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Radiator replacement causes instrument cluster to go out on a 2003 volvo XC90 T6

I had my radiator replaced last month and the day after I got it back from the shop the instrument cluster died (sort of). It functions intermittantly but is off a majority of the time. I can tease it on by pressing the on the front of the cluster in the lower left corner but it goes out again when I let off the pressure. I called the shop and they told me there was no way that any work they had done replacing the radiatror could cause the cluster to go out, but I am not so sure.

Since then I have been driving not aware of my speed (I actually have an app that gives me my speed but is a sad workaround) or knowing how much fuel I have in the car at any given moment. And, as you who know what type of money pit I am driving, all of the notifications to warn me when something is wrong. which it usually is, are located in the cluster as well.

Can anyone point me in the direction on how to fix this or get a relpacement that is not close to $1000. And as soon as I have a working cluster I will sell it. I promise!

It is a Volvo. The later models are notorious for having weird problems like that.
It may very well be a dry solder joint, bad connector or PC board hairline crack.

I cannot think of any conceivable way the shop could have caused your instrument cluster to fail by replacing the radiator in your car, but this is a very common thing for a customer to suspect. I have been accused of causing brakes to wear out by performing an oil change, causing a coolant leak by replacing rear struts, etc. You are driving one of the most problematic late model cars, and also among the more expensive to repair. The only alternative to replacing your cluster with a new or functioning used one (good luck on finding one) is to have someone who is good with electronics take it apart and hope they find a problem that is repairable, like a bad solder joint or damaged connector or wire.

google “instrument cluster repair” and see what the search brings up. You can also search in this forum for past posts. There was a scammer a while back that was advertising about how his company repairs and resells reconditioned clusters.

Regarding whether a radiator replacement could damage the cluster? It shouldn’t, but it could. The cluster is now an electrical component, basically a complicated printed circuit board. So, any work that involves the electrical system could send a power surge into the cluster circuit board and blow it.

Replacing a radiator isn’t really electrical work, but they likely pulled the battery, disconnected and reconnected all kinds of things like; sensors, fans, lights, etc. to get the old radiator out and the new on in. If they did something out of sequence or connected something backwards it could cause a problem. I’d work with the shop and see if you can get a cluster and have them install it “no charge”.

The only evidence you have that the shop caused the problem is circumstantial, the timing of the cluster failure just after the radiator repair. If you take your car to an auto audio shop they check every electrical system before they work on your car to find out what is working and what isn’t. Then after they complete the installation they check everything again to be sure they didn’t affect some other electrical system. If your repair shop didn’t do this checklist then they can’t proved they didn’t cause the problem either. So, both parties are kind of in limbo on this one.

Personally I think something happened during the repair that sent a power surge into the cluster. For instance say the car’s ignition was “on” when someone pulls a connector, that can cause a power surge and the instrument cluster would be on and susceptible to damage. I’m not buying the shop’s contention that there is nothing they did that could cause this problem.