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Chrysler Repair/'05 PT: Instrument cluster

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Question
2005 Pt Cruiser Turbo Convertible
Instrument cluster died, and this is what has been done to rectify the problem. Replaced the battery, removed the cluster to inspect the circuit board for solder cracks. Once the case was removed, we could not remove the circuit board to see the the front of the board. It seemed to be held in place, although all the screws were removed, and we could "rock it" but it wouldn't release to check the solder for cracks. Cleaned the battery ground connection. Did a power check to the cluster connector, and verified the ground was working, and also checked for power to the indicated pin connectors that should be active to provide power to the cluster.
All connector pins from the harness were active and receiving current. We reinstalled the cluster, because we couldn't get the circuit board off, and he gauges started to work again. The car started up just fine, but then the gauges failed again. Disconnected the battery again, and then retried, and the cluster came on again. It stayed on until the engine was shut off, and it went dead again. It may be there is a solder problem, but I don't want to pry the circuit board off, as I believe it should just lift off? Could it be the PCM unit? Will an OBD scan show that?
Internet searches made reference to the ignition switch, but I think that may be a shot in the dark. Also, there was mention of the steering column that could have a wire short from wearing a cable wire. The car has 38,000 original miles, and the failure was one day, all was fine, the next day it was dead. The car runs perfectly fine.
What suggestions can you offer.
Regards
Brian Wilson

Answer
Hi Brian,
The cluster is actually a complex component that serves also as the body control module and so it has about 40 wires involved in its 4 plugs. There are a couple of dozen fault codes that can be accessed via a plug-in code reader of shop grade so see if you can find a place that will do that job. I suspect that it will not be easy to get inside of it, so a fault code might tell whether or not you need to replace the cluster. It appears that your efforts so far have been as thorough as could be, except for a fault code readout.
There are about 10 pages that describe the cluster and a self-test,  and may be of help to you. I can copy those and attach them to an email I will send to you directly, but I have to know your email address. Don't use the @ symbol but instead us "at" or it will be erased.
Roland

Chrysler Repair

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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.

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

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

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

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Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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"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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