This 2002 Dodge Neon came in with the complaint that the speedometer was not working. To test the cluster press in the trip reset button, turn the ignition switch on and release the reset button. The gauges will move in increments and the dash warning lights will come on with the exception of the turn signal, high beam and foglight indicators. All systems worked on this vehicle except for the speedometer. Diagnosis of a faulty instrument cluster. The customer did not want to spring for a new cluster and asked if I would look into what might be wrong internally.
To remove the instrument cluster, the trim panels for the front “A” pillars have to be removed. They unsnap and pull out.
The under dash trim panel needs to be removed. I think it just unsnaps, I can’t remember if there are screws or not, so be careful. Also there is a screw at each end of the dash cover that needs to be removed, Phillips head.
Then the dash top can be unsnapped as well. I forgot to get a picture of removing the lower instrument trim panel. It is the curved piece just below my hand in the picture below. I don’t remember if there are any screws for the panel under the steering column hidden behind this panel or not.
With the upper cover loosened the cluster can be removed. To make it easier you can also remove the passenger side “A” pillar trim panel as well.
There are two upper screws and two lower screws. All phillips head.
Lift the dash cover up and rotate the cluster out as shown below
Slide it out the driver’s side of the dash. The customer did not want to spring for a new cluster and asked if I would look into what might be wrong internally. So I did.
Took the cluster to a work bench and removed the screws that hold the cardboard backer panel in place.
Lifted the cardboard panel off and set it aside.
Next removed the screws that held the circuit board in place.
Carefully unplugged the wiring harness connector as shown in the picture below.
What I found in my investigation is that the solder joints at the resistor that I point to in the following pictures, weakened with age.
With all of the screws removed, I lifted the circuit board from the rear of the instrument cluster. You will need to lift and rock the panel, a little at a time, to get it to release from the gauge pins.
With the panel released you can flip it over and see the other side of the resistor terminals, as shown in the pictures below.
I carefully resoldered the weak joints and reassembled the dash. Just to be sure I soldered the terminals on both sides of the board. I did the self test and all tested well. Then I took the car down the road to ensure everything worked okay and it did.