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Ask GM Tech (Cam) Your Own Question

GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), GMC Mechanic
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 28668
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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2004 gmc yukon: instrument cluster..tachometer..guage..the speedometer

Customer Question

I have a 2004 GMC Yucon XL. The guages in the instrument cluster have been behaving erratically for some time. It started last winter with the tachometer (which I can live without), but reecently, the oil guage and now the speedometer are giving obviously erroneous readings, often pegged at their maximums. Do you think this is a simple, albeit costly, matter of replacing the instrument cluster, or might the problem be deeper in the underlying logic unti? If I replace the instrument cluster, do I have to program the new unit with the current vehicle mileage, or is this information stored in the logic unit, in which case, the new cluster is simply a matter of "plug and play"? Is there a simpler solution involving cleaning of the electrical connections and applying a small amount of dielectric grease to the connector pins, or perhaps adding a drop of oil to the guage needle pivot points?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: GM
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

Welcome, and thanks for using Just Answer. I am Cam, and I will do my best to assist you. When you are finished please click on accept only if you are satisfied. I don't get paid unless you do.Please do not accept if you cannot leave positive feedback. I don't know if you are a tech gor a just working on your own vehicle 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 answers will be based on what you tell me so please add all the details you can. About your vehicle,

Simple fix, like a cleaning, no.

This is a very common issue. This is a failure of the motor that moves the needle. They are called a stepper motor. GM is known for issues with them. The fix is to replace that motor. It is soldered to the circuit board of the instrument panel cluster. You can usually get a very inexpensive repair on Ebay. I have seen repairs ranging around the $100 with a lifetime warranty. is one such site










Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX very helpful. I'm a mechanical engineer by trade, but I also delve into and enjoy DIY projects on my vehicles at home on weekends. The repair that you described is not outside my technical capabilities and comfort level. It sounds like I have to replace each stepper motor for each erroneous guage (with no guarantee, of course, that another guage might go south at a later time). Does that sound about right? At some point, with several erroneous guages, it seems more cost effective to replace the entire instrument cluster. If I replace the entire cluster, what do I need to do about the odometer? I priced a replacement cluster at my parts supplier, and he said that the entire cluster would run about $800. At this point, I'm inclined to replace the offending motors, one at a time, but I'm looking forward to checking out the web site you mentioned. Does this web site also include motors for other guages, besides the speedometer?
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

That sounds perfect. YOu can get the stepper motors on ebay or the site I mentioned and he may sell the parts by them selves. When you go to put the needles back on, you need to first plug the cluster in with the key off, then turn the key on but do not start. Gauges like the speedo, tach, oil pressure will be at 0. What I do is use the scan tool to command them all off so all the bad ones would be at or the lowest point on the gauge.


IF you replace the whole assembly then you need to get it programmed. Replacements from GM come ready to be programmed with the mileage.

GM Tech (Cam), GMC Mechanic
Category: GM
Satisfied Customers: 28668
Experience: GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
GM Tech (Cam) and 6 other GM Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  GM Tech (Cam) replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for using Just Answer. If you want me to answer your next GM or GM product question, please put "For GMTECH Cam to Answer" and I should get it. Thanks and have a great day!!

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