Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Flickering odometer/trip meter instrumentation

Howdy Ya’ll

My wife’s '99 Expedition has a odometer (digital) that flickers with vibrations of the truck. Really notice it while shifting into Drive. Also notice it while reseting trip meter after fueling. I’ve also discovered that if you push button in with finger and let finger slide off quickly to make button “pop” out hard under it’s own spring strength, it’ll come on. Sometimes it takes several tries.

Before tearing into dash, I was wondering if I could get some info from all of you as to what’s causing this, besides the obvious like a short, or a plug that is coming off or not connected very well.

I have a Haynes repair manual and I haven’t really researched it as this is my first choice in tips, help, and tremendous amount of knowledge and brain power all in one place.

ALSO… since we’re on the subject of shorts and faulty equipment… the rear window wipe does not work everytime. The wash sprays however, but on “INT 1” and “INT 2” (intermittent) it doesn’t wipe. Sometimes we’ll forget that we left it in the on position and it’ll startle us by deciding to work momentarily and that’s it. Now, my guess is, seeing as how the spray/wash works, could it be a short in the motor or a bad motor?

AND ONE MORE THING… on the same door (rear), the defroster plugs are in a really bad position. One tab had actually broke off the copper male end (on the glass) to where the plug assy. hangs down like the thing in the back of your mouth. (Uvula?) Now, the one on the otherside has decided to join the hang down party. How can this be fixed? Can I find a compatible male blade and solder it on? I can still see a blade in one of the connectors. It’s summer now, but I don’t want to get into winter and have her driving with half of operating equip. I would like to find a black half-round plastic cup to protect these blasted things!

Please wrinkle my brain when you get a chance. (they say you get a wrinkle whenever you learn something new)

Thanks to you all!


The electrical problems you are having are not due to shorts. A short would blow out a fuse. The problem is most likely due to an intermittent connection to power. You should be able to find the bad connections by moving suspected trouble spots around or tapping on them. Use a test light probe if you need to verify power is getting to a certain point.

There are repair kits for rear window heaters. You need to be careful when working on them.

This is common problem on this generation of ford truck. The problem is in your cluster, and requires a new or rebuilt cluster to fix. I wouldn’t bother getting it fixed unless it really bothers you. You can still see the mileage in very dim conditions if you ever need to verify the mileage.