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CarQuestionGuy
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Experience:  ASE Master Auto Technician for 5 years, ASE Refrigerant Handler, ASA, iATN
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94 Lincoln Continental: intermittent..etc. on the instrument cluster

Resolved Question:

I have a 94 Lincoln Continental that had the proiblem with intermittent low oil pressure alarms and dcl errors. I did the recommended cleaning of plug contacts, etc. on the instrument cluster. Now I have no instrument lights at all. The lights work, I have applied voltage to the contacts to check them. I tested the voltage at the plug. There is no voltage to the contacts for 11, 12, 13, or 14. I have also checked all my fuses with a DMM. What is going on? It worked this morning and now it doesn't.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
Do you still need help with this problem?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, still dead. Also from driving to work I find that gauge select switches don't beep, so probably not working either. I can't tell visually if they are working. I can't see speed, how much gas left or anything. If you want of give me a list of things to check, I'll start tonight. I have a DMM so I can do many tests.
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
What happens when you wiggle the main connector to the IP when you have the car on?

One of the main causes of this problem are pins in the connector that lose connection. This will help us figure out if this is the cause of your problems.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What is IP? Good start, huh

For your info I did the following procedure and when I got it back together it was dead.

http://www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00086.html

I'll try it tonight, when I'm sure what you mean by IP.

Thanks

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What is IP? Good start, huh

For your info I did the following procedure and when I got it back together it was dead.

http://www.lincolnsonline.com/tech/00086.html

I'll try it tonight, when I'm sure what you mean by IP. Oh, you mean Instrment Panel. There are 3. Any specific one in mind?

Thanks

Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
Sorry, the IP is the Instrument Panel.
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
I would try it with all of them to see what happens.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I tried wiggling all plugs with the car running. It caused the car to run badly and die. No effect on the gauges. So I guessit boils down to whether the car main computer requires input fron the dcl in the IP to turn on the voltage to the backlights and activate the gauge select buttons. Or is it a problem with the main computer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
I did the tests recommended by the expert. I relied the results this morning. Did not expect this question to be closed as have not got an answer to the problem.
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
I didn't close it...I think the system automatically closed it because the time was up. I have to look at a diagram to see what is causing this. I should be able to do this early this afternoon.
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
So the black/pink wires and the purple/orange wires don't have voltage to them?

Try this and tell me what you find. Turn the ignition switch to "run" then test the purple/orange on pin 12.

Also, check fuse 5 in the fuse panel. Let me know what the voltage is there.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Previously I had figured 11 and 13 were grounds and had measured the voltage at 14 and 12, getting nothing. This time I used a grounded bolt on the engine compartment and found 11.6V at 12 and 14. Also found 11.6V across fuse number 5. The grounds I assumed at 11 and 13 are open, testing for continuity with the key on and motor running.
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
OK. This tells us that there is power to the cluster on the wires that should have it. The first thing you need to do now is charge your battery. 11.6 volts is a completely discharged battery. It needs to be above 12.5. Charge it before you do any other testing.
We need to test a couple other wires to see what the voltage is.
We need to test the red/yellow on pin 4. Should be hot in start or run.
We also need to test the light green/purple on pin 3. This should be hot at all times.
Finally we need to test the gray/yellow on pin 5. Should be hot in run. These pins are all feeding voltage from the battery to the instrument panel so we need to be sure power is getting there.
11 & 13 are not grounds. They are for the illumination of the panel.
Let me know what you find and we'll go from there.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
You are right about the battery. The car went dead 2 miles from home. I have the battery out of the car and on the charger now. The car is still 2 miles away. I will try to get it home timorrow and recharge the battery before testing. Will replace the battery this weekend. I just replaced the alternator 2 weekends ago. The same thing happened.
Expert:  CarQuestionGuy replied 4 years ago.
You might need to wait until you have a known good battery. The battery that you have just might not be good enough to test the electrical system. Feel free to do the tests anyway...I just always make sure the battery is good before I get to far into diagnostics.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok. I will repeat all these tests with a good battery. alo do you get paid by the question? I have a subscription, so I can close this question and ask another.,