Are you sick of your Dodge Durango’s stuck odometer and jumpy indicators? These are just a few signs that your vehicle’s instrument cluster is bad.
In this post, we’ll look at the signs showing your Dodge Durango instrument cluster is bad. You will also learn how to diagnose your vehicle to see if the instrument cluster can be repaired or require complete replacement.
First off, here are some common causes of instrument cluster problems in a Dodge Durango:
- Blown fuse
- Wiring problems
- Bad connectors
- Bad sensors.
Signs that Show Your Dodge Durango Instrument Cluster is Bad
1. Tachometer and Speedometer Maxing Out
The tachometer and speedometer maxing out when you’re driving your Dodge Durango, or even when it is parked, is one of the most common instrument cluster problems owners have faced.
When these measuring instruments max out for no reason, even while your Dodge Durango is parked, it shows that the instrument cluster is bad. A mechanic needs to check it out to ensure all the other gauges are not affected, or else you may have to replace the entire instrument cluster with a new unit.
2. Dead LCDs
Dead LCDs are a nightmare to drivers, especially when driving at night.
Taking any readings from the gauges from your instrument cluster will not be possible, and you will have no idea if you’ll soon run out of fuel or if the oil gauge is transmitting any message. Even the check engine light or indicator will not work, and this can be worrisome.
If your Dodge Durango’s instrument cluster has nothing but dead LCDs, it has gone bad and needs to be replaced immediately.
But before then, troubleshooting the cluster will be in order. This will be covered in the next section.
3. Jumpy Indicators
When your Dodge Durango’s instrument cluster keeps showing nothing but jumpy indicators, determining what is particularly wrong with your vehicle is impossible.
The gauges go haywire by jumping constantly from when you start your vehicle to when you turn off the engine. Your radio may also stop working for no apparent reason.
If you experience this, your instrument cluster may be the only component acting up. It should be checked out immediately by a certified mechanic to determine what is wrong with the unit.
4. Stuck Dashboard Needles
Dashboard needles are not designed to get stuck; they are to take accurate readings when a vehicle is in motion. But when the entire gauges only showcase stuck needles, determining if anything is wrong with your Dodge Durango becomes impossible.
If your dashboard needles are stuck, the issue can be traced to your instrument cluster. Most times, replacing the instrument cluster is the only way to resolve this problem.
5. Stuck Odometer
Driving your Dodge Durango around town with a stuck odometer doesn’t cut it. Your vehicle will take no record of the mileage traversed, which can have a poor impact on your vehicle, especially if you want to sell it off in the future.
If your odometer is stuck, it means your instrument cluster is bad. Get a mechanic to check the gauge cluster, in case the odometer is the only gauge that has that problem. If it is, it can be fixed, instead of replacing the entire instrument cluster with a new unit.
6. Faulty Oil and Fuel Gauge
At times, the fuel and oil gauges in your Dodge Durango’s instrument cluster may give inaccurate readings.
You may be running out of fuel but your fuel gauge informs you the tank is full or half-full of gas. The oil pressure may be diminishing, but the gauge shows that everything is in good condition.
If you experience this scenario, your Dodge Durango’s instrument cluster is bad, or at least the fuel and oil gauges are malfunctioning and need to be repaired. If the gauges cannot be fixed, replacing the entire instrument cluster may be in order.
7. Dim or Dead Backlighting
When the backlights of your Dodge Durango’s instrument cluster go dim or dead, taking the readings from the gauges will not be possible.
You will practically be driving ‘blind’ as you will have no idea what is going on within the mechanisms of your vehicle.
Something has gone wrong with your instrument cluster and a certified mechanic needs to check it out.
8. The Dashboard Lights Up and Activates Windshield Wipers
If your Dodge Durango’s dashboard suddenly lights up and activates the windshield wipers, it is enough to suspect your instrument cluster.
This may cause your Dodge Durango to lose power and then power back up again by itself. This is an instrument cluster problem that a certified mechanic needs to check immediately.
9. Instrument Cluster Shorts Out
Another sign of an instrument cluster problem in your Dodge Durango is when the instrument cluster itself shorts out.
This results in the illumination of numerous warning gauges, and radio function failure, while an abnormal noise emanates from the electric control panel on the driver’s side door area.
If you experience all these almost at once, or gradually, your Dodge Durango’s instrument cluster is bad.
Can You Drive Your Dodge Durango with a Bad Instrument Cluster?
Yes, it may be possible to drive your Dodge Durango with a bad instrument cluster. However, unless in an emergency, you’re strongly advised not to.
When you drive your Dodge Durango with a malfunctioning instrument cluster, you are putting yourself in danger.
For instance, you will have no idea of knowing how much fuel you have left in your gas tank. Something may be wrong with your engine or fuel pump, or any other vital component in your vehicle.
But since the instrument cluster is bad, the check engine light indicator will not come on. You will be driving ‘blind,’ and may find yourself suddenly stranded in the middle of nowhere when you run out of gas. So, it is not advisable to drive your Dodge Durango with a bad instrument cluster.
Troubleshooting Your Dodge Durango Instrument Cluster Problems
So here are some steps to take to diagnose and troubleshoot a failing Instrument Cluster in a Dodge Durango:
Inspect the Fuses
If any fuse in your vehicle’s instrument cluster goes bad, the instrument cluster may malfunction. So, if you suspect that your instrument cluster is not working properly, one of the first places to look is the fuse box.
Here are the steps to inspect fuses in your Dodge Durango:
- Locate the fuse box in your car. You can find it in the hood or under the kick panel.
- Check all the fuses for your instrument cluster. Depending on the model of your vehicle, there might be only one fuse for the instrument cluster.
- When you find the switch related to the instrument cluster, look for any damage, such as broken metal wires or soot.
- If you discover that any fuse is bad, replace it. This may solve the problem with your Dodge Durango instrument cluster.
Inspect the Wiring
If the fuses are okay and your instrument cluster still malfunctions, the wiring leading to the cluster may be the culprit.
Get a flashlight and check all the wires connected to the instrument cluster. If you see any damage, such as fraying, breakage, or pinched wires, your wiring might need some replacement.
Also, check that the connectors are in order.
For this, you may have to seek the help of a certified mechanic to inspect and replace the wires.
Replace Your Instrument Cluster
If the wiring and all connections look good but the issue persists, you may consider replacing your instrument cluster.
Most times, it’s easier to replace the instrument cluster than try to detect a specific part causing the problem.
However, you should seek professional help before deciding on replacing the instrument cluster. The professional would check the instrument cluster and tell you whether it’s due for replacement or can be repaired.
See more troubleshooting tips in the video below:
The Dodge Durango instrument cluster is not susceptible to occasional failure. This is why you should never take it lightly when your Dodge Durango’s instrument cluster shorts out, has dim or dead backlights, poor or dead LCDs, etc.
The signs showing your instrument cluster is bad and requires fixing or total replacement have been highlighted in this article. You can also troubleshoot your instrument cluster if you have DIY chops and a lot of time on your hands.
However, if you don’t have time or can’t troubleshoot your Dodge Durango instrument cluster, get a certified and experienced mechanic to handle this aspect for you.