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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'91 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera

Q: I have a '91 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, which I bought new. It is now my daughter's car and out of state. It has a 3300V-6 and gauge cluster. An attempt was made by AAA to jump-start it with no success. The battery was replaced (it was original) and now the tachometer doesn't work. She says it looks like the needle did a 360-degree. There is no separate fuse and it doesn't seem tied into anything else because everything looks ok. I am really upset with the battery installer as I think he was the cause. I have always kept this car in top shape. Can you suggest a cause? Thank you for your help and your column.

- Frank C.

A: The fuse for the tachometer is the same fuse for the gas gauge, voltmeter and charge indicator. So, if the others are working the fuse is not the issue. The tachometer is a solid-state unit that is not serviceable in most cases. Solid-state electronics for the automotive industry is built for the rough ride, including voltage surges that can occur when a vehicle is being jumped started or when the battery is being replaced, in most cases. For damage to occur to the tachometer it is likely the ignition switch was in the on position, because that's when electrical power is supplied, while the jumper cables were being installed or when the battery was being replaced. It is even possible that the tachometer was ready to expire on its own. If you remove the instrument cluster you just might be able to coax the needle for the tachometer back into place and it may even work. You should also know that it's unlikely that a failed tachometer will affect the operation of the vehicle.

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