Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Gauges going crazy

asked by on

I have a 2008 Mercury Mariner 4WD V6 3.0. Sometimes I have issues starting, it seems the Key is not recognized and the Security lock flashes, after a few tries and a couple of bangs to the gauge cluster it starts up. Then while driving suddenly all needles go down to 0, and most all indicator lights on the dashboard light up, also when pressing the break you can hear a click on the shift lever selector, if the AC is on it goes off, the blower stays on but no cold air, car is driveable and has no issues, other than these. After a pothole or again some banging everything comes back to order and then goes back, and really cannot replicate when exactly it happens. I took out the ECU and sent it in for diagnostics, all is good with it. Any ideas?

My car has 85000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This may be related to a short, a faulty in...

This may be related to a short, a faulty instrument cluster or a faulty instrument voltage regulator. The instrument voltage regulator regulates the voltage supplied to the various gauges in your vehicle’s dash. When this is not working properly, this may cause the gauges in your dash to dim or flicker erratically or in some cases provide false readings. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and replace your instrument voltage regulator.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Hard to start,strong smell of gas

It sounds like you may have a fuel pressure regulator that may be leaking, causing the motor to be in an excessively rich condition at start up, which would also explain the strong fuel smell. I would suggest checking for...

Q: My car makes a subtle squeak and minor clunk when driving over bumps slowly.

If you just had a shock replaced and the noise did not start until the shock was installed, then I suggest having the shock mounts checked to make sure they are seated properly when they were put in. If the...

Q: My engine light keeps coming on. We have replaced the air/fuel ratio sensor four times.

Hey there. As you may know, this may be caused by a few different things, one of which is a faulty sensor (which you have already replaced). This may also be caused by an intake air leak, leaking or dirty...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.