Instrument Cluster Repair
Instrument Cluster Repair is the most interesting but painful job. A customer came up with the complain that his instrument cluster illumination is not proper. So we did a fix on his Nissan Patrol as you can see below.
WHAT IS AN INSTRUMENT CLUSTER?
Every vehicle has an instrument cluster. It’s right in front of the driver. An instrument cluster is a board with several different gauges and warning lights mounted in it. The instrument cluster is mounted in the dashboard, just behind the steering wheel. The driver depends on the gauges and indicators to keep tabs on the vehicle’s status. Some of the most common gauges and indicators include:
- Fuel gauge
- Oil pressure gauge
- Turn signal indicators
An instrument cluster is also sometimes called:
- Gauge cluster
Commonly, the dash and the dashboard are what you see in front of you while driving. The instrument cluster is the part that contains the gauges. When one component fails, such as the speedometer or odometer, usually the whole instrument cluster is replaced.
Some instrument clusters are all electronic. Those instrument clusters have digital readouts instead of traditional analog gauges. They have no moving parts. They can also be called:
- Digital instrument panel
- Digital dash
THE COMPONENTS OF AN INSTRUMENT CLUSTER
An instrument cluster is a straightforward part. It’s a board that’s made to fit in the dash of a certain make and model. In that board, you’ll find a cluster of gauges and indicators. Some cars have more gauges and indicators than others. Let’s talk about two of the most common ones:
- Speedometer: Indicates the speed at which the vehicle is traveling. The input the speedometer receives is through an electrical sensor on almost all modern cars. Twenty or thirty years ago, the speedometer was mechanically driven by a cable connected to the rear of the transmission.
- Tachometer: Indicates the revolutions per minute (rpm) of the engine. Similar to the speedometer, the tachometer is now almost always driven electronically by the engine control unit (ECU).
The design of the instrument cluster has changed in one fundamental way over the last twenty or thirty years. Back then, gauges or instruments received their input from the component they were monitoring. For example, the fuel level sensor in the fuel tank was directly connected to the fuel gauge in the instrument cluster. In modern cars, all of the sensors are connected to the ECU, and the ECU sends all the relevant information to the instrument cluster.