Instrument Clusters – How they Work and Complications

Back in the day, the speedometers inside cars were run by a speedometer cable and other things were hardwired and mechanical. Today, even though speedometers look the same, they work completely in a different way. All of the processes inside the instrument cluster occur with the help of electronics.

How do Instrument Clusters Work?

Since everything is now electronic, there are some basic things that you have to know. There are different sensors at various spots around the vehicle. These sensors generate a signal that is sent to the car’s computer. The computer analyses and evaluates those signals, and is programmed to translate those signals as readable forms of data for the instrument cluster. You can control the signal, turn it on, and see the gauges move and so on.

The Problem

If either of the signals on the instrument cluster does not work, it becomes difficult to diagnose where the fault is occurring. In other words, how can you tell that the fault is stemming from the instrument cluster or is it something else? Well, if it is the instrument cluster, then you may have to replace the component as an entire unit.


There are many test procedures that can help you diagnose whether the problem is with the sensors, or whether it is in the wires. The test procedure tells you whether it is one of the sensors, or whether it is the wire between the different sensors. Similarly, the fault can also be inside the computer or the wires between the computer.

Final Words

All of the signals generated within the car connect to a single common connector at the back of the cluster. This tells you how important it is to get an expert diagnosis on instrument cluster problems since they are so complex. We can service cities in the 559 area code so if you are someone with instrument cluster problems in the central valley area, then you are in luck.

Need instrument cluster repair in Fresno, Madera or Clovis? Contact us!