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Q: Bad instrument cluster

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Hi, I have a 04 qx56. I have had issues with the instrument cluster. I have had it repaired 4 times. I have problems with the gauges getting stuck. I have a dash light flickering. This happens sometimes when I turn on the car. It seems like everytime I send it for repairs it's only good for 3-4 months. For the past week I have been having the dash lights flicker. The right signal light won't display on the dash. I could hear it but it doesn't appear on there. The RPM gauge is stuck. And the gas one will be low when I know I have more than that. The shop where I was having it repaired is refunding my money back because they were not able to help me after 4 attemps. I would like to know if I should replace the unit with a new one or could it be something else that is causing the unit to go bad? Thanks in advance for your help.

My car has 149000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: With a reoccurring issue like this, you can...

With a reoccurring issue like this, you can almost guarantee that another malfunction is causing the failure. If this cluster has failed, you will end up needing another one. But do not replace it until you know what the main source of the problems are. Tracing the issue may require a print of the instrument cluster circuit. This will show you every component that’s related and may be wearing down the clusters. The issue is likely electrical.

If there is a short in the system that is sending the cluster too much power, the cluster will burn out prematurely. There may also be a loose connection with the wiring harness terminal. If this is adjusted well when the system is installed, and then slowly comes back out, the connection may fail after a matter of time. I recommend getting help from someone who is great at tracing down electrical problems to have this resolved.

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