2005 Ford Freestar speedometer

  • 1 POST
  • 3.9L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 200,000 MILES

Up until a couple of weeks ago the speedo worked fine, then one day it goes blank. I got a second hand one and inserted it and it was good except for the miles. So I set it in place on Friday started the van to check some other things and all was good so far except for the miles. Monday am time to go to work and the speedo is blank again and so is my temp readout display now. Is it possible I have a PCM going bad? Or some other electrical issue? Or should I just buy me an old 70 truck and get back to the basics?

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have the same problem?
Monday, June 22nd, 2015 AT 1:37 PM

1 Reply

  • 29,775 POSTS

My vote is for the '70 model. I drive an '88 Grand Caravan because it has all the toys like power windows, locks, seat, and mirrors, and none of that stuff needs an unnecessary, unreliable, complicated, and expensive computer to work. I'm pretty sure the car designers are all insane and they all think we want this high technology that has to live in an environment that is destructive to electronics.

In this case, Ford was one of the first to go nuts with their instrument clusters. It is the most "intelligent", (complicated) computer on the vehicle. In the past we had a horn. A simple switch on the steering wheel turned on a relay that sent current to the horn, ... And the horn honked. Today we have a horn. The horn button sends a specific voltage to the instrument cluster which interprets that as a "horn request". The cluster sends a digital signal out on the data buss that is received by the "FEM", (Front Electronic Module), which interprets that, turns on the horn relay, and the horn honks. Two computers are needed to blow the horn, and this is considered "common sense". Unfortunately all new vehicles are like this and it's why I will never buy another new car. Every week I get called out to my buddy's body shop to help him figure out why ridiculously-complicated systems don't work or have to be programmed.

I'm sorry that the best answer I have is to visit the dealer to have this properly diagnosed. On some models they've been known to develop loose connector pins that can be resoldered. Repair shops won't repair anything that way because they can't guarantee the quality of the repair, but if they determine a replacement cluster is needed, there's no harm in checking for that. Yourself.

You might also just happen to mention to the salesmen that you won't buy another vehicle with this unnecessary technology. They're really pushing it and they're trying to convince everyone that this is what we need and want. Eventually the word will get back to the manufacturer that some of us want something simpler and more reliable.

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Monday, June 22nd, 2015 AT 11:23 PM

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