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Dashboard fault?


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#1 MadMalx

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 02:48 PM

When I turned the ignition on, so that the dash light illuminate, the speedo and rev counter dials moved slowly round to their maximum before returning to their 'rest' position, also the trip meter went back to zero. The car has never done this before, has anyone any ideas what the cause is, and whether it's anything in connection with it not starting?

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#2 mintalkin

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:44 PM

this usually points towards a battery or alternator problem, you need to get the voltage checked on the charging system and battery.

#3 mickyfree

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:39 PM

When I turned the ignition on, so that the dash light illuminate, the speedo and rev counter dials moved slowly round to their maximum before returning to their 'rest' position, also the trip meter went back to zero. The car has never done this before, has anyone any ideas what the cause is, and whether it's anything in connection with it not starting?


This is a well known problem. I am suffering the same issue too. Honestly you'll need to google it to get a general idea of the problem. You will find many motor forums talking about this issue, one being the RAC.

I too thought it could be the battery and/or alternator but after reading around some people found the problem being the PCB of the dash cluster.

People refuse to pay Ford between 250-400 for a new dash unit so some started their investigation from the battery > wiring > earth wiring > alternator and lastly the connection of the dash cluster. Others just investigated the dash clusters, after taking it out they found the PCB to be moist, greasy, rusty or dirty. A quick fix was to clean the PCB with a PCB/Contact cleaner or Electrics solvent and then to seal it with a PCB lacquer. Some people used WD-40 but the down side to it is if the WD-40 gets onto the bulbs of the cluster, it can dim the unit or cause the bulbs to expire quicker.

The reason why the PCB became moist or rusty is due to the frosty weather. I noticed a lot of the people suffered this problem between November and February every year. It could be because of the cold air getting into the dash unit during the night time and when we warm up the engine the next morning it creates a bit of condensation and so affecting the PCB.

I would recommend trying all the cheap options first.

#4 ford focus edge

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:58 PM

This is a well known problem. I am suffering the same issue too. Honestly you'll need to google it to get a general idea of the problem. You will find many motor forums talking about this issue, one being the RAC.

I too thought it could be the battery and/or alternator but after reading around some people found the problem being the PCB of the dash cluster.

People refuse to pay Ford between 250-400 for a new dash unit so some started their investigation from the battery > wiring > earth wiring > alternator and lastly the connection of the dash cluster. Others just investigated the dash clusters, after taking it out they found the PCB to be moist, greasy, rusty or dirty. A quick fix was to clean the PCB with a PCB/Contact cleaner or Electrics solvent and then to seal it with a PCB lacquer. Some people used WD-40 but the down side to it is if the WD-40 gets onto the bulbs of the cluster, it can dim the unit or cause the bulbs to expire quicker.

The reason why the PCB became moist or rusty is due to the frosty weather. I noticed a lot of the people suffered this problem between November and February every year. It could be because of the cold air getting into the dash unit during the night time and when we warm up the engine the next morning it creates a bit of condensation and so affecting the PCB.

I would recommend trying all the cheap options first.


Was'nt this the fault that watchdog found with the pre 2003 facelift focus's (the clock set f***ed up royal) and called ford upon it only to leave the poor owners with a heafty bill and a bad temper? Touch wood mine is a 2004 facelift

Mike

#5 MadMalx

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:01 PM

The voltage is 14.3v, seems to be charging etc ok. Would this dash fault stop the car from starting?

#6 artscot79

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:16 PM

the dh fault can mess around with the electrics poor or no starting has been reported due to the cluster fault ford replace the clusters for 99 quid now on all cars before 2004 due to the watchdog programme you will need to take it to ford to find out if this is the issue

#7 mickyfree

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 02:33 PM

the dh fault can mess around with the electrics poor or no starting has been reported due to the cluster fault ford replace the clusters for 99 quid now on all cars before 2004 due to the watchdog programme you will need to take it to ford to find out if this is the issue


But then they might charge you between 40-90 for diagnostics first. So in the end you could be paying over a hundred. The watchdog did help but it is still a lot of money. Try doing it yourself if you are confident.

In reply to Madmalx, no it shouldn't stop the car from starting if it is just a cluster electronics fault. If you find that your car is starting bad including the dash cluster problem then it could be something else altogether.

#8 mickyfree

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:44 AM

Update

I finally had a chance to fix this fault with my own car.

Even though today is a crappy day to work with my car I still went ahead because I am free today. Taking out the panel that secures the cluster was a pain in the a*s! End up scratching the cluster window a little bit. Patience is the key, as I had to pull it left and then right and yank a bit out here and there. Once I have gotten that out and taken the screws off the cluster unit I had to tilt it down a little and swing it to the right so that I can reach the connector. Once again taking the connector off was a b*tch since I had little room and light to work with. In the end I managed to depress a button in the middle and flip the black bracket to the left which helps release the connection.

I used a very soft clean brush and cleared some specks of rust or burnt marks off a few soldered points on the PCB. Then I sprayed it with PCB cleaner and used a lint free cloth to gently wipe the whole thing. Honestly I didn't see much dirt or flux on the PCB but I thought since I went through so much effort to get the damn thing out I might as well wipe it clean.

It took me 5 mins to put the thing back in and started the engine. Voila! It worked. The tripmeter was reset but it doesn't bother me. But I did notice the speedo still wasn't working that well during low speed. So I warmed up the engine and turn on the hot fan to medium and drove for 5 mins. Then the speedo started to work properly again. I have a feeling its the moisture that is !Removed! up the PCB. But if this happens again and again I will definitely take it to Ford and get a new replacement as I don't think I can be bothered with doing the whole job again.

#9 artscot79

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 12:11 PM

Update

I finally had a chance to fix this fault with my own car.

Even though today is a crappy day to work with my car I still went ahead because I am free today. Taking out the panel that secures the cluster was a pain in the a*s! End up scratching the cluster window a little bit. Patience is the key, as I had to pull it left and then right and yank a bit out here and there. Once I have gotten that out and taken the screws off the cluster unit I had to tilt it down a little and swing it to the right so that I can reach the connector. Once again taking the connector off was a b*tch since I had little room and light to work with. In the end I managed to depress a button in the middle and flip the black bracket to the left which helps release the connection.

I used a very soft clean brush and cleared some specks of rust or burnt marks off a few soldered points on the PCB. Then I sprayed it with PCB cleaner and used a lint free cloth to gently wipe the whole thing. Honestly I didn't see much dirt or flux on the PCB but I thought since I went through so much effort to get the damn thing out I might as well wipe it clean.

It took me 5 mins to put the thing back in and started the engine. Voila! It worked. The tripmeter was reset but it doesn't bother me. But I did notice the speedo still wasn't working that well during low speed. So I warmed up the engine and turn on the hot fan to medium and drove for 5 mins. Then the speedo started to work properly again. I have a feeling its the moisture that is !Removed! up the PCB. But if this happens again and again I will definitely take it to Ford and get a new replacement as I don't think I can be bothered with doing the whole job again.

take the car in its true they need a fault cade to give the cluster at the cheaper price but insist thats since the problem is well known and was even on watchdog that they should do the diagnostics for free or at a heavily reduced price basically make a fuss if its like my local they have a sales room right next to the parts dept and dont like customers being scared off

#10 mickyfree

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 01:40 PM

take the car in its true they need a fault cade to give the cluster at the cheaper price but insist thats since the problem is well known and was even on watchdog that they should do the diagnostics for free or at a heavily reduced price basically make a fuss if its like my local they have a sales room right next to the parts dept and dont like customers being scared off



Yeah that's what I plan to do if it happens again. Definitely kick up a big fuss.

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