Instrument Panel broken Any ideas?

Tiny
PSHERRILL
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • 43,000 MILES
The Instrument Panel is now broken. What might cause such a failure. I have GMPP, but the dealer says this is not covered and the part is not available. Any help here?
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 11:12 AM

21 Replies

Tiny
ASEMASTER6371
  • EXPERT
You will have to look in a junkyard for the part. Did you try e bay?

Roy
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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 AT 11:13 AM
Tiny
DANSCUDDER
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • V8
  • RWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 40,500 MILES
All of my dash light have gone blank. The normal test lights come on at start up but that is it. None of the lights in the dash work. Speedometer, flashers, odometer, AC, mileage none of it comes on. I do here the flashers flashing and the ac does come on but you can't tell what the settings are.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:29 AM (Merged)
Tiny
FREEMBA
  • EXPERT
Try wiggling the dash light dimmer switch. If the lights come on then, you know that the switch is going bad. You can find a replacement switch online for a reasonable price.

Let me know what happens.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:29 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DLYNCH4008
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • 120,000 MILES
This is a church friends car, so I do not know all the specific details, but here is what I know. Car sat for a long time and battery drained completely flat. When she got started again, the digital dash has no display. All of the warning lamps pass the self test when the ignition is turned on, but there is no speed, HVAC, or information center data displayed. The dash fuse 10A under the hood is good. I checked all of the fuses under hood on left wheel well with DVOM and all are working as they should.
Is there some reset sequence I can do, with the panel buttons, to bring the dash back to life? Is there a specific fuse I should look for in the trunk? I do not recall the owners manual indicating a panel in the trunk?
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:29 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
There are three fuses that run the system and they are all in the trunk fuse center. Here is a guide and some wiring and fuse panel diagrams to help you test the fuses and get it working again.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

and

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-use-a-test-light-circuit-tester

If everything checks out try unplugging the cluster and plug it back in this will clean the connections at the cluster.

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:29 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BACK2CHARRIS
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CADILLAC DEVILLE
Electrical problem
1998 Cadillac Deville 92000 miles

We had a bad instrument panal. All black, you could not see the gas gauge, mph, nothing. We got one from a salvage yard, the exact one. Put it in and it lights up perfectly, but the car will not start. Does it need programed or something to the new panal? Is it something we can do or is it something only Cadillac can do? Could really use help with the instructions. Thanks, Carol
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
I'm Sure Buzz will chime in here, but on GM trucks, we turn the key on for 10 minutes then off, remove key and then it should go. This initializes the newer stuff.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CADILLAC187007
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CADILLAC DEVILLE
Electrical problem
1998 Cadillac Deville V8 Front Wheel Drive Automatic

My digital dash suddenly stopped showing me how fast I travel at, the ac and fuel readings are working fine. Sometimes it'll turn back on, but like 10 seconds later it'll go black. Checked fuses, they are all fine. My question is, do I need to replace the entire console? Also, is a console for this vehicle expensive, and does it have to be programmed?
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
GOLFERCARGUY
  • MEMBER
Houston, you have a problem! I had same thing on my 97, the message ceanter went bezerk, couldent read milage on odometer, but trip worked fine, then all of a sudden everything went black I found that the display module had went bad I think it shorted out, problem with these is like mine it was 97 only part would work in your case it would be 98, dealer wanted nearly $1000.00 to repair it I went to a self service salvage yard and finally found one out of 97 and tried it but it would light up like it should, but vehicle would not start. What I di was take the unit apart (being very careful) delicate wires and hook ups on it, and traded the displays only leaving my back part where all the vehicle info is stored and put it in and it worked! It's a miserable job as you need to take the top of the dash pad out and thats a job in itself big thing is is getting those darn a/c regisers out with out breaking tabs, (you need to remove those to get at screws holding dash pad on I used a small knife from the kitchen (which my wife knows nothing about by the way) if she did i'd probably be riding in a big caddy funeral coach! It can be done but its a touchy job big thing is is finding a cluster for right year car another thing you can do is remove the cluster and send it to a place I know of in virginia and they will rebuild it for around $375.00 and it takes a week or 10 days to get it back so be prepared fopr a day of work if you tackle it yourself!
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
GOLFERCARGUY
  • MEMBER
I don't know if phone numbers are allowed on this forum but if it is i'll give you mine and you can call me if you wish and I can give you some pointers ok? Mike ps I'll check and see if its allowed, and ill give it to you some how ok?
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JUNKIE2100
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 CADILLAC DEVILLE
Occasionally the digital dash in this 95 deville will go black and the engine will begin to run horribly. Judging by those signs I would have to guess it is one of the computers either the ecm or the bcm but I would like a second opinion before I go and spend hundreds of dollars on parts I dont need. I will update with trouble codes when I can get them but I dont have the car here now so it will be a couple days and I really need to get it working as soon as possible
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JUNKIE2100
  • MEMBER
Also it has the 4.9 pre northstar engine in it, that may or may not tell you something seeing as it would have different controllers and sensors
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
If both of these things happen at the same time, it's very doubtful a computer is at fault. I'd really recommend having someone diagnose the problem before spending that much money on a guess that is likely to be wrong.

One thing that both of these COULD have in common is low system voltage. When the problem occurs, measure the battery voltage with the engine running. It must be between 13.75 and 14.75 volts. If it is low, suspect the generator.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JUNKIE2100
  • MEMBER
Sounds like a solid plan. Ill have to look into that. I just dont know how deep this rabit hole goes, the one thing ive learned in my years working on a caddy is that they control EVERYTHING electronically so gremlins have way too many places to hide
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JUNKIE2100
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the input, I been meaning to get a new cs144 for my other car anyway so ill probably try replacing it and see what happens
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JUNKIE2100
  • MEMBER
I did forget to mention one thing though, I was told the problem started when some bad device was plugged into the cigarette lighter, could that still be the alternator? And if so would replacing the voltage regulator in it probably fix the voltage issue or do I need a whole new alternator if that is the issue?
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There is a very common problem that only applies to these GM generators. Due to their design, they develop very high voltage spikes. Those spikes often destroy the built-in voltage regulator or one of the diodes. It is very rare to find an intermittent diode but that is possible for the voltage regulator. You also can have nothing more than worn brushes but they typically last longer than the other parts that fail.

Diodes usually short, then burn open. When you lose one of the six of them, you lose exactly two thirds of the generator's output capacity. That means you'll get about 30 amps from the common 90 amp unit under a load test. 30 - 35 amps is enough to run the car under most conditions but not all. The electric fuel pump draws 8 - 10 amps, the heater fan motor can draw another 10, then you have daytime head lights with another 8 - 10, and there's nothing left over to recharge the battery. This can go undiagnosed for a long time if the battery doesn't run down while driving.

Also, all AC generators develop three-phase output which means one of them is always producing near the maximum voltage. As one phase is just nearing its highest voltage another one has just left its highest voltage, and in between the output voltage drops just a little. That variation is called "ripple". Most professional load testers display ripple, not as a number, but as a bar graph. All you care is that ripple is low. When one diode fails, output voltage drops real low when its time for that phase to produce its output. That will cause ripple to be very high. The voltage regulator may respond to that momentary drop in voltage by trying to increase generator output. That can actually cause system voltage to go up a little, but the proof is the maximum output current that can be obtained is way too low. I know I didn't explain that real well. If you care to know more about ripple, this page might help:

http://randysrepairshop.net/basics-of-batteries.html

Due to the design of these generators, they produce a lot of voltage spikes from switching the field current on and off hundreds of times per second. That always happens when current flow is forced to stop suddenly through a coil of wire. Developing those spikes is the goal in an ignition coil but not in a generator. Chrysler, Ford, and the '86 and older GM systems work the same way but they don't have this problem. I don't know why but it only affects GM cars with this "new" design that started with the '87 model year. It has been very common to go through four to six generators in the life of the vehicle but to prevent those repeat failures, the fix is to replace the perfectly good battery at the same time. Part of the battery's job is to dampen and absorb those voltage spikes. As they age, they lose their ability to do that. Your old battery will still crank the engine just fine; in fact it will work in an '86 or older car. It can still deliver the needed current but it can't deliver it as long as a new battery will. That's the secondary characteristic. The main problem is that inability to absorb the voltage spikes.

So, . . . if you do find the generator is causing the problem, replace the battery too unless it's less than about two years old.

The other issue with these voltage spikes is they cause current spikes in the wire going back to the battery. When current flows through a wire, it sets up a magnetic field around it and that will "induce" a similar voltage spike in other wires running alongside it. It's when one of those wires is for a sensor that problems occur. To some computers, a change in voltage from a sensor of a few hundredths of a volt is significant, and the computer will react in some way to that. The way a lot of people find that is to unplug the small connector on the side of the generator while the running problem is occurring. That will turn the generator off and stop the production of those voltage spikes. The proof is the engine will run better, but only if the battery is fully charged.

Keep in mind I'm only suspecting the generator because it is such a common problem and the symptoms you described could be the result. The proof is in the load test results while the problem is occurring. The test won't identify the problem if it's intermittent and not acting up during that test.

As far as plugging something into the lighter socket, I doubt that caused a problem, especially an intermittent one. There are some plug designs that will short out inside the socket if they are oriented just right but that blows a fuse. That would cause a permanent problem, not an intermittent one. Also, all these computers on today's cars DO fail too often but they do that on their own. You have to really try to cause damage on purpose. If simply plugging something into the lighter, (which is what it was designed for), really did cause a problem, we would have heard of it many times before now.
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JUNKIE2100
  • MEMBER
That works, thank you. I will probably test it with and without the issue if I can get it to do both, and I gotta rebuild one cs144 and get a new one kuz its goin out on me so ill do a little flip flopping and see what happens
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JUNKIE2100
  • MEMBER
And you actually explained it quite well btw, im a computer tech and I have rebuilt quite a few alternators and starters myself so I get exactly what you are saying and it would make sense
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Monday, June 29th, 2020 AT 11:30 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SHEVAN01
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 CADILLAC DEVILLE
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 83,000 MILES
The instrument cluster is bad on my car. I went to the junk yard and got a new one. However now the car will not start. It keeps telling me to wait 3 minutes and try again.
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Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 AT 2:53 PM (Merged)

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