The backlights on the insturment cluster of my 2003 Chrysler 300m keep going out on their own. It started over a year ago and was very intermitent (once every few months for just a few minutes) but lately has been almost every trip almost the whole time. Last night they came on when the car started and then almost immediately began flashing several times until going out and never coming back on.
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An instrument cluster is the collection of gauges, dials and lights right above the steering wheel that tell you what's going on in your vehicle.
Generally, your car's instrument cluster will last the lifetime of the car and you'll never have a problem with any of them. However, when one of them fail, you'll have a problem that ranges from mildly annoying (the engine lights up and doesn't turn off) to inconvenient (the gas gauge doesn't register) to dangerous (the oil indicator doesn't work). Some of the more common failures include:
Erratic or non-functional gauges & inaccurate readings.
LCD not Stuck or fluttering needles on gauges
Burned out indicator lights
Burned out/dark spot backlighting
Loss of LCD display or erratic operation (number 8 showing as 0
This problem can be tricky to solve... one thing I have run across is that some Cabrios have a factory fault that lets water leak though the firewall onto the fusebox! Needless to say this will cause any number of electrical problems due to the inevitable corrosion. The problem is fixed by inspecting under the hood directly above the fusebox (where the computer is mounted) Look for signs of debris or moisture. I have successfully repaired these with a good cleaning and the application of an asphalt based waterproofing membrane (unfortunately this was too late in some cases and neccesitated fusebox replacement!) Hope this helps... ;-)
I had the same problem with my 2004 yukon. It seems all the gauges in the insturment cluster are known to go bad from 2003-2006 in GMC and Chevys. The deaerships are trying to sell you a new instrument cluster which is pretty costly if your warrenty is up. I repaired the circuit board on my insturment cluster myself and everything is working fine now. Since hearing abouth this problem I have started repairing the insturment cluster as a side business. If your vehicle is out of warrenty and your intersted shoot me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).