to OEM standards with includes soldering, lights, stepper motors, programming, and testing using a 5-point check. We have high standards since we support dealerships nationwide.
Some places that offer this service are local car dealerships, independent automotive part stores, and garages.
If you have questions please feel free to contact us at 1-800-548-1195 or search reviews from issautomotive.com.
Can you repair the instrument cluster?
Yes, instrument clusters are usually very easy to fix. Most of the time problems are caused by broken wire connectors or burnt-out bulbs. This can be easily fixed by using a soldering iron.
If the back-lighting is out, that is usually caused by one blown bulb. A replacement bulb is easy to find and replace. With expertise and the right tools, it's easy to find and replace any of these parts.
Sometimes the ignition switch goes bad, which will cause the instrument cluster to go out. This is a more difficult repair, but still doable if you have the right tools and know-how.
If you are having difficulty with your instrument cluster, we recommend that you take it to a professional for repair or replacement.
Can circuit boards be repaired?
Sometimes boards are beyond repair. If the damage is too great, there is no way to fix it. In this case, you will need to get a new circuit board. If the damage is minimal, then it might be possible to repair the board.
You can try to repair the board yourself if you are comfortable with a soldering iron and have some experience. However, we recommend that you take it to a professional. They will have the tools and expertise to do the job right.
What causes instrument cluster failure?
The most common reason for a cluster going out is a faulty connection. If the connector that connects the cluster to the wiring harness has been jarred or has come loose, this can cause the cluster to malfunction.
This is usually caused by things like an accident or other trauma to the vehicle. The only way to fix this is by having it rewired or replaced.
Soldering in a new connector is usually the best way to fix it.
If the solder joints in a cluster have become brittle or corroded, this can cause the same problems. This is usually caused by small amounts of corrosion and/or oxidation.
Another common reason for cluster failure is burnt bulbs. All instrument clusters have at least one back-light bulb that helps illuminate the numbers and needles on the cluster.
Dim or flickering lights can usually be diagnosed by checking to see if any of the bulbs are burnt out.
The circuit boards can become damaged by leaking batteries and other electrical short circuits.
If the circuit board has been compromised, it will need to be replaced.
It's important to note that sometimes the damage is simply not repairable. It could be caused by something as simple as the circuit board shorting out and frying or it could be caused by a complicated wiring issue.
If you suspect that your instrument cluster is damaged, you should bring your vehicle in to have it checked out.
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Does anyone repair circuit boards?
Some repair shops do have the ability to repair circuit boards, but they are usually very expensive.
It's best to work with a professional mechanic that has experience in instrument cluster repair. Most shops will charge by the hour so the total cost of repairs could be more than you expect.
If the damage is not too great, it might be best to just have a replacement installed.
How do I know if my circuit board is damaged?
If any of the lights on your dashboard do not work, it's most likely the circuit board.
If you notice dim or flickering lights, this could be an indication that the board is damaged.
It's best to have a mechanic diagnose the problem for you if you are not sure what the lights indicate.
What causes printed circuit boards to fail?
The printed circuit board or PCB can fail for a number of reasons. Sometimes it becomes corroded and the tracks on the board aren't making proper connections any more.
This PCB is connected to the back of the instrument cluster by a 16-pin connector. These are known for wearing out.
Another common cause of PCB failure is exposure to moisture. If the board has been exposed to high amounts of humidity, this can cause it to fail.
The board can also become damaged by electrical short circuits. If there is a small amount of corrosion on the printed tracks, this could cause one of the connections to fail.
This usually causes a short circuit and can cause damage to other surrounding components.
What should I do if my PCB is damaged?
If you suspect that your PCB has become corroded or damaged, it's best to bring your vehicle in and have it diagnosed.
A professional shop will be able to inspect the board and determine if there is damage.
They might clean the board with a special acid solution and then resolder all of the connections to assure that everything is working properly.
If it's determined that your board is irreparable, it might be best to have a replacement board installed.
Can printed circuit boards be repaired?
Professional shops are the only businesses with the ability to repair PCBs. If you try to repair it yourself, there is a good chance that you could cause more damage.
If you notice any problems, it's best to take your vehicle to a shop and have the board inspected before trying any DIY repair.
It might be cheaper to have a replacement PCB installed, but you'll lose any information that was saved on the old board.
How do you repair a PCB circuit board?
The first step is to clean the board (printed circuit). In order to do this, a shop will use a special acid solution that will break down any corrosion.
The acid solution will be applied to a specially designed tool and then wiped across the surface of the board. This step is very important, but it can be very difficult.
After the board has been cleaned, it's important to inspect all of the connections. There is a good chance that the corrosion might damage the traces that run across the surface of the board.
You should carefully check all areas of the track to ensure that there are no breaks or damage.
After all of the connections have been checked, they will test and then re-assemble the board. This step is also vitally important because the track corrosion might only be on one side of the board.
The bottom of the board can't be repaired if you don't know where the corrosion is located.
Once all of the tests have been run, it's time to solder the connections back onto the board. This is probably the most difficult part of the process because it can be very time-consuming.
If you're not careful, you could accidentally create an electrical short.
How do you fix a scratch on a circuit board?
It's not advisable to attempt DIY repairs on a PCB. If the scratch is very small, you could try cleaning it with a 50/50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water.
You'll need to use a cotton swab or soft brush to carefully wipe the scratch.
It's also very important to make sure that there is no residue left behind on the board. Any traces of alcohol could cause damage to the components on the board.
You should never attempt to sand a scratch-off of a circuit board because this will expose fresh copper. This could cause a short circuit and damage the entire board.
After you've cleaned or repaired your printed circuit board, be sure to add some additional solder to the board.
This will help to protect it from any other damage in the future.
Can the instrument cluster be repaired?
Instrument clusters can be repaired, but the repair costs will probably be more than a new replacement part.
You can check first the wire harness. You need to make sure that all of the electrical contacts are clean and not corroded, then test them to see if power is getting from the board to the backlight.
Connect the harness to the backlight and then connect it to the board. Turn on the key in order to see if the backlight turns on with or without the engine running.
If the backlight doesn't turn on, it might be a problem with the circuit board or maybe even an issue with your battery.
If the backlight turns on when you test it, then there is a good chance that your board might just be corroded.
Instrument cluster repair costs will vary from shop to shop. In order for a professional to fully diagnose the problem, they will need your car's VIN number and all of the part numbers.
This will help them to determine what is damaged and then get an accurate estimate for a replacement part.