CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

All dash lights, cluster lights, radio, etc went out but car runs fine 2006 ford escape hybrid

I’ve been searching around the forums to no avail on this issue and I know it could be a wild goose chase, but I thought I’d ask your opinions.

On my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid, I drove to the grocery store and came home and the next morning I get in and start it and notice the whole cluster is out. No tach, odometer, fuel gauge, hybrid battery gauge, nothing. The climate control background lights are out, the lights showing whether i’m in park, drive, reverse are out. However, the airbag light, turn signals seem to come through the dash properly.

That being said, the car runs fine. Nothing abnormal about it, Power windows work, radio works just can’t see the station. Climate controls work, alarm, locking, etc.
So the first thing I did was check all possible fuses. All of them looked fine but I replaced any fuses relating to the instruments, etc.

Still didn’t fix it, so I went ahead and replaced EVERY small fuse just because all the fuses are original and I had bought a whole box of them. Still nothing fixes it. Checking the owners manual, none of the relays seem to be something that could directly relate to this but maybe I’m wrong. All the bigger fuses look good.

I did find a forum post on a newer 2013 escape having the exact same symptoms, and they said they replaced a fuse labeled electronic feed system and that fixed it. Mine has no such fuse.

This being said, I think it could be a electrical issue with the ignition or something, because the car no longer gives me warning beeps to let me know I left the headlights on or the key in the ignition. Also, this has never happened before, maybe because I was messing with the fuses but I turned on the car for the first time today, and turned it off and pulled the key out, but the car took about 2 seconds to actually shut off. Never have I had this happen before.

I know the most obvious answer would be take it to a shop and have them diagnose it, but I just moved across country and have almost zero to expend on this vehicle at the moment. So your thoughts and suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks in advance. I will reply quickly as possible to comments.

If you have zero to spend, then get used to using your phone as a speedometer and fill up your tank often so you don’t run out of fuel. There is no free, magic fix for this.

The entire instrument cluster may have failed. Something as simple as a power connection trace on the circuit board. It will take some time a probing to determine the cause. You might find a shop that repairs the part or you might be stuck with a dealer part IF it is even available for a 12 year old car. Sorry, that isn’t what you wanted to read.

That’s one of the indications of a failed Body Control Module.

https://moduleexperts.com/5-common-symptoms-failing-body-control-module-bcm/

Tester

1 Like

Not what I wanted to read but what I expected to read. I’ve been using my phone for my MPH and filling up isn’t a huge deal either. Thanks for the reply.

Probably not related but maybe of interest. Or 2003 windstar cluster would go whaco every now and then, lights on and off and pinning guages, interior lights on and off, door locks in then out. Tried a number of fixes, and got the wife a new car. No one could diagnose it as it was never in failure mode at the shop, a circuit board for the cluster was a common failure, but was not the problem for us. We traded it it in as wifey has to do a few hundred mile trip often to help her mom, and needed something with no ghosts for her trips.

Suggest to do a little googling on how to check those rectangular-style plug in fuses with a DVM, much easier that way than replacing all the fuses, plus less chance of introducing a bad fuse for one that was working somewhere. Remember there are usually fuses both under the dashboard and in the engine compartment. This sounds more like a failed cluster or body control module than a fuse though. But it makes sense to double check the fuses related to the cluster and the connectors that power the instrument cluster. Try disconnecting the reconnecting those connectors. It’s a good idea to disconnect the battery whenever working on the electrical system, to avoid breaking something expensive like the engine computer.

If you haven’t checked the dimmer control for the dash lights already then you need to do that. If that is okay then you should invest in a factory service manual for the wiring. It will show you how things are connected so you can do you own testing for the trouble.