Instrument cluster problems in a 2002 S80 volvo

This has been a wonderful car to say the least. Has about 150K on it and it drives like a champ. Recently the instrument cluster went out, sometimes it will randomly work but 9/10 times it’s off. When I used it to jump start another car the instrument cluster began working almost instantly, although this was only temporary. When the temperatures are low as they are on the northern east-coast right now around 30º and lower (shivers) it will work. Why is this? does anything to do with the battery having to work harder? Any ideas on what is causing this would be greatly appreciated!


Removing the cluster, unplugging the connections and checking for corrosion is the first step. Just plugging it back in may seat the plug better and might eliminate your problem.

The plug could also not be tight and working it’s way off.


@Yosemite why does it work when I jumpstart other cars and in cold temps? I think figuring this out would help a lot.

Coincidence !!! Voodoo!!! Aliens!!! Murphy’s law!!!

I doubt that jump starting another car would have any bearing on your cluster.

As far as the cold weather…you got me.

It is not a big deal to pull a cluster and I’d think it’s your best shot. A couple of screws a trim panel removed, unplug and replug…then reassenble!!!


Having suffered the curse of owning a Volvo, my answer would be that the OP has bad grounds running to the instrument cluster.

With my POS Volvo, from the time that it was brand new, subzero temperatures led to a totally inoperative instrument cluster, as well as headlights and tail lights that operated at about 1/2 of their normal brightness. As soon as the engine reached normal operating temperature, like magic all of the gauges operated normally, and the lighting was of normal brightness.

What the OP needs is a very competent auto electrical specialist who can find the bad ground(s) and correct them. In my case, the dealership and 3 different independent foreign car shops were unable to remedy the situation. As one of the shop owners told me, “With this much plastic in and around the instrument cluster, and with Volvo’s traditionally crappy electrical system, this is not easy to remedy”.

@VDCdriver My first guess was a bad connection, something to do with an electrical shortage somewhere guessing around the computer. I’ve found Volvos to be great but I guess the electrical work could be better.