Loss of power to instrument panel that comes and goes

What would cause me subaru outback to, from time to time, loose power to most parts of the instrument panel? I can have as much as 2 months between episodes. The speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meter, blinkers, light that illuminates the gear you are in, seat belt light, temperature gauge, fuel gauge will not work when I start the car and 30 seconds to 5 minutes later everything will work and the enjine light will come on, but that usually goes off after 2-3 times of restaring the car. Sometimes I loose power to these things when I turn the blinker on. I have had it to a mechanic 3 separate times and they have yet to fix it. There are occasions when you can shut the car off and restart it and everything will work and other times that doesn’t help at all.

I would first start looking for a faulty ground. Also, look for signs of moisture in the electrics. Finally, you may need to trace the wiring and look for a couple of melted wires. These can be tricky since they can be in the oddest places. Had that happen to an old Volvo, would up having to rewire the affected circuits. The ground, however, seems to be the logical 1st step. Also look in areas where it wamrs up fairly quickly, if it’s a faulty hookup, heat may be moving it back into place.

This problem was fairly common on Chrysler products of the mid to late 90s. They used a cheap cold solder method to make the instrument clusters so that over time, some solder joints would develop cracks. A few instruments would then function intermitently or not all. The solution was to remove the instrument cluster to the workbench and reflow the solder.

I don’t know if your Subaru problem is related. Clearly you have a bad electrical connection somewhere and it just may be the soldered ground pin on the instrument cluster.