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Matt J
Matt J, Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 1399
Experience:  10+ years automotive tech, 5 years of experience in a GM dealer
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I own a 2003, Chevrolet Silverado, LT, 1/2 ton, Extended cab,

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I own a 2003, Chevrolet Silverado, LT, 1/2 ton, Extended cab, 5.3L V8. I have a problem with the dashboard. The gauges, speedometer, odometer, etc frequently will not turn on when the vehicle is turned on. Sometimes it takes 5-10 miles and other times it does not come on at all. Can you help me with the diagnosis and point me in the right direction for repair? Is this a dealer repair or something simple. Thanks much, Greg

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be more than happy to assist you.


I should be able to help you find the problem. Do you have a test light and/or a volt meter?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Matt, Yes I have access to a volt meter. I am having trouble responding to the "reply. I have dialup service. Any suggestions?

Matt, Yes I have access to a volt meter. I am having trouble responding to the "reply. I have dialup service. Any suggestions?

Do any of the lights come on Check Engine, ABS, Security, ect when the gauges do not work?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Matt - No. No other lights on the dash come on.

With the problem happening test for power at these fuses. Note on each of the fuses there are two little metal tabs you can touch the red lead of the volt meter to get the voltage with out removing the fuse. Then ground the volt meter black lead to battery negitive.


The test should be done with the key on.


Check these fuses in the fuse block under the hood.











Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Other
Matt - I appreciate your help. I have not had a chance to work on the vehicle due to extreme cold weather. My location is Minnesota and I need to wait a few days for a little warm up. Please extend my question a few more days. Thank You. Greg.

Once you have a chance to check it out just reply back and we will go from there.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Matt - All fuses check out good with 12+ volts to them with key on or engine running. I also pulled each fuse and verified that they are good. I peaked under the steering column/dashboard on the inside of the cab and I did not see or feel anything loose. What's next?

You had power at the fuses with the instrument cluster not working correct?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I had power to fuses noted in the schematic diagram that you send me. With the key on the instrument panel lights up but the gauges and speedometer stays pegged at 0. The odometer display does not light up.

Sorry for the delay.


How many Miles or on the vehicle?


From what it looks like the Instrument cluster is bad. But we need to check the ground side first.


Remove the insturment cluster. Click on the link below and It will show you how to remove the insturment cluster. Normally I just grab the top part of the trim where he puts the tool at and pull back



From here take the volt meter hook the red lead to battery positive and touch the black lead to Slot A12 Black and Slot B12 Black/White. What was the Voltage reading for each one?


Object Number: 73156  Size: CH

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

PS the truck has 107,000 miles.


I have been out of town and finally can get back to the truck problem. I am sorry for the delay.

I just pulled the instrument cluster and also spoke with the local dealer. I have a few questions for you.

1. Do I test the cluster with the ignition on?

2. Why does your diagram indicate testing the wire harness and not the cluster? It seems that by testing with a volt meter the wire harness could be good and the cluster still be bad.

3. How do I "...hook the red lead to the battery positive"? Where is the battery positive?

4. In the diagram, what are the A1 and B1 for?

5. The dealer parts department says the clusters go bad and it is common. They also said I need to have the service department program the new cluster. Is this true? If, so, it doesn't sound like I can replace it myself. I probably don't have the equipment. Your thoughts??

I really appreciate your help.


There is no test you can do on the cluster it's self, the testing that we are going is to verify there is power and ground at the instrument cluster.


Battery positive is the positive battery post on the battery or any where else there is constant power. In this case I should have told you to touch the red lead of the voltmeter to slot B11 and then touch the black lead to A1 and then to B1 to see if the grounds are good. The voltmeter should read the same as if you were testing voltage at the battery.


The Cluster is a huge problem on GM Trucks and 90% of the time is it the cause. But I have been burned a few times and over looked power and ground so I like to be sure the cluster is the cause.


You can replace the Cluster yourself, most are just plug and play, but the instructions do show to reprogram it. So you can replace it and then take it in for reprograming.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.


I did test the wire harness. There is 12V power when I test A1/B11 and B1/B11. So, I assume we have determined that indeed this is the cluster. Correct? (Of course, now it works fine when I reinstalled it! It has been working only intermittently). Let me know if there is anything else to do.


Other than making sure the connector is tight and secure. The cluster is bad.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Matt - You have been most helpful. I see you were paid on my credit card statement on 12/15/09. I will contact you (specifically) again when I need information. Thanks much.


You're credit card was charged for the deposit on the question, but you will need to still hit accept so the deposit gets forward to me.


Yes any time you have a question please let me know and I will be more than happy to assist you.

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