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Chrysler Repair/Chrysler 1997 LHS: instrument cluster flaky

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Question
QUESTION: The dash/control panel is not working. Comes on at times but mostly just doesn't work. Solution?

ANSWER: Hi Ginger,
I would suggest that you take a close look at fuses #1 and #7 in the fuse box behind the left end cap of the dash. Either of those fuses may have a subtle crack in its wire and so open and close un-predictably or it could be not making good contacts with the clips that hold it in place. I assume that by 'not working' you mean that the gauges don't work, correct. Of do you mean the warning lights don't work too which would be a similar problem with fuse #14. Please specifically tell me exactly what items/lights don't work as that would help to understand why.
Another possibility is that one of the two black color ground wires is loose at the point where it attaches to the metal surface of the body, located under the dash to left side of the center console, but if the multiple-wire ground connection was bad then many other components besides the cluster would be unreliable. So start by looking closely at the fuses.
Please 'rate/nominate' my answer and me (see the PS below).
Thanks,
Roland

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QUESTION: What is not working are the speedometer, gas gauge, temp., lights which show usually when we turn it on, etc.  We are going to try what you've suggested so far. Sometimes you can hit the glass and it will come on.

ANSWER: Hi Ginger,
If the fuses check out to be OK, then the other possible explanation, given that you can sometimes jar it into working as you described, is that the solder connection of the wires from the fuses to the internal circuit board of the cluster is flaky. You would then want to remove the cluster and touch a soldering pencil to the points where the socket for the free plug's pin 1 and 2 attach to the circuit board proper. Those are the points where the fuses feed power to the cluster on the pink/red and red/white wires. Let me know if you have to remove the cluster and I can tell you how that is done.
Please rate/nominate this answer/me (see PS below).
Thanks,
Roland

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Looks like we'll have to remove the cluster. How much might this cost to have someone do it for me?

Answer
Hi Ginger,
It is not that big a job if the shop has the manual that shows how to do it. I can photocopy the page the manual and postal mail it to you. Then you can either do it yourself or get a friend or relative to do it. I suspect that a simple touch of a soldering pencil to those pins on the cluster circuit board will fix this. Let me know your postal mailing address.
Thanks for the rating and nomination. Allexperts allows up to 5 nominations in a month so feel free to do it again!
Thanks,
Roland

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

I answer questions seven days a week and respond to you in about 30 minutes. "Maxed Out" means I am answering another question, briefly unavailable, or asleep overnight, so try again later.

I have do-it-yourself experience (50+ years) and a library of 100 1982-2012 Chrysler factory shop manuals and 20 multi-manual Chrysler Corp. CD's.

I was voted "Top Expert" 2010-2015, here at AllExperts, and have answered 20,000+ questions.

Experience

Five decades as a 'do-it-yourselfer' on domestic and imported cars.

Organizations
Yahoo Autos Group called The Chrysler Lebaron Club (co-moderator)

Education/Credentials
Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

Awards and Honors
"Top expert" of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 here at Allexperts. Quickest "average response time" at Allexperts (currently no. 1).

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