Thank you for visiting and your donation. Before we go any further, let me ask you a couple of questions.
1. You said the instrument panel went dead. The Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer does not operate.
Now, what about all other instrument panel operations? When you first turn the key on right before starting the engine, do you see any other gauges (fuel, temperature, oil) and/or other lights (brake, airbag, abs, etc) light up? Also, when you turn on the headlamps, is the panel illuminated?
2. Are there any other system affected (example: dome light, cigarette lighter, etc)
Now, to start answering your questions:
While it is not common it is not unheard of, power surge sometimes do occur. You may have inadvertently left a few circuits stayed on the last time you turn off the vehicle (example: you may have left the AC/heater, wipers, something was probably attached to the cigarette lighter), so when you turn the key today, the least powerful fuse "sacrificed" itself in order to protect all the electronics and electrical connections. So I want you to check is a few fuses under the dash and under the hood.
No need to pay a technician to do this. Just open the instrument panel junction box (fuse panel) under the driver side dash to look for gauge, panel, and ignition fuses. The diagram should be on the inside of the cover, and go under the hood junction box 2 (fuse panel), left side of engine compartment and look for dome fuse. One or may two of the fuses explained has/have burned out.
You don't need the entire panel, just one may be two fuses. Depending on the amperage of the fuses, you may have to replace two different sizes. You local parts store should carry a few different options for you. You will probably need one these combinations: 5A and 7.5A , 5A and 10A, 2 7.5A, or 7.5A and 10A. If you need 2 7.5A fuses, just purchase a pack of 5 7.5A for around $3. All other combination, they should have a multi-pack for about $4.
Let me know what you find out.
Thursday, February 12th, 2009 AT 12:44 AM