View Full Version : Intermittant Chrysler Instrument Clusters

John Hart
03-13-2008, 07:25 PM
Ok...well, I've spent a few years trying to solve the mystery on my 97 Plymouth Breeze. It's had an intermittant Tach and Odometer for the last few years and I've sorta lived with it. But recently, I picked up a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan and it also developed an intermittant instument cluster.

I started checking around, and it ends up that this is a very common problem with no real clear solution.....All related to Chrysler. The solder connections on the main instrument cluster connector have failed. I decided to put several years of Navy Soldering Training to work.

On the Breeze, I removed the cluster in accordance with the Haynes manual and inspected the soldering work over the entire circuit board. Everything seemed ok except at three high wattage resistors in the center of the board. There was some heat discoloration on the board and the solder connections appeared to have some micro cracks. I cleaned those up and resoldered them. Gave it a try....still the same problem.

So I removed it again and, using a solder-sucker, removed all the solder from the two main connectors. I found that the connector leads were coated with oxidation under the solder. This indicates that the connector leads had inperceptable oxidation at time of manufacture...and it took several years for the problem to develop. Using a small brass wire brush (dremel) I cleaned all the oxidation from the leads and resoldered. Voila!! It worked great.

So on to the Grand Caravan. I removed the cluster and inspected the board. The Connector leads had the same signs of oxidation and one of them had micro cracks. Cleaned them up and resoldered. Good as new. Total cost.....about 25 cents worth of solder.

Anyway...I really don't blame Chrysler. They wouldn't have caught this in Quality checks at the time and it took several years to rear its head.

If anyone is nervous about resoldering procedures, I'd be happy to guide you.

03-13-2008, 08:09 PM
Hi John,

Wow, you've got your hands full of Chrysler problems! Maybe it's time to look for another '95 Cavalier!!

Seriously, though, thanks for posting the tip on the instrument cluster wiring issues. Those are the kind of problems that are difficult to diagnose, so information like that I'm sure will be very helpful to many do-it-yourselfers.

John Hart
03-13-2008, 09:12 PM
Hi John,

Wow, you've got your hands full of Chrysler problems! Maybe it's time to look for another '95 Cavalier!! ......

Heh heh...that's for sure! That cavalier was GREAT!;)

03-14-2008, 02:49 PM
Keep up the good work....