2005 Scion xA 127,000 miles
Total nonmechanic here.
Problem started with speedometer not working occasionally. Now it works about 75% of the time. Often if I park for several minutes and restart the car the speedometer will work again. Sometimes after I start the car at first it won’t work. Then I hear a click and a whir and it works.
Recently the gas gauge has been failing occasionally. I start the car and the needle doesn’t move. I restart the car immediately and it works.
Only once the tachometer didn’t work at first. Then the needle jumped up suddenly.
I found at least 14 possible causes online:
- Loose wire or connector in cluster
- Speed sensor
- Electrical short––recalibrate speedometer
- Faulty speedometer head
- Bad transducer
- Dirty connection
- Body control module (BCM) hung up
- Bad ground
- Bad stepper motor
- Bad alternator diodes
QUESTION 1: Given that the problem has gotten worse over time, it’s intermittent, and now two gauges are involved, what’s the most likely cause?
QUESTION 2: A garage told me it’s illegal to buy a used instrument panel and have the odometer reset. Is that true?
QUESTION 3: If not illegal, what’s the cheapest way to get a reliable IP and get it reset? I can’t afford a new cluster at a dealer.