If I buy an instrument cluster for a 2004 Impala online, will it work?

Tiny
SPINOWSKI
  • 2004 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 180,000 MILES

Cluster is wacko

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 5:32 PM

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Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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How do you know its a bad cluster?What are the symptoms?A bad body control module can make a cluster look like its bad.

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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"Wacko" doesn't mean much, but if you're planning on replacing any computer module on an '02 or newer GM product, be prepared for the expense of having the dealer program it to your car. They started that nonsense to cost you money around 2002 on some models and with some computers.

Since all manufacturers have turned instrument clusters into complicated computers, problems have been very common. If you're buying a used one from a private party, you'll likely be buying one that will develop similar problems to what you already have. It's safer, but more expensive, to buy one through the dealer and get a warranty with it.

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
SPINOWSKI
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Sorry for the lack of detail. Speedometer, tach, temp gauge, and fuel gauge do not work. Air bag light and ABS light intermittently flash on and off.

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 6:31 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Start with saturntech9's suggestion. Then, if the cluster is cheap enough, you might try it. If the symptoms are exactly the same, head for the Body Computer, and you will have a spare cluster to try next time.

Satruntech9 may be able to tell you if the anti-theft system comes into play and whether the 30-minute relearn procedure will work.

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 8:15 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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I would first check for codes in the computer if there are any post the exact code numbers not code descriptions. Thats where need to start problem is we need to see if there are any body control module codes as well as other codes. All the basic code readers wont read the body codes.

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Thursday, June 28th, 2012 AT 8:35 PM
Tiny
MIKEDEROUIN88
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You could also have a shop try to sweep your guages to pin point the problem

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Friday, June 29th, 2012 AT 11:10 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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All that will show is they don't work properly. We know that already.

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Friday, June 29th, 2012 AT 7:07 PM
Tiny
CORYHUSKINS
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Stepper motors control the guages, The manufacturer of these motors supplied GM with 10's of thousands of the bad motors. These motors were used in all makes and models of GM cars and trucks. If all the guages progressively failed I believe this is your problem. I have a 2004 chevy impala ss and had the same problem, in the beginning I could "rock the key" from acc to off and reset the speedo, I checked with the chevy dealership and the new cluster was too expensive to replace. I spoke to an engineer (my Uncle) at delfi electronics and he clued me in about the problem with the stepper motors. I found them on the internet for $6.00 a piece. Removed the insturment cluster from the car, removed the motors by de-soldering to pins from the circuit board. And soldered the new ones in. (Use a fork to remove the indicator arms from the motors) In total I had about 4 hours removing, replacing the motors, and reinstalling the cluster. I also installed new led lights in the cluster while I had the cluster out. 7 motors and lights new soldering gun $56.00 total to fit it.

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Friday, September 7th, 2012 AT 1:53 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Thanks for the information coryhuskins. The clue here, as you pointed out, is the gauges failed at different times.

Now ask your uncle why they are so selfish as to not sell us car radio service manuals and parts since 1994. Could it be they want to lock up the huge radio repair industry for their two grossly over-priced authorized repair centers?

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Friday, September 7th, 2012 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
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You guys are good lol I never heard anything about each inop gauge stop working at different times?They just said they were inop and the air bag and abs light flash on sometimes. So where do the abs and air bag lights tie in with bad motors?

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Friday, September 7th, 2012 AT 7:11 PM
Tiny
CORYHUSKINS
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Caradiodoc, Delco electronics merged with Delfi about this time. You are free to have you're own opinion but the simple truth is economics. An increasingly ageing workforce new union contracts increases burden on the corporation. Couple this with a flood of cheap foreign electronics forced Delfi to cut waste wherever they could. With technology doubling in computing power about every 18 months research & development was more important than service manuals. Didn't realize this was an exclusive message board, just mirely suggesting what worked in my situation.
Saturtech9, my car's ABS light also flickered prior to the replacement of the motors. Don't really know why it stopped after the installation of the new motors. My guess, the motors are simply reastats, when they malfunction they allow a stray voltage to energize pathes of circuit board were not supposed to be. This may also explain why other led's burnt out.

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Saturday, September 8th, 2012 AT 5:50 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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My main point is it doesn't sound like they falies progressively sounds like they all failed at once.

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Saturday, September 8th, 2012 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Just expressing an opinion that I keep in mind when buying new cars. All companies hurt from time to time but I can buy service manuals for tvs, vcrs, microwave ovens, and home stereos. I guess it depends on how much a company wants to do what's in the best interest of their customers vs. What makes them the most profit after the sale. Thank you for the explanation, but the fact is they still produce the radio service manuals, (I've seen them), I just can't buy them.

Hi saturntech9. Sounds like the percentage of these bad stepper motors wasn't real big. "Tens of thousands" out of millions of cars built isn't that bad. I CAN see where one could short and affect other things on the same circuits like warning lights and other functions. Certainly can't say from experience but I haven't heard any other explanation that makes more sense. We read about the same symptoms over and over on this site from lots of people so I suspect a random component failure or bad solder connections isn't the answer.

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Saturday, September 8th, 2012 AT 6:19 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
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Or a body control module failure I have seen them cause fuel gauge temp gauge etc to stop working suddenly. The more options the higher the failure rate because more of a demand is put on the small compact computer casuing more heat. Plus the heat inside the car on a hot summer day.

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Saturday, September 8th, 2012 AT 6:25 AM
Tiny
609ALBINO
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I also have a impala 2004. First my gas gauge started going then my temp. And also my 4ways go out sometimes..I have top mash it for it to work..I also did the key thing back and forth to get my gas Guage back down.. Ugh it's crazy confusing

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Monday, May 4th, 2015 AT 2:28 PM

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