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Wacky Dodge Neon Dash

Q. I have a 1996 Dodge Neon with a puzzling problem. First a little bit about the car, the engine is the single overhead cam model, manual transmission, fuel injected, power steering, power breaks, cruse control, with 51,000 total miles. Now for the problem, my speedometer works intermittently, often working for quite awhile, and then jerking for a bit, then going dead only to come back to life some time later.

On top of this the fuel gage keeps slowly going up and down showing empty with the warning ding and light, then after a while showing the correct fuel level. The tachometer some times gets stuck as well, but nearly as often as the previous problems. Finely the instrument panel lights have gone out, all of this started at the same time!

I take very good care of the car and take care of problems as soon as they arise, but this one has got me stumped. I'm thinking I have a short behind the dash somewhere, could you please advise?


A. That instrument cluster has a flexible printed circuit board behind it. Most malfunctions of this type can be traced to either the board itself or the connector leading into it. There is no real way to test it, although you can get a manual and check the inputs. if all the inputs are correct, then the board is no good. I don't know if Chrysler has that circuit board available separately or if only comes with the instrument cluster. A quick call to the dealer's parts department will answer that quick enough.

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