Instrument Cluster (Dashboard / Speedo) Repair
Your valuable equipment is in safe hands with us
It is the most critical driver information instrument, which unfortunately fails at times. Needless to say much, traffic rules enforce that you need to have a working speedo and when you sell the car, the dashboard must be working.
Being a complex device, repairing instrument clusters of modern cars is out-of-bound for most DIY-ers, car repair workshops and even many qualified auto-electricians. We have received a number of instrument clusters that were attempted before and ended up doing a lot more work to restore their working condition. Obviously repair bills are much more expensive in such cases.
We enforce a few simple rules that make our service virtually 100% guaranteed:
- We don't try and err, we find the root cause and fix it
- If we can't fix it, we don't make it worse
- If we can't fix it, we provide alternative solution at reasonable cost
- If we can't fix it now, it'll be our homework and we will have solution in the future
BMW E38 (7 series 96-01), E39 (5 series 98-03), the very popular E53 (X5 1999-2006) and Range Rover L322 (02-10) share the same instrument cluster with large dot matrix display that shows odometer and other critical information. This is a common problem and the remedy is well-known: replacing the ribbon cable that connects the cluster mainboard to the display glass. Unfortunately there are only two hard ways to get into the ribbon: to properly take out the gauges' hands or to precisely drill 4 holds to give access to the screws that securing the display. It requires some good skills to do the job. People usually damage the gauge motors or drill to the circuit board, resulting in more expensive repair. We perform this repair in less than 1 hour, with results 100% guaranteed.
BMW E60/E61 (5 series 03-10) and E90/E92/E93 (3 series 07-13) are also known to have centre display in cluster failure, and we do fix them as well.
Most popular Audi and VW ranges of 2006 and before (A3, A4, A6, TT, Passat, Golf, Touareg) have a big centre LCD display that gradually fail over time. In many cases fixing involves just replacement of the faulty LCD panel. It's not hard but requires electronic skills. The circuit board is quite fragile so improper heating/handling will result in damaging it together with other sensitive components.
Audi A4 B6 and later model years 2006 up also known to have similar LCD failure, but fixing requires troubleshooting the circuit and replace components that drive power supply of the backlight system.
Audi TT first generation (98-06) and A3 (01-03) have instrument cluster made by Magneti Marelli, which is notorious of gauge failure. Symptoms include erratic jumps of gauges, backlight falshing and eventually the whole dash will be dead. Fixing requires reflashing of the main processor, that is, job of an electronic engineer.
When it comes to gauge failure, we learnt that many workshop/mechanics advice customers to change sensors that doesn't solve the problem. There's a simple way to check that if sensors fail, data read from onboard computer must be consistent with reading from gauges.
W202 (C-Class 93-00), A208/C208 (CLK 96-03) and W210 (E-Class 95-98) all have 3 separate LCD dislplays in their instrument cluster that may fail. Known fix is to change ribbon cables.
W638 (Vito 96-03) has a little display that enventually will fail in all vehicles. And since it uses Magneti Marelli cluster, it shares the same rikh of total dash failure due to microprocessor.
Facelifted W210 (E-Class 99-02) has one shared wide LCD also known to fail.
W203 (C-Class 01-06), A209/C209 (CLK 04-09) and W639 (Vito 04) have one big LCD at the centre that may fail, especially when the car is warm.
W164 (ML 2006 up) and X164 (GL 2006 up) have a nice display that fails in some car.
In terms of gauges, Mercedes is not know to fail, except Vito W638.
Lexus is know to have least electronic problems, however we did come across and fixed failing speedo for Lexus IS before 2006.
Most popular Porsche 986 (Boxter), 996 (911) have 3 separate LCDs that are known to fail. Cayenne instrument cluster has a LCD display that is simmilar to VW Tuareg that sometimes fail as well.
Peugeot 206 has a little LCD display that will eventually fail. Peugeot 307 has a Magneti Marelli cluster that may have failed gauge. 407 has a nice centre LCD that may fail when the car is warm.
Many Renault cars also use Magneti Marelli instrument cluster (yes it's again) that suffer from its inherent defect. Interestingly before the digital age, Magneti Marelli made instrument clusters for Bentley, Rolls Royce and it's highly regarded.
Volvo S60 cluster is notorious of failing due to interal power supply problem.
Many VW cars share the same instrument cluster design with Audi and suffer from above Audi's problem.
Ferrari and Maserati also have failed instrument clusters, that we do fix them.
In general, no car is immuned from electronic problem. Latest generation widely employs full digital dashboard that essentially a large LCD TFT display. These things have lifespan, just like your TV at home. So when they fail, and they do, we fix them all.