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Problem With Instrument Cluster


82hawkinsalan
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Hi all

Have been having problems with my instrument cluster. It's keeps playing up by all lighting up, dials go dead and a load of dashes come up in mileage bit whilst driving this is. Now I have found that if I gently tap the top of the dashboard it all comes back to life again, although in limp home mode. Now I'm wondering whether it is a loose connection at the back of the cluster or the cluster itself that is shot?? Now according to what I've been reading the immobiliser is programmed into the cluster, therefore if I do get another secondhand one it won't work without being re-programmed? Is that right?? What I have been doing is when it does it, I can turn engine off while rolling, start on key again and it is fine and not in limp mode, until it does it again, which could be 5 secs or 3 days!

Have had an OBD reader on it which comes up with ' Hi Speed Can Bus ' if I remember correctly, and the error cleared.

Anybody able to shed any further light?

Many thanks

Alan

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Hi all again

Right, I have been doing some digging, and I have found other people having the same problems. I have ascertained that the D900 code is a communication error between my dash and the car. I have also ascertained what E197 and E200 mean. I have also ascertained that the flashing red light between the fuel and temp gauges is the immobilser. Now, when I am driving down the road, my dash completely lights up, yet if I tap the top of it is all comes back to life again, except it's in limp home mode. sometimes I will tap it and it all comes back but the red light between temp and fuel guage is flashing like crazy! Also sometimes when you go to start it won't because the dash is lit up yet again if you turn key off, tap top of dash and go to start again it will. How do I go about getting this fixed? Is it the instrument cluster itself? I'm a bit lost now!

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Hello Alan, I am not the best person to assist you in this, however two things that might help you are:

1. Your car (if it is in fact from 2005) is a MK2, not a MK3. This might assist you in finding more info online.

2. Have you tried removing the cluster? From what you're saying it seems as if it resets while you drive. This could be a loose connection or cable (shouldn't happen if nobody has tampered with it). I would suggest to remove it and replace it. Then drive around and see if that changes anything.

If none of the above help, i would buy a replacement cluster with less miles so i can reprogram it. But that's just me :)

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The Focus MK2 instrument cluster has SMD LED lights wich are soldered onto the circuit board. If you want to change the LED's you have to desolder them and solder new SMD LED's onto the circuit board.

In the past I changed the green SMD LED's of my MK2 instrument cluster for red/white ones. As far as I remember there are 22 LED's for the interior light of the instrument cluster.

It is also possible to change the dial plate to another version. You can use the Lockwood dial plates which as far as I know are available for the Focus MK2 instrument cluster in black and white. Some companies can produce custom dial plates in every color and design you like but this can be pretty expensive.

The Focus MK2 and MK2.5 instrument clusters become defective relatively often. My experience is that in most cases the problems are caused by bad soldering connections of the circuit board. I repaired quite a lot of these instrument clusters. Many times the problem can be solved by resoldering the connections of the connector to the circuit board.

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So if the instrument cluster is defective, how easy is it to get to changed for another secondhand one bearing in mind you have to re-programme the immobilser which is within the cluster i am led to believe? It's just when it comes to electronics and re-soldering it's something I was hopeless at school doing well!

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The PATS (immobilizer) is integrated in both the instrument cluster and the PCM. When another instrument cluster is fitted there are 3 things that need to be reprogrammed:

1. Settings of the instrument cluster. All settings must match with the options of the car otherwise an error can occur.

2. The ignition keys must be programmed to the instrument cluster.

3. The instrument cluster must be paired to the PCM.

Programming can be done with the Ford IDS diagnostic system or any other Ford specific diagnostic system which has the ability to program the Ford PATS system.

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It sounds to me you have nothing to lose so give it a try. If resoldering does not solve your problem you can always buy another instrument cluster and let it be programmed to your car.

When someone comes to me with a defective MK2/MK2.5 instrument cluster the first thing I do is resoldering the connector to the circuit board. Most times this solves the problem.

To do this you have to take the instrument cluster apart until the circuit board can be taken out. When the circuit board is taken out of the plastic body you can see the soldering connections of the big connector.

Bad soldering connections have little cracks in it but most times this is hardly noticeable and can only be seen under a microscope. The easiest way to solve bad soldering connections is to resolder all of the soldering connections of the big connector. To do this use a soldering iron with a small pointy tip and apply heat to each off the soldering connections until the solder on the circuit board melts. Most times there is no need to add extra solder.

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The problem is caused mostly by the poor solder used by Ford in the early units , which causes the solder joints to fracture or oxidise , resoldering as above should solve your problem.

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Not only the MK2 instrument clusters do have this problem. The MK2.5 instrument clusters have this problem as well.

Until now I repaired at least 5 MK2.5 instrument clusters by resoldering the connector. Last year when I bought my own 2010 MK2.5 instrument cluster it was fully functional but generated DTC codes which caused the car to go into limp mode. I discovered these codes were caused by a bad connection of a positive wire. Because the instrument cluster has 3 positive wires it will still be functioning. After resoldering the connector all problems were gone.

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I've 3 Ford Focus cars,


My 1.4ltr Zetec 2004 works no probs


However 1.8ltr T-reg cluster can cut out, turning the corner/slowing down the engine would cut out. Now its working fine after a little cleaning behind the dashboard and cluster.

Now the 2005 cluster is playing up, I stripped the cluster down and cleaned it with lub oil, and the digital display came back after showing just lines -------- but the Pats/Immobiliser is stopping me turning the engine over.

I checked the Red Flashes, to get the code 1:6,(faulty link between pats and eec v module check fd2000)

I tried the 4 key turns in 3 secs with the unlock doors on key, and still nothing changed. It hasn't reset/config/recognised the key code. Its the original key. Opens the doors electronically as well as using the key to physically open and lock.

I used my digital fuse checker, and the 2 fuses 46 & 67, both are working

Now I am at a loss, any idea's as I cant get the car to drive.
Thanks for anything

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The procedure to turn the key 4 times within 3 seconds is only needed to reprogram the remote control of the central locking system. This does not have any effect on the PATS system.

The code which is displayed by the flashing PATS LED (1:6) Basically means there is no connection between the instrument cluster and the PCM. In this case it is most likely caused by a defective instrument cluster.

Im my opinion the best way to start is to use a diagnostic interface to determine which codes are stored into the instrument cluster and the PCM. This can give you much more information than the flashing PATS LED. Write down all the stored DTC codes and erase them (there may be old codes storde which have nothing to do with the problem). Now read the DTC code again. The DTC codes which come back immediately are active and will most likely have something to do with the problem.

Possibly resoldering of the connector on the circuit bourd solves your problem. At least it does not hurt to try it. When resoldering has no effect you can take the instrument to a specialist who can check/repair it. Another possibility is to buy a new or used instrument cluster and reprogram it for your car.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 years later...

I have been told by the garage that my car has this same fault, they put there diagnostic PC onto it and it came up with a load of communication faults. These showed up as intermittent messages "Engine systems fault    Reduced acceleration" ( all warning lights on then cleared if the engine was switched off then on again) and once or twice the car only started on the second turn of the key etc etc.

Apparently the PCB behind the instrument cluster needs removing and sending off to some company in Derby to be repaired. It`ll cost about £200 and I`ll be without the car for 5 days or so. Needless to say it`s incredibly inconvenient...... I can only compare the problems I`ve had with my 2006 Focus with the almost total lack of problems - including no rust whatsoever -  we`ve had (over the same 6 year period) with my wife`s 2008 Toyota Yaris. Over those 6 years my Focus has had three or four coil packs, a thermostat housing, a leaking windscreen, two or three lots of rust needing repair etc etc. TBH I`m feeling a bit ****ed of and can`t see myself buying another Ford. If anyone from Ford reads this they should think about that.

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1 hour ago, Justin Smith said:

I have been told by the garage that my car has this same fault, they put there diagnostic PC onto it and it came up with a load of communication faults. These showed up as intermittent messages "Engine systems fault    Reduced acceleration" ( all warning lights on then cleared if the engine was switched off then on again) and once or twice the car only started on the second turn of the key etc etc.

Apparently the PCB behind the instrument cluster needs removing and sending off to some company in Derby to be repaired. It`ll cost about £200 and I`ll be without the car for 5 days or so. Needless to say it`s incredibly inconvenient...... I can only compare the problems I`ve had with my 2006 Focus with the almost total lack of problems - including no rust whatsoever -  we`ve had (over the same 6 year period) with my wife`s 2008 Toyota Yaris. Over those 6 years my Focus has had three or four coil packs, a thermostat housing, a leaking windscreen, two or three lots of rust needing repair etc etc. TBH I`m feeling a bit ****ed of and can`t see myself buying another Ford. If anyone from Ford reads this they should think about that.

don't pay £200 i got mine fixed for £5 pull the clocks out take them apart a go to a tv repair shop ask them to solder the pins on the back of the plug 10 minutes job done 

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I think that`s really useful (apart from the fact it doesn`t show you how to take out the instrument binnacle ! ), but, ironically, speaking as an ex TV engineer I`m dubious that it`ll really be that easy..... I don`t mend stuff any more but recently we had a problem with the wife`s Techwood PVR, stripping it down revealed a load of caps with high ESR. I thought great, result ! I tagged on a load of replacement caps in parallel (they were SMDs, awkward to work on and I only had sub min spares), but the fault was exactly the same..... Basically my confidence has gone ! I`m also slightly concerned if the repair company will be willing to try and repair a unit which has been previously worked on (if my repair is unsuccessful) ?

I may change my mind if it means I don`t have to be without the car for a week or so.....

On a wider point, how come the wife`s Yaris hasn`t had any of these problems ? Basically I want a car which is more reliable. I have always bought Fords, because traditionally they were easier to work on and parts were cheaper than other makes, but I don`t think either applies anymore.

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The Japanese have always built a better more reliable car, I've had quite a few jap cars and none required any repairs.  Fords are generally better than they used to be. 

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44 minutes ago, Justin Smith said:

I think that`s really useful (apart from the fact it doesn`t show you how to take out the instrument binnacle ! ), but, ironically, speaking as an ex TV engineer I`m dubious that it`ll really be that easy..... I don`t mend stuff any more but recently we had a problem with the wife`s Techwood PVR, stripping it down revealed a load of caps with high ESR. I thought great, result ! I tagged on a load of replacement caps in parallel (they were SMDs, awkward to work on and I only had sub min spares), but the fault was exactly the same..... Basically my confidence has gone ! I`m also slightly concerned if the repair company will be willing to try and repair a unit which has been previously worked on (if my repair is unsuccessful) ?

I may change my mind if it means I don`t have to be without the car for a week or so.....

On a wider point, how come the wife`s Yaris hasn`t had any of these problems ? Basically I want a car which is more reliable. I have always bought Fords, because traditionally they were easier to work on and parts were cheaper than other makes, but I don`t think either applies anymore.

You pull the black cover on the bottom of the clocks and there is 2 tarox bits to remove then you pull them out ?

Un clip the plug it is very simple even a TV engineer can do it 

You will need to do that if you send them away

I had my clock's fixed week or so ago what is there to dubious about ?

If you want to spend £200 go right ahead my friend

I find your comment a little ungrateful if I'm honest

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There is a very good chance that if you resolder the pins that the plug goes on to then it will fix it. We know you can solder stuff (I can imagine that people who had never soldered before would make potentially make a right mess of it. And you could do it all it maybe 1-2 hours.

i know there is loads of electronics failing due to dodgy capacitors. I even had to resolder new capacitors into my triton elec shower circuit board. But on these focus clusters, it is usually not needing any components, just resolder it the cracked solder on the plug socket pins. Presumably this is partly down to them not being allowed to use solder with lead in as it was banned. But unleaded solder is more brittle.

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8 hours ago, Dave sport tdci said:

You pull the black cover on the bottom of the clocks and there is 2 tarox bits to remove then you pull them out ?

Un clip the plug it is very simple even a TV engineer can do it 

You will need to do that if you send them away

I had my clock's fixed week or so ago what is there to dubious about ?

If you want to spend £200 go right ahead my friend

I find your comment a little ungrateful if I'm honest

Breakdown in communication, sorry Dave, I said that post is really useful and "loved it".

I think I am going to try and repair the PCB, I`ll get back on later with the result.

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I had the clocks out earlier today. I don`t know for a fact the fault has been repaired (I`d say it probably has) but the clocks still work ! The job was (mainly) easier than expected.

Additional points to stuff covered in Dave`s useful linked video :

Getting the instrument panel out is very easy, drop the steering wheel and pull it out as far as poss. The cover (over the top of the steering column) then literally, and easily, just pulls out.

Using a pair of teaspoons to ease off the instrument`s pointers is handy, it`s about 20 seconds into this video.

I just resoldered the socket connectors, some of whose joints did look a bit dry / cracked, and whilst I was at it the voltage regulator, the latter looks like a large 4 leg transistor soldered flat to the PCB. Resoldering voltage regulators ? As an ex TV engineer old habits die hard.....

The biggest problem I had was getting the dials calibrated, i.e.  the pointers put back in the right positions on the shafts, in fact I had to take them off and put them on again a few times before they seemed correct. In fact I didn`t even bother disconnecting the battery whilst doing this, it didn`t seem to cause a problem. Experimentation, and watching the various videos closely, seemed to indicate that you had to wind the shafts anti-clockwise till they clicked, then put the pointers on aiming at a point a few mm below the bottom most gradation of each dial. I had actually marked that point in pencil on each dial before dismantling.

Be careful not to push the pointers too far down on the shafts or they seemed to catch on the surround, in the end I found gently tapping them down with the aforementioned teaspoon ( ! ), whilst watching from the side that ether was still a mm or two clearance, seemed to work the best.

 

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