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

Dead Instrument Cluster

1994 Dodge Caravan, 3.0 V6, auto trans., cluster contains tachometer. Many months ago the gauges and speedometer would occasionally go dead for a second or two then come back to life as I drove. Over time this problem got worse (more frequent). I cleaned the body at every ground connection I could find, no help. Recently the entire cluster died for good. Only a red “check gauges” light. Although during start up the usual air bag, and other idiot lights do all light as expected. All fuses are good. So I bought another cluster at a junk yard. Still dead. All connectors look ok with no broken wires.

Any ideas?

We’ve had this problem many times here. All Chrysler products of that era eventually fall victim to this ailment – soldering breaks – a result of the cheap cold soldering method that Chrysler used back then on its printed circuits.

The mechanic’s solution would be to replace with a new cluster. This is costly. But many owners choose to make their own repairs, which is not too difficult. Here’s a video of how it’s done:

The instrument cluster gauges are driven by the body computer on the Caravan/Voyager. Try unplugging and reconnecting the body computer (to the left of the steering column), it may start working for a while. I have replaced about 20 body computers on AS bodys, never the instrument cluster.