Top 10 Reasons to Replace Your Instrument Gauge Cluster

When your gauges stop working, you can’t simply ignore it.

Your car's dashboard gauges can tell you almost anything regarding the state of your vehicle. When one gauge stops working, the problem may be isolated. When all gauges stop working, it may be a sign of a defective instrument cluster. Check out our guide on the top reasons you may need to replace your instrument gauge cluster.


Dim Dash Lights

If it's daytime and your dimmer switch isn't causing the problem, you'll want to ensure that you don't have your headlights on. Often, dashboard lights dim you've turned on your headlights. If checking your headlights doesn't fix the problem, you may need to replace your dash lights.


Partially Dark Instrument Panel

If a portion of your dashboard is dark while the rest are lit, the incandescent bulbs are likely burnt out. It's best to leave the replacement to the experts.


Completely Dark Instrument Panel

If your entire dashboard has gone dark, chances are a fuse has blown. You may need to replace the old fuse with a new one with the help of a technician.


Flickering Dash Lights

If your dashboard lights are flickering, your car battery is dying, or an alternator is failing. If your dashboard lights have been flickering, it's best to bring in your car for an inspection.


Pegged Needles and Erratic Gauges

Sometimes, your car's gauges may move erratically or remain pegged at a particular reading. A bad component, such as the voltage regulator, often causes this problem. If your gauges are regularly reading full, a bad or loose ground is most likely causing it.

A mechanic will have to remove the voltage regulator and perform a thorough cleaning of all the connection terminals before reinstalling the regulator.


Malfunctioning Speedometers & Speed Sensors

Although it is not too common, malfunctioning speedometers and speed sensors may be related to a malfunctioning electronic control unit (ECU).

At this point, it is best to take your car to a qualified technician. They will be able to connect to the ECU to troubleshoot your problems.


Language Scrolling Across Odometer

In some cases, you may see your odometer scrolling through the several display languages available. If this is the case, you’ll need to have the component replaced.


Odometer Display on While Vehicle Is Off

If your odometer display is on while your car is off, you'll be wasting your car's battery. Problems with the circuit board often cause this issue. Again, it's best to have damaged pieces professionally replaced.


Odometer Displaying Error

If your odometer screen is displaying an error message instead of the vehicle’s mileage reading, you have a memory chip or software problem. Therefore, you’ll need to have the chip replaced.


Inserted Key With No Warning Signal

In some cases, no warning signal will sound or be displayed when opening the door while the key is inserted. Of course, this is a huge safety hazard that needs to be dealt with promptly.


Final Thoughts

You can solve many, if not all, of the problems listed above, by a replacement instrument gauge cluster or other parts. Rather than buying parts from the dealership, you can save parts by buying directly from ISS Automotive. ISS Automotive has everything you need from clusters to after-market auto parts.


For more information, read our post "Should I DIY Repair My Instrument Cluster or Buy a Replacement?