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Ask Peter Bagley Your Own Question
Peter Bagley
Peter Bagley, Auto Service Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 777
Experience:  master tech at Toyota dealer
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The gauges dont work, 93 camry, Ive checked fuses and

Customer Question

The gauges dont work
JA: What is the model/year of your Toyota?
Customer: 93 camry
JA: Are you fixing your Camry yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Ive checked fuses and connectors for debris dirt and fit
JA: Most vehicles have two fuse panels. Have you located both?
Customer: It has 3 and yes
JA: What year is your '93 Fit?
Customer: What? Its not a fit...
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: ....that computers are painfully annoying
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome to just answer .I value your input to my questions so I may help you did you find the gauge fuse and it checked ok? Then next you will have to remove the cluster gauges and look at the back to find a constant voltage regulator that's probably the culprit if the connector is ok.unfortunately it's part of the cluster.

Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

Before we go any further, let me ask you a couple of questions.
1. You said the instrument panel went dead. The Speedometer, Tachometer, Odometer does not operate.
Now, what about all other instrument panel operations? When you first turn the key on right before starting the engine, do you see any other gauges (fuel, temperature, oil) and/or other lights (brake, airbag, abs, etc) light up? Also, when you turn on the headlamps, is the panel illuminated?

2. Are there any other system affected (example: dome light, cigarette lighter, etc)
Now, to start answering your questions:
While it is not common it is not unheard of, power surge sometimes do occur. You may have inadvertently left a few circuits stayed on the last time you turn off the vehicle (example: you may have left the AC/heater, wipers, something was probably attached to the cigarette lighter), so when you turn the key today, the least powerful fuse "sacrificed" itself in order to protect all the electronics and electrical connections. So I want you to check is a few fuses under the dash and under the hood. No need to pay a technician to do this. Just open the instrument panel junction box (fuse panel) under the driver side dash to look for gauge, panel, and ignition fuses. The diagram should be on the inside of the cover, and go under the hood junction box 2 (fuse panel), left side of engine compartment and look for dome fuse. One or may two of the fuses explained has/have burned out. Hope this helps you solve your problem and if you require further service I'll be happy to do so.

Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

do to no response I opt out

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I had a credit card issue. All fuses are good. Only the instrument panel is affected. All needles show zero movement. All lights work.
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

Ok sorry . ok you did check the fuses with an test light or voltage meter?If they check out properly then I suspect the instrument cluster itself. Do you know how to replace that? if you need further help let me knowif not please take time to rate my help.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The voltage meter showed 12v in the on position and 14 with the car running. The ground is good. I was under the impression it would be hughlyb unlikely that all the needles would quit but not blow any of the bulbs if it was a power surge. Is there a way to test or fix the instrument cluster? I already have it pulled out
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

Those gauges have very fin winding's that don't take much to damage them . What you could do is put an OHM meter across each gauge and check for continuity and resistance.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How do I do that and what should the ohm reading be?
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

well if you want just check on each side of the gauge connector for continuity and you can also apply power to one side and ground to the other to see if the work at all.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
One side? There are lots of pins on the back of these things. Which Nintendo I power and ground...
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Which one* I dont know why it changed that to nintendo
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

No just go rt to the gauge terminal they will be right behind each Gage and attached to the circuit board with small nuts.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Forgive me but i dont understand. What you mean by gauge terminal
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

the two terminals at the back of the gauges that connect to the printed circuits.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok I got each gauge to respond to direct power. So they do work but theyb dont operate in the car. They share a common ground correct?
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 10 months ago.

Ok now check the connector pins for power there should be one powered when lights turned on and there should be one powered when you turn ignition switch on.easiest way to find those pins are to simply turn that circuit on and off while probing the pins.