Recalls are only issued for safety or emissions-related problems that manufacturers are required to repair, not for things that just have a high failure rate. Some go beyond that and include customer satisfaction issues but usually those just warrant a service bulletin. Service bulletins provide the diagnostic steps and fixes for common problems with elusive cures or that defy easy diagnosis.
If you've been researching this, you should have noticed that GM is extremely customer-unfriendly in their business practices and will do anything to squeeze money out of you while you still own one of their products. One of those tricks is designing their computer modules so they have to be programmed to the vehicle. On a 2004 model you might still get away with installing a used gauge cluster, which is a computer module, but if it doesn't work you will have to have it reprogrammed by the dealer, and they sure don't do that for free. Also, since this is such a common problem, why would you want to install one that is likely to develop the same problem?
A better alternative is to do a search for an independent company that repairs GM gauge clusters. They charge less than the two authorized repair centers the dealers have to work with. If they can repair your cluster, it will keep the current mileage. If they send you a new or rebuilt module, they usually want your old one to verify the mileage, then they program the miles into the replacement for you. You should be able to plug the assembly in and it should work with no further programming required.
There are dozens of such service centers around the country. For the last cluster I couldn't repair myself, I used Advanced Auto Electronics in Virginia. I got it back in less than a week and for less than the quoted cost. When I called them, they gave me some things to check first to try to solve the problem. It wouldn't hurt to ask them about yours.
Sunday, February 9th, 2014 AT 3:27 AM