Digital Odometer not working

I drive a 2001 Buick Century. Sometime last month (or maybe the month before), my digital odometer was on the fritz. There’s a little sub-partition to my dash that houses my digital odometer as well as the indication as to what gear i’m in (PRND32). So it started fading a little, then on some days it wouldn’t light up at all. I know the odometer is still working, because on the days when it would light up, it didn’t pick up where it left off, rather it had been working the whole time I couldn’t see it. And this started going in and out more and more frequently until now it hasn’t lit up in about a month.

So, i take my car into my mechanic for an oil change (just had to guess at how close i was to 3,000 miles) and I ask him about it. He tells me that it’d cost so much in time and parts that I might as well not even fix it.

So now what? I’m fine just driving around without it. I know what gear I’m in without my car having to tell me, and I guess I can just estimate when to get my oil changed, although it’s rather inconvenient. But what do I do when I want to sell it or trade it in? The longer I go without knowing my mileage, the farther afield an estimate will be.

You know, what I was thinking is that I really just need someone to run a red light and total my car. Then insurance would cover me and the odometer would be low on my list of worries. I just hope the airbags still work :-/

As far as the Air Bags go, as Donald Duck once said “Its a great trick, but I can only do it once”…

I belive the mileage on your car is not stored in the dash, but rather in the computer. Therefor if you take a dash out of a used car, it should just plug right into yours… The whole job could be done in an hour or less, if I recall. I could be wrong about the mileage though…

If it were my car, I would just let it go. When you sell the car, the mileage might not even be an issue as long as you disclose the odometer does not function. Of course laws pertaining to this vary by state, so it might be a good idea to get it fixed so you can sell it later.

You know, what I was thinking is that I really just need someone to run a red light and total my car.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about my 1998 Civic, and then the other day, I was next to a van when the driver decided to change lanes. When it came time to avoid a collision, my instinct for self-preservation took over. When I thought about it later, I realized I wouldn’t get that much form the insurance company for the car, and I would be stuck making car payments again. The worst part is that if I went car shopping with my insurance settlement, I would never get a car that is in as good of shape (mechanically, not cosmetically) and reliable as the one I have.

Hey, Whitey, where in Heck have you been. I haven’t seen you on here lately??

I decided to take a break from CT. I got tired of the same old questions and the same old arguments. You can only discuss oil change frequency and the merits of synthetic oil so many times before it gets old.

Again I think you’ve either got a bad digital cluster or a poor connection. You have checked the fuses and made sure the dimming feature is full on right? You would need to disassemble the dash and pull the cluster, check the connections, and replace with a junk yard version. The mileage info in on a chip in the body control module so not affected at all. The cluster just reads it like a computer monitor, not the computer itself.

DrewQ-- Don’t have an accident. They will ding you for no odometer. I just did, they totaled my 99 and would not fix it. Drove it for three months before I settled. They gave me enough to fix it myself. I did but the odometer is not one the things I fixed. It looks grat I I shall drive it til it dies.
I just estimated the number of tanks of gas I used for a week, times my average miles per tank, times the number of weeks since I bought it and they accepted that.

You could use the same formula to know when to change the oil.

Um, May, 2012 folks? I know its been a little dull lately but really?

I’s suggest not listening to the oil pan monkey about how hard or expensive it might be to replace a light bulb in your dash. If, as you say, the light illuminating your PRNDL and mileage displays dimmed, then went in and out a few times before going completely dark, it is sounds like it is just a light bulb, or a a ligh with a loose connection that just needs to be wiggled reconnected.

Any so-called “mechanic” who tells you something like that is going to “cost so much in time and parts” is… well, probably only able to do oil changes!

Perhaps it is one of those two problems, but… do you really think that the OP is still seeking a solution–5 years later–in regard to a car that is now 17 years old?


The mechanic probably has more experience than you do, how are going to change a light bulb in a LED display?