Odometer Faulty Repair

My mileage isn’t reading: A common fault in some instrument clusters and how to solve it

Depending on the age of your vehicle, you may have a manual odometer – that thing measuring your mileage – which usually has white numbers on a black background slowly ticking around. If your car is new, you may have a digital odometer. The truth is, both are prone to faults when it comes to recording your mileage. Here are some of the most common, and the likely causes and solutions.

Manual odometer

The odometer works by a series of gears which drive the turning display. These have a tendency to break, which can cause the odometer to stop spinning. Happily, there is a solution to this. If your odometer and your speedometer have both stopped working, this is likely to be related to your speed sensor, which is placed near your car’s transmission. To replace either the gears in the odometer, or the speed sensor, is likely to involve digging around behind the panels and a certain degree of specialist knowledge, so the best solution is for you to send the instrument cluster to Autotronics for repair.

Digital odometer

If you’re in the digital realm, then the fault is usually only skin deep. Although the display on the instrument cluster may not be reading properly, the actual mileage information is still available on the chip in the body control module. In short, the mileage information isn’t lost.

As for the cluster reading, this can be seen almost like a monitor on a computer showing you the information. Just like a monitor, sometimes this can be as simple as a loose connection, or (in the case of a car) it can be caused by blown fuses or lowering of the display dimming. If these are both OK, and if you have any knowledge of electronics, it can be worth checking the connections yourself underneath the cluster panel. Like any electronics it can also be worth carrying out a ‘swap test’: a test with another panel that you know to be working to see if it connects properly and reads on the display. If all the connectors and fuses are OK, then it might be a good idea to send the dashboard to Autotronics, so that we can check all the internal electronic components and fix whatever issue there might be.

Lastly, if you’re unsure if the fault could be in the panel or in the computer itself, or if you don’t have the technical knowledge to test the units, the best approach is always to ask the experts. At Autotronics we carry out expert bench testing on a range of auto electronic equipment, including instrument clusters, with express shipping back giving turnaround times of between 2 and 4 working days. It’s always better value to have electronic components repaired with us, than to pay for costly dealership repairs, so let us sort out those digital niggles today, and get your car running smoothly again!