5 Most Common Instrument Cluster Problems

Instrument cluster malfunctions can be caused by many factors, and some causes may be more evident than others. No matter the culprit, some trouble shooting will be required to figure out exactly how to address your cluster issues. In this article we'll cover five of the most common problems and explain how to fix those that can be repaired.

Is It A Bulb?

Bulb replacement

A burned-out instrument cluster bulb can cause different issues depending on the location. If an indicator bulb is burned out, you may not see things like turn signals or a warning lights. If a backlight bulb is burned out, a gauge may be dark or only partially visible at night. An easy way to check your indicator lights is to turn the ignition key to the run position and monitor them as the cluster does a test cycle. If you do discover that a bulb needs to be replaced, this post can walk you through the process.

Is It The Fuse?

Fust replacement

A blown fuse may cause a complete loss of instrument cluster functions. If you suspect the instrument cluster fuse is blown, the first step is identifying and inspecting the correct fuse(s). In some vehicles, more than one fuse can impact the operation of the instrument cluster. Remember that an open fuse usually indicates an electrical problem, like a short circuit in the wiring or inside the cluster. Learn more in about checking fuses here.

Is It The Battery?

Battery corrosion

Battery problems can also cause issues with the instrument cluster operation. Flickering lights or erratic gauges could be a sign of a weak battery. Sometimes various modules within your car (including the cluster) causing a battery drain, even when the car is turned off. The battery itself might be the problem. Easy things to check include corrosion on the battery terminals, loose terminals, or a very old battery date. Learn more about checking your battery here.

Is It The Alternator?


Alternator problems can wreak havoc on modern car electronics. Many circuits use a 5V reference that's especially sensitive to voltage fluctuations. Some of these circuits may affect the instrument cluster operation. Too high or too low voltage can set diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). A charging system test will determine the battery's health and reveal charging issues with the alternator. If you think your alternator is the problem, learn how to check it here.

Is It the Instrument Cluster?

replace cluster

Suspect your instrument cluster itself is the problem? Start by checking the connectors. If power and ground supply to the instrument cluster is okay, inspect for damaged pins and ensure the connector retaining clips are tight and undamaged. If the connectors are okay, there's a good chance the cluster itself could have an internal problem. It may also be possible to reset your instrument cluster. If you suspect the instrument cluster is at fault, you can send it to ISS for diagnosis and repair or replacement.

ISS Automotive Has High-Quality Replacement Clusters

ISS Automotive has been one of the most reliable names in the automotive and truck industry since 1949. We provide quality replacement clusters, radios, and electronics. When you shop with us, you get:

  • Correct fitment. Your parts will be built to OEM standards and programmed to work with your exact model year.
  • Easy installation. All you need are basic hand tools to remove your old gauges and install the new ones from ISS.
  • Customized upgrades. ISS offers LED lighting upgrades along with other customization options that vary by part.
  • Limited lifetime warranty. This includes all our new or remanufactured products, replacement/exchange units, and repair units.
  • Free and fast shipping in the continental USA.

Have questions about your order or need help finding the right part? Please contact us!