Question about 1989 Buick Riviera

1 Answer

ERRATIC DIGITAL SPEEDOMETER AND GUAGES DISPLAY

The digital instrument panel varies from instant on in warm/dry conditions to a dark display for up to five miles at which time it comes on performs as if nothing ever happened.

It may be temperature/humidity impacted but even that is not a sure thing.

It may be unrelated, but the climate controls are not working properly letting the car run heater at full force even on a 90 degree day.

The car has 103,000 miles, was recently purchased, but has a great service record and shows every sign of downright pampering!

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  • waltspuffer Mar 31, 2009

    I have a closely related problem with the speedometer. The dash lights will not come on, nor will the dome lights. Everything else works. Headlights,tail,turn, and the center control display. Could it be the speed or dash module. Gets dangerous as the gas guage is also not visable.
    thank you.
    WJK

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This is caused by a internal fault in the display and a very common issue with this dash and many ther GM cars from 86-90's, u can buy a rebuilt dash or have yours repaired, I have a number u can call and talk about your problem and get it repaired if u so desire

Toll free Number 1-888-803-8523 if you have any questions or to make shipping arrangements

Posted on Feb 27, 2009

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My speedometer works but my digital odometer does not work on my 2003 old alero


This is one guy's advice: Replace the speedo head, that should take care of the problem."

This site is also interesting because the guy said
General Motors cars had instrument cluster problems from 2003 through 2006. When I researched instrument cluster problems on the Internet what I found raised concerns in me. Many of those vehicles had problems that began with the instrument cluster, but eventually led to the engine refusing to start.
(an electronic instrument cluster, digital instrument panel or digital dash for short, is a set of instrumentation, including the speedometer, that is displayed with a digital readout rather than with the traditional analog gauges. Many refer to it simply as a digital speedometer.)

http://www.instructables.com/id/Erratic-Instrument-Panel-on-GM-Cars/

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Odometer,speed odometer,and trip not working.replace speed sensor.


Speedometer
The speedometer is an analog gauge that is located in the instrument cluster. The PCM/VCM receives an analog input from the vehicle speed sensor and converts it to a digital signal containing 4,000 pulses per mile (PPM) for the instrument cluster.
The PCM/VCM sends this digital output (4,000 PPM) to the instrument cluster on a designated circuit. These pulses can be measured in Hertz (Hz) using a digital multimeter (DMM) on the AC scale. The PCM/VCM calibration is matched to the final drive and tire size of each vehicle. If the final drive or tire size is changed for any reason, the PCM/VCM must be updated in order to match the new final drive or tire size. If not, the signal will not be accurate for proper speedometer/odometer operation. An incorrect signal can affect the antilock brakes and the cruise control systems.
The speedometer system consists of the instrument cluster, vehicle speed sensor (VSS), PCM/VCM and related wiring. The VSS is a permanent magnet signal generator that sends an analog signal proportional to the propeller shaft speed to the PCM/VCM. The VSS mounts to the transmission tailshaft extension housing on 2-wheel drive (2WD) models and the transfer case output shaft housing on 4-wheel drive (4WD) models.
Repairs to the instrument cluster can only be performed by an authorized instrument cluster service center.

Diagnostic Aids
• An intermittent in the vehicle speed sensor (VSS) circuit may cause an inaccurate speedometer. Refer to Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections in Wiring Systems.
• Check for the following DTCs:
- DTC P0502 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Circuit Low Input and DTC P0503 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Circuit Intermittent in Automatic Transmission - 4L60-E
- DTC P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) Circuit in Engine Controls - 4.3L
Step
Action
Value(s)
Yes
No
1
Did you perform the Instrument Cluster Diagnostic System Check?
--
Go to Step 3
Go to Diagnostic System Check - Instrument Cluster
2
Important: If the instrument cluster is completely inoperative, refer to Instrument Cluster Inoperative .
Install a scan tool.
Raise the vehicles drive wheels. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in General Information.
Start the engine.
Place the transmission into drive for automatic transmission and third gear for manual transmission.
Compare the displayed vehicle speed on the Instrument Cluster with the monitored speed on the scan tool.
Does the vehicles speedometer and the scan tool both display 0 km/h (0 mph)?
--
YES - Go to Step 4
NO - Go to Step 3
3
Does the vehicles speedometer approximately agree with the scan tool display?
--
Go to Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections in Wiring Systems
Go to Step 4
4
Turn OFF the ignition.
Disconnect the in line connector C101.
Turn ON the ignition.
Test the vehicle speed output (4K) circuit voltage from the in line connector C101 (female side of connector) to a good ground using the DMM J 39200 . Refer to Circuit Testing in Wiring Systems.
Does the DMM display a voltage greater than the specified value?
9.5V
YES - Go to Step 8
No - Go to Step 5
5
Turn OFF the ignition.
Remove the instrument cluster. Refer to Instrument Cluster Replacement
Test the continuity from the vehicle speed sensor signal (4K) circuit at the instrument cluster electrical connector to the in line connector C101. Refer to Testing for Continuity in Wiring Systems.
Does the DMM display continuity?
--
YES - Go to Step 6
NO - Go to Step 10
6
Test the continuity from the vehicle speed sensor signal (4K) circuit to a good ground. Refer to Testing for Continuity in Wiring Systems.
Does the DMM display continuity?
--
YES - Go to Step 11
NO - Go to Step 7
7
Test the instrument cluster harness connector for a poor connection to the instrument cluster. Refer to Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections and Wiring Repairs in Wiring Systems.
Did you find and correct the condition?
--
YES - Go to Step 17
NO - Go to Step 16
8
Turn OFF the ignition.
Disconnect the PCM/VCM harness connector which contains the vehicle speed sensor signal circuit. Refer to Powertrain Control Module Replacement/Programming in Engine Controls - 2.2L or VCM Replacement/Programming in Engine Controls - 4.3L.
Test the continuity of the vehicle speed sensor signal (4K) circuit from the PCM/VCM harness connector to the in line connector C101 using the DMM J 39200 . Refer to Testing for Continuity in Wiring Systems.
Does the DMM display continuity?
--
YES - Go to Step 9
NO - Go to Step 12
have you ever used a diagnostic trouble flow test chart ? Let me know if you make it this far and then I will send the last 9 steps . It's either a wiring problem or instrument cluster or PCM is bad . And if the PCM is replaced it will need progamming . Dealer only .

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