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Instrument cluster replace?

I recently had work done on my car- airbag recall- a few Days later my daughter spilled some water on the instrument cluster. A few days after that the lights on the dash were flashing on and off and there was a weird noise. Brought it back to the mechanic he is saying that I need to replace the whole cluster but can’t seem to tell me what diagnostics he did. He said the spilled water destroyed the cluster. Does this sound likely? Or is it more likely that the cluster was damaged when they fixed the airbag? What should I ask him to check? Is he ripping me off?

How about telling us the make and model of your car?

Please elaborate . . . did your daughter manage to get water INSIDE the cluster?

I don’t blame the mechanic for recommending a cluster replacement

This does not sound like a ripoff

There are companies . . . such as module master . . . who specialize in repairing modules, including some clusters. The idea is you send in your cluster, they fix it and send it back to you, then you reinstall. No reprogramming required. But your cluster may be too far gone to repair

07 murano. She wiped the wate up when it spilled.

Yes. Instrument clusters are not designed for what this one has been subjected to.


The good new is that modern instrument clusters are far easier to replace than those of the old days. They’re plug-in modules now. IF your vehicle is late model, this is to your benefit.

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Were you present when this spilled water incident occurred ? I am having trouble understanding how one could spill so much water to cause this much damage.

No I wasn’t present. I don’t think it was a lot of water. That’s why I’m
skeptical that it would cause this much damage.

I suppose the best way to tell is to remove the cluster, wash the contacts out with contact cleaner, and plug it back in and see if the problem disappears. If it was the spill that’s responsible, chances are the problem will reside in the ribbon cable contacts. These are the most susceptible part of the cluster installation to this type of thing.

Did you tell them about the water spill before they did their diagnosis?

It wouldn’t take much water to disrupt the electronics if it got into the right place. I had a coffee maker overflow not long ago. Water got into the enclosure and it started acting up, I took at all apart and dried everything out. It worked fine afterwards. No mechanic is going to do this however…

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I suspect there is more to the daughters story then is being told.

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Perhaps she was driving with a Cafpow on her lap and had to slam on the brakes. But with only the information provided, it’s pure speculation and perhaps not fair to the OP’s daughter to suggest.

Or could it be an issue caused by the previous repair?

It could be. But there’s no way to tell at this point, since the water spill occurred after the repair was done. There’s no harm done to take it back to the place that did the repair and explain what happened, the worst they could tell you is to get lost. But they actually may be able to figure out a way to provide some help at least.

Is it possible the tech who diagnosed the faulty cluster is wrong, did an incorrect diagnosis? That’s possible too. If you don’t trust that diagnosis, get a second opinion.

IMO, from what you say, most likely the water spill caused the problem and the cluster needs to be replaced.

What does your service invoice show for the recall repair?

The 2007 Nissan Murano is not listed for the Takata airbag recall.

There is a recall for the Occupant Classification system (affects the operation of the passenger airbag) that involves replacing the passenger seat cushion assembly if necessary, that is a long way from the instrument cluster.