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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 ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'99 VW Jetta, Instrument Cluster Problems

Q: I am the owner of a '99 VW Jetta which has had sporadic problems with the speedometer and tachometer not working, although the odometer and water temp gauge do work when the former instruments aren't. Concurrently, the car's battery (perhaps coincidentally) went dead...although a boost got the car running, but the speedometer/tachometer, which were working previously, no longer worked. I was told, besides the battery, that the entire instrument cluster would need to be replaced. I couldn't understand why parts of it would work (the odometer, for example) and the main gauges wouldn't. Can you provide some light on this?

- Ken S.

A: There was a time that any part of an instrument cluster gauge or lighting that did not work correctly was repairable. Remove the failed part, solder in a jumper wire or replace the printed circuit board or gauge was just every day stuff. That was then and this is now. Now if one segment of the instrument cluster fails you replace the whole darn thing. Parts are just not sold separately. If you have the time and can get parts from a known good instrument cluster, I'm sure you could replace or repair the failed part. In the old school we were taught how to take it apart, repair it and put it back on the vehicle. In today's world we replace the unit and move on. Not that it's the right way, but at the cost of labor hours it is often the best way.

 
     
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