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Q: Gauges going crazy

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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.

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