2004 Chevy Venture Gauges Go Berserk

Tiny
WEMILLER
  • 2004 CHEVROLET VENTURE

Electrical problem
2004 Chevy Venture 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 60000 miles

When driving the gauges suddenly do wacky things. Like the speedometer goes to 110. Or sticks at 40 or 90 and won't move. Sometimes the gas guage will go almost completely around. The speedometer has tried it but it hits the bottom of the instrument panel.

Mechanics act like you are nuts when you call them to have it looked at.

Any help would be appreciated. I see another person asked a similar question today also.

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 AT 9:27 PM

16 Replies

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
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A couple of things come to mind, first check this bulletin and see if it pertains. It also states that you would have lights coming on:

#PI01574A: Intermittent Erratic IPC Sweep With Possible ABS Or SIR Lamp On - keywords cluster fluctuation gauge head instrument IP light MIL panel - (Feb 20, 2009)

Subject: Intermittent Erratic IPC Sweep With Possible ABS or SIR Lamp On

Models: 2000-2004 Chevrolet Venture

2000-2004 Pontiac Montana

2000-2004 Oldsmobile Silhouette

This PI was superseded to provide a clear diagnostic procedure. Please discard PI01574.

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern:
Some customers may comment that intermittently, the IPC gauges sweep erratically (not as in WOW test) and the charge, MIL, ABS & SIR indicators illuminate on the IPC. Typically no DTC's are set. This condition occurs briefly and there is no pattern as to when (hot, cold, fast, slow). This may be a result of a loose connection to the PK3/Theft Module or the PK3/Theft Module itself.

Recommendation/Instructions:
To correct this condition verify that the PCM/PASSKEY/CLUSTER fuse and the PASS-KEY fuse for the PK3/Theft Module are fully seated to the IP Electrical Center. Verify the integrity of the wire crimps and terminal contact for these fuse(s). Inspect the PK3/Theft Module connector. Verify there is adequate pin drag and crimp to the wires in this connector. If there is no trouble found, replace the PK3/Theft Module at steering column as needed. Retest vehicle.

Another concern is maybe the cluster itself is acting up. What happens when the needles stick, when do they resume operating? A simple test is performed to condemn the cluster, a gauge sweep test. It is performed with the use of a scan tool, though. As far as I know, an aftermarket scan tool is not capable. I may be wrong.

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 AT 10:33 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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No lights come on. And this is not momentary. This has been hours like this. It usually is the speedometer, but occasionally the gas gauge also. Scenario: driving 15 minutes, speed stays where it is at, ie 65mph. When you stop and turn off car, it stays at 65. Repeatedly turning on/off switch will "reset" it. Another Scenario: Driving along at 65, suddenly you notice speed is 105 (Has been any speed from about 85 to 110). Fluxuating like it should but about 40 mph faster than it should. Stop and turn off switch and it stays at 55 or so. Another scenario: A few times all is Ok, stop at a stop sign and it just stays at zero when you drive away. The odometer is always correct. ( I use a gps to verify mileage and speed.) Also, it seems that it does this more easily when I use my key than when my wife uses her key. Thanks for the info though. I will check those connections.

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 AT 11:36 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
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I wouldn't necessarily focus on the bulletin if it doesn't fit the criteria. My gut feeling is you have a cluster that is acting up, and the speedometer to act up is most common. Try just simply banging on the dash above it when it is sticking and see if it changes. It won't necessarily become correct, but if it changes in behavior. Like I stated previously, if it is sticking, and you can get to an outlet to perform the gauge sweep test, you can condemn it then and there.

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Thursday, February 4th, 2010 AT 8:38 AM
Tiny
HLD16506
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My 2004 Venture is doing the same exact thing. Please let me know what you find out. Is there a recall? Is GM fixing this problem? I passed inspection luckily last year when it decided to work for a week. This year, the mechanic fiddled with the wires and it worked enough to pass but quit when I picked up the Van when he was done.

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Saturday, March 6th, 2010 AT 10:27 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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I tried following the wiring and at first thought it helped. But now I cannot get it to seem to help. Pounding on the dash does not help at all. Only thing we have found is turning the switch on / off about 15 times will get the gauges back to home base. Usually the gas is ok for a few days but the speed may go bonkers again in a few minutes.

We have been busy lately and I have just been using my GPS for speed limits and we reset the trip odometer so we know the status of the gas gauge.

It was really bad today. Speedomter at 125 or more even when turned off and gas gauge completely opposite of where it should have been. My on/off trick above didn't even completely reset it.

Will let you know if we take it to a Chevy Dealer.

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Sunday, March 7th, 2010 AT 8:15 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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We made an appointment for Thursday. My wife sailed past a policeman and didn't have a clue how fast she was going. Apparently was OK as he didn't move but she decided it was time to get it looked at.

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Monday, March 8th, 2010 AT 8:48 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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Took the van in today. Of course, it was totally fine. Dealer assumed it was same as mentioned above by gstacey. We'll try again if it sticks for a couple days like it did last week. They said bring it in without an appt so they could see. If it was the above, it will cost approx 250 for part and 125 for labor.

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Friday, March 12th, 2010 AT 10:00 PM
Tiny
DDAVISON
  • MEMBER

My van insterment panel does the same

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Monday, March 15th, 2010 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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Car was perfectly fine Friday at the car dealers, all day Sat and Sun. And fine until this eve at 8pm, Suddenly stuck on 70 again. If still stuck in the morning we will take it in again.

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Monday, March 15th, 2010 AT 11:05 PM
Tiny
HLD16506
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Thanks for the updates. My car repairman quoted about $100 less than dealer gave you if you decide to fix. I looked online and found the same problem exists with several Chey models including the Imapala but apparently there was a time limit on some recalls. I didn't see a recall for the Venture but if there was one, it may have expired.

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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 AT 8:06 AM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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I find it so interesting that you can find this a lot on the internet but mechanics seem to know so little. As for the cost. The dealer told us $600 at first, then $500 then the last thing was it might be just over $400. I honestly think they didn't want to even thouch this problem and hoped we would just go away.

I had printed out this info and the repair man was NOT interested in it. When we got back to the shop, they asked if we still had it. (I think they too thought we were nuts until they started looking this problem up.) They told us what they thought it was and we got out the papers and it was the same. After that is when the price came down.

On the phone several repair shops we have used in the past acted liked we were not telling the truth that it acts like it does. That was why we printed out these papers of ideas before we went to the dealer.

As for the recall, we have had it since it was several months old and have gotten some recall notices, but never one about this.

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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 AT 9:43 AM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
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Did it continue to act up, and was it diagnosed as the cluster?

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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 AT 11:05 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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As my wife headed for the dealer (the speedometer was stuck on 70), it suddenly righted itself and has been Ok since. The dealer says are you sure it is doing this? They say it will go bad and just stay stuck. But it hasn't totally broken in a year now. So no answer yet. Except maybe buy a non GM product next time. The GM people seem so unhelpful. I am getting really tired of not knowing how fast we are going since we do mostly town driving.

The last time it stuck was exactly at the same time the low fuel indicator light came on.

Tomorrow I am driving it to the airport so I am almost certain it will do it as it does it when the car is driven over about 45 minutes. We'll see what happens after that.

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 AT 9:37 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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Soon asfter I left for the airport it went to 110. After setting a week at the airport, it was still at 110. It stayed that way all the way home.

Next morning my wife took it in. She used my car keys since it seems to do it worse with my key. The speedometer went completely as far down as it could go until it hit the bottom of the panel. The regular service writer was not there. The new one didn't believe her. She had left the van run so it wouldn't change anything.

Everyone feels if it does this, it will totally break in a very short time. This has been over a year and is worse, but will work fine for weeks at a time.

They did diagnose it and have orderd the parts. It is supposed to be about $350 to repair.

By the way, she used her keys when she left and it reset some immediately. After the first stop it reset completely. I still don't know if there is anyway a key can have an effect but it certainly seems worse with my key.

Will let you know again after it is repaired.

Thanks to gstacey for all your help. It turns out your thoughts and my being able to print them out has saved the day!

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Saturday, March 27th, 2010 AT 5:32 PM
Tiny
WEMILLER
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My wife took it in last week and the dealer replaced the instrument cluster assembly. This weekend we drove it 90 minutes each way and it never done the wacky stuff so that must have been the problem!

Just as a FYI. The repair was $373 and took about 90 minutes to replace and reprogram.

Thanks again to all who helped. Especially gstacey!

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Sunday, April 11th, 2010 AT 9:15 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
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Your very welcome, glad it's fixed.

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Monday, April 12th, 2010 AT 2:02 PM

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