This is from a technical service bulletin from 1997 models. But it sounds like it could be the same fault.
After an ignition start cycle the Compass Mini-Trip Computer (CMTC) and/or instrument cluster display may intermittently malfunction as follows:
The display shows incorrect temperatures.
The display will go into the "CAL" mode.
The display shows an incorrect heading.
The display is blank.
All instrument cluster gauges and all Vacuum Fluorescent (VF) displays are out/blank.
If the vehicle demonstrates or the vehicle operator describes any of the five symptoms above, perform the following Repair Procedure.
04897438AARelay, Current blocking, Electrical Back Light1
This bulletin involves installing a revised Electric Back Light (EBL) relay.
Disengage the two slotted fasteners on the instrument panel silencer assembly/junction block cover and remove silencer/cover.
Remove the EBL relay (located in the lower left corner of the junction block and immediately above the fuse bank) and discard it.
Install the revised EBL relay P/N 04897438AA.
Install the instrument panel silencer assembly/junction block cover.
Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 AT 7:31 PM