Gauge Cluster Advise!

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by Tskerik, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Tskerik

    Tskerik New Member

    Hey everybody. I posted this thread earlier in the Chevy trucks section but then realized this was probably where I should post. Anyhow, I am new to this forum and looking to get some help with my 2004 Chevy Z71. At the end of summer I hopped in my truck[​IMG] to find the message center below the gear selection indicator was half ways on with little boxes (like appear around the Driver 1 or Driver 2) that were distorted. This was with the ignition off. I proceeded to crank the truck but the gauges never came on. The only thing that worked were the back lights, the turn signals, and the check engine light remained on (go figure). As never having this problem before, the first thing I did was check the fuses but that did nothing. Well after running out of simple fixes I left it alone and figured I would just have to deal with it at another time. I drove it for about a week with no gauges and one day after work it decided to come back on. Drove home and one other place that evening with everything working perfectly. The next morning nothing again. It sometimes will work for a couple of weeks straight with no issues then will not work for a couple of weeks as it is now. I know it also seems to work the the air is drier and seems to mess up after a rain or a damp morning which may just be just be a chance happening. I have not had much time to mess with it because of school and work but now that school is done I have time and need to try to figure it out. This is what I have done: Checked fuses, checked the 2 grounds below the driver door (not sure which one is for what or if there are any additional grounds). I have also pulled the cluster out and put a test light on the wiring connector that goes into the instrument. When I did this the only wires that were getting power were the blinkers, back lights and the check engine light (which are the only things that work all the time). Although I do not have a wiring diagram I assume these were the wires that were hot because the light blinked on and off for the blinker and the light on the test light dimmed as I dimmed the the lights. I am not sure if a test light should work even if the gauges were working though. I have taken it to one mechanic who seemed very knowledgeable but he seemed to think it was in the instrument cluster but I am not so convinced since it does not seem to be getting power to the cluster. He also said when he hooked the computer to it the the gauge cluster was not receiving a signal (which I thought would mean that the problem is not in the cluster). I cannot afford to take it to the Chevrolet dealer right now so I am just wondering if anybody has any idea on what the problem could be?? One additional piece of information is that I know the cluster has been rebuilt on December of 2007 (I assume for the stepper motors) as it has a re-manufacture sticker on the back. I am sorry for such a wordy post just trying to put all the information in. I am not a mechanic but do have some general knowledge. I would like to know what is the best way to test the wires going to the cluster. Thanks in advance for any advice
  2. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    That's a bit hard to read without any linebreaks in it.
  3. barefoot greg

    barefoot greg Rockstar 100 Posts

    I have the same truck, 04 half-ton Z71, at the time it was the late fall of 2009 and my speedometer started actin up, the truck had 120K on the ticker.
    Same thing you described where it would work some times and sometimes it wouldn't. Drove it like that for a couple weeks til i had some dickweed cop follow me tailgatin for close to 5 miles. I was on my way to the shop to have it repaired n just as i flicked on my signal light and pulled into the shop parkin lot he pulls up behind me and puts on his red n blues. Gives me a fixit ticket for the speedometer and waits there til i walk into the shop to leave. Gotta Love NY!

    Anyway back to the issue, the guy at the shop told me that his comp. wasnt able to communicate with my guage cluster or whatever and that it needed rebuilding so He had it shipped out and rebuilt. That fixed the problem for me but lately(last 2-3 months I've noticed that my hi-beam indicator lite and the light that flashes when you lock the doors stay on at a dim glow whether the truck is driving or parked, day or nite, on or off, keys in or out. its got me a little boggled but I hope this info was helpful.
  4. Tskerik

    Tskerik New Member

    Thanks for the reply. Yes that did help. I was not really sure what the computer not being able to communicate with the gauges meant. I figured it meant that the problem was before the cluster but do not have much knowledge on these trucks. Really miss my old 82 stepside in times like these! lol

    I think I'm just gonna suck it up and buy a reman. cluster from o'reilly. and hope for the best.
  5. barefoot greg

    barefoot greg Rockstar 100 Posts

    "Really miss my old 82 stepside in times like these!" Tell me about it, my 78 K10 i use to have ran just fine without all that computer BS lol

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