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The power to the dashboard obviously is not working , Try to get a hold of the schematic and see how the dash board is powered. Could be a fuse or something that is not working. Or it could be a loose connection.
The whole dash panel is one unit. You will need to check the wiring going to the dash panel. Check the connectors and make sure they are snug on the spades. The whole unit may have o be replaced. You can find it at autopartswharehouse.com for an unbelievably low price.
You don't say what the make model and year is, but generally the gauges get power from the same place the gas gauge does. Each gauge is grounded thru a sending unit or switch. So my guess would be a problem inside the instrument cluster.
You have a loose wire in the dash somewhere, if you are up to it, pull the dash panel covering the gauges and look for a loose or broken wire. A corroded terminal could also cause the problem, if so clean it up with emery paper and replace the plug side.
You have some wiring problems shorting out that is coming from the dash board so if you or anyone you know how to use a multimeter to check the wireing harnesses plus check any connectors that might be just very touching the connector of dashboard which means a bad connection to dashboard.
Your dash needs to come out. These bulbs push into a plastic piece that "twists" into the back of the dash board. (About a 1/4 turn) Unless you can get at them from underneath, but I think it's to tight.
I recently purchased a 2002 S60 D5 which had this problem. I am not a Volvo expert so don't know if it could be the same fault, but it sounds identical. No lights, gauges etc, but intermittently and very briefly comes on. Having heard some silly prices for replacement dash and ECU, I had a look. I found 4 poor soldered joints on the dash circuit board (top left processor & heat sink). I cleaned them and re-soldered them, although I had continuity just after cleaning the corrosion. The dashboard has worked perfectly since (3 weeks) . If you try this make sure you disconnect the battery first or you may have the SRS airbag warning light on! (I had to have it re-set at the dealers!!)
The whole process took less than an hour. If you are not electronically savvi get one of your mates who is to have a look..
then you have a problem in the dashboard could be the circuit board behind the dash if you would like to i will tell you how to eliminate the dash from the charging system or install a straight wire from the ignition power to the ignition side of the alternator bulb,
but if you still want me to tell you how to elimiated the dash from chargin system let me know
of course this will be a mikey mouse but will take care of your problem.