Question about 1998 Saturn SL

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Tachometer, speedometer to zero - no loss in power

OK, my car sits around thinking of new ways to freak me out. Here's one for ya:

When the car is in gear (driving, clutch not depressed), the dashboard brake indicator will come on and the odometer will flash twice then go out. Then the tachometer and speedometer step down to zero in tandem. They will then return to normal, the brake light will go out and the odometer will come back. Roughly thirty seconds later, the process will repeat itself.

This does not happen when the transmission is disengaged - either in neutral or the clutch depressed.

During this event I do not lose power. I can accelerate, gun the engine, even engine-brake.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Clay

Posted by on

  • ClayHarryman Feb 11, 2009

    Additional info: The battery indicator began to illuminate dimly every time this occurred.



    When I turned off the A/C (I live in Houston), the problem stopped. I just replaced the accessory belt in October.



    Note that the SL does not have power steering.

  • Anonymous Mar 17, 2009

    also the dash lights blink from dim to hi as if the pot was bad and on occasion the fuel gage drops a little

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Sounds like the alt. is on it way out

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SOURCE: Corolla 2002 tachometer back light

Get a GOOD small Phillips screwdriver and remove the plastic screw in the middle of the moz-screenshot.jpgmoz-screenshot-1.jpgmeter hood sub assembly. You may have to hold the outer plastic ring of the screw to keep it from spinning. Sometimes they are hard to get out,(try not to push up on the screwdriver and once it starts to come out you should be able to pull it the rest of the way). See pic circled in red.
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Carefully pry away between the sub assembly and the upper dash with a flathead screwdriver wrapped in masking tape. Once it is movable lower the steering wheel all the way down and pull the sub assembly out.
Remove the Phillips head screw on the top of the meter combination assembly. At the bottom of the assembly you will find two little metal tabs, push each one back gently one at a time while moving the meter out. Disconnect the two plugs at the top of the assembly. Once removed I would replace all the lights. Why do this again?
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SOURCE: TACHOMETER WORKS INTERMITTENT

Do you have engine code showing by chance? It's possible the crank sensor is bad or the connection to the ecm or pcm to the instrument cluster circuit board needs a look. If you need schematics check out www.promanuals.net they specialize in Dodge Ram service manuals.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009

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