2002 - dim instrument cluster?

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q45inca
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:15 pm
Car: 2002 Q45
Location: Tampa, Florida

2002 - dim instrument cluster?

Postby q45inca » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:13 pm

Hello,

My instrument cluster sometimes has a good brightness, sometimes it goes dim and can only be adjusted between black and very very dim. Not related to headlights use and not due to a single bulb going bad - the whole cluster dims. May be temperature related and shows mostly when a car is driven longer (I've just come back from over 4,100 miles trip, so the cluster was dim almost all the time, it's fine now after the car has sat for a couple of days).

Seems to be a common problem - a place called Miami Speedometer says they can come over and fix it in less than an hour (I'm just too far).

Has anyone figured out how to fix it? Is cluster removal relatively straightforward/how much time does it take to remove it?

thanks!


q45inca
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:15 pm
Car: 2002 Q45
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: 2002 - dim instrument cluster?

Postby q45inca » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:31 pm

I've talked to a gentleman at Miami Speedometer and he says $220 plus shipping - apparently there is a fluorescent bulb inside which is no longer in production and sometimes it goes bad or circuit around it goes bad. They repair by installing LED lights instead. With this price and shipping risks/hassle I may try to do it myself.

So has anyone tried it? Is it a simple plugin of one of the many LED lights on ebay or is there some soldering/extra work needed? thanks!

q45inca
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:15 pm
Car: 2002 Q45
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: 2002 - dim instrument cluster?

Postby q45inca » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:48 pm

If it is the same as I35 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZTYSx1HEZk it's quite a lot of work

EdBwoy
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Re: 2002 - dim instrument cluster?

Postby EdBwoy » Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:27 am

Their diagnosis makes sense to me, but I've seen better prices for similar services.

How many miles on your vehicle?

Since it seems like this car is not driven daily, is consider the option of shipping the cluster to them. I usually eschew haphazardly throwing LEDs at everything as they can be too harsh; but since this is a specialist shop, they might/should be able to find LEDs with suitable output so that they both look good and are functional.

Removing the instrument cluster is not very difficult.

Alternatively, you could spend a little money + some time to do as shown in that video. Yes, the Q45 setup is very similar to the i35.
I bought a used cluster from eBay. Upon receiving the used part, I disassembled both gauge clusters and switched the bulb over.
*As much as it's not a common issue with Q45s, fluorescent tubes have a finite lifespan so I'd preferrably go for newer/lower mileage parts.

q45inca
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:15 pm
Car: 2002 Q45
Location: Tampa, Florida

Re: 2002 - dim instrument cluster?

Postby q45inca » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:05 pm

Thanks, I've noticed a cluster on ebay for $38.00 so I've purchased it for the bulb and will try to do as you have done (hopefully not a waste of time, but since my Q has close to 170k miles and driven in hot climates chances are the replacement will last longer - the replacement mileage was not provided)

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Q451990
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Re: 2002 - dim instrument cluster?

Postby Q451990 » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:50 am

Unfortunately, it's not that uncommon. We've heard of these bulb failures in the past. Worst case, you don't fix it and spent $38 to try, which is probably what I would have done too.


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