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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Dodge Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 5868
Experience:  I have 30 years of Dodge Technician experience. I know these cars in great detail.
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2004 Dodge Ram 1500: odometer..flicker..randomly..the mileage

Customer Question

I'm looking for some answers as to why (and how to fix) my odometer light on a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT. It began to fade and flicker a bit but now disappears entirely, then randomly will turn back on for a few days only to disappear again. The odometer is tracking the mileage correctly based on my estimate.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.
hi, on a regular instrument panel we use to be able to just go in there and replace any single light bulb that was bad , but now in our days that has change and the light bulbs are no longer bulbs , they are LED , and are incorporated or part of the printer board the only way to fix this problem is sending the entire instrument panel to a factory electronics repair center and you find that through the dealers, if the light flikers is because the LED is going bad and eventually will go out completly, nothing you do will solve this problem.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
While I appreciate that "take it to the dealer" is a typical answer. I'd rather exhaust my possibilities before that as we are trading this vehicle in and trying to fix the issue ahead of trade in.

I have the dash assembly apart. I also have the experience to sauder a connection if it is something that has either rusted or become incapable of working. Any advice on where within the board inside the gauge assembly I should begin looking for a faulty connection?

The main reason I can't imagine this being an LED issue is that when it DOES come back on, it's a strong, bright light. It doesn't seem to me to be a burned out LED.
Expert:  ricardo hohl replied 4 years ago.
this led lights are control by very low voltage in millivolts and doing any sautéing into the board may destroy the computer stored inside, wish controls the gages and other functions within the cluster i can not tell you wish one of the light bulbs or led is out because in my 32 years of experience i have not had to repair one , been honest with you it may be possible but i cant say it is because it may damage the computer internally. sorry
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: While the original expert tried to answer the question, the basic result was "take it to the dealer" - If I had wanted that answer, I wouldn't have wasted money here I would have just gone in for diagnostics. I've read this problem has happened to others, just not the exact same way (other people have had other lights go out, etc). I'd love some DIY advice..
While the original expert tried to answer the question, the basic result was "take it to the dealer" - If I had wanted that answer, I wouldn't have wasted money here I would have just gone in for diagnostics. I've read this problem has happened to others, just not the exact same way (other people have had other lights go out, etc). I'd love some DIY advice.
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 4 years ago.

Hi, I will do my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. I don't know if you are a pro or a novice so we may have to fine tune the answer. I only know as much about your problem as you have told me in your post, so my answer will be based on what you have posted. Feel free to add any additional info you feel is needed.


Ok I will try to help you out. These run on 3.6 volts not millivolts as previously stated. There are normally three classes of failure on these units. One is power failure, in the form of no power to the device, or no power because the ground has a flaky connection. The last and worst possibility is electronic failure. If you can pop out the instrument cluster you can disassemble it and clean all the connections, then reassemble it and reinstall it. Most of the time this will correct problems like you have. If you have electronic failure you will need to remove the cluster and send it out for repairs. This can be tough, but it is the only way other than buying a new cluster, Big $$$ or buying a used cluster from an automobile recycler. I can give you a link of a place that repairs instrument clusters, and this is where most dealerships send their clusters to for repair. Far be it from me to tell you to deceive anyone, but if this place thinks you are a business when you call, you will get expedited service, and a lower price. You might want to get a service manual and use it for reference in the removal if you are not confident just tearing into it. Now there is a possibility that you could have other problems, but that is very remote. If you have any more questions I am here to help. Good luck, and Thanks for using Just Answer.

Cluster Repair

I hope this helps, 100% satisfaction is my goal. If the answer is not clear, please reply and I will assist you more. When you're satisfied, click on accept. I don't get paid unless you do. A bonus and positive feedback are always appreciated, good luck and Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If you could please provide the link for where I can find the tear down of the instrument panel, that would be most helpful. We have already torn out the cluster from the dash and reassembled it once before.

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