What Causes Dashboard Gauges To Stop Working?

November 2nd, 2018 by

The car’s dashboard gauges tell a story about virtually anything, ranging from the current speed, the health of the engine, and also small things like whether the headlights have been switched on. Different cars come with varying gauges, and some of the panels are more complicated than the others. When the gauges in a vehicle stop working, this is not something the owner of a Volkswagen Passat in Libertyville should ignore. If it is only one gauge that is not working, the problem could be in the gauge itself or a bad sensor. However, if they all stop working at the same time, the car could have a blown fuse or the instrument cluster could be defective.

All Gauges Not Functioning At All

There are many different kinds of instrument cluster systems and configurations. However, if all the gauges in a vehicle fail to suddenly work, the issue could be due to bad wiring or a fuse problem. What experts do to identify the problem is start by determining the fuse associated with the gauges or instrument cluster.

The fuse is supposed to possess power on either side when a driver turns on the ignition key. A qualified mechanic can check it using a multimeter or an inexpensive test light. If the mechanic finds out that the fuse is working correctly, the next step involves checking the power at each gauge. This will require the removal of the instrument cluster, which is sometimes very time-consuming and difficult in some car models. Sometimes, a mechanic will only need to remove a few trim pieces and unscrew the cluster in order to pull it free easily. A new car radio can also get installed at this point for entertainment.

What Makes The Dash Lights And The Indicator Stop Working?

If a driver notices that his gauges have stopped working and the indicators and dash lights also fail to light, this is an indication that there is a ground problem. This obviously means that a mechanic has already checked the fuse and determined it is working perfectly. If an instrument cluster is not grounded properly, the dash lights and gauges cannot function properly. To check the ground, the mechanic will have to remove the cluster. Although, they can first use a flashlight to look under the vehicle’s dash.

Erratic Gauges And Pegged Needles

Sometimes, the gauges may seem to be moving erratically, or they may remain pegged at the highest reading. This is normally due to a bad component such as the voltage regulator or a bad ground. The cause of erratic gauges is normally a faulty instrument voltage regulator. A mechanic has to remove the regulator and clean all the connection terminals before reinstalling it. In many cases, gauges that are always reading full do so because of a bad or loose ground. Such need to be tightened and free from corrosion and rust.