2000 Outback Wagon Instrument Cluster Problem - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 10-24-2011, 08:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2000 Outback Wagon Instrument Cluster Problem

Hi everyone. Once again I need to tap into the collective expertise of these forums. I have posted a video of the problem I am about to describe so you can see what happens. Sorry for the shakiness of the video; I was actually trying to watch the road.


The problem shown happens only occasionally, though it does appear to be getting more frequent now. At first I thought it happened more often when it was wet or very humid outside, but now it's happening fairly often when dry. I'm assuming there is a short somewhere, but also wonder if it could be a bad ground connection. Only the tachometer, speedometer, clock, and odometer appear affected. I also notice that some mornings the clock has lost anywhere from a few minutes to several hours after sitting in the garage overnight.

I have no starting problems, the battery is less than one year old. Can anyone suggest where I might look to fix this?

Thank you!
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Old 10-24-2011, 11:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Next time it happens, slap the dashbaord and see what happens. What is really weird is the spedo using 20 as a zero.

The way the spedo and tach work (or used to) is that they read pulses. The faster the pulse the higher the spedo reads. That is a hard stop at 20mph. Whatever the problem is is in the gauge cluster, 1999 had a gauge issue but I havent heard of any 2000's having one. There are four large plugs and one small one for the spedo itself. SO I am ruling out anything originaiting from outside the cluster.

Lets start with taking the cluster out, taking it apart (its as complicated as playing with a set of leggos) and cleaning all the contacts and anywhere there is a screw terminal on anything electrical.

After that it may be a short in the cluster itself. Just my educated guesses.

Is it worse in hot weather or cold? Is it worse with the lights on or off?
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have engaged "percussive maintenance" techniques by applying firm, direct force in multiple places around the dashboard, but it's never had any effect. The state of dash lights, cabin lights, headlights, etc. also makes no difference. I've not noticed it being affected by temperature; it's just as likely to happen when the car is 100 F inside as when it's 40.

It does happen more often when I'm moving, but occasionally when stopped. Sometimes the needles slam into the zero position, other times they freeze at some other number. It's random. You can see all of these scenarios in the video, making that a particularly fortunate capture. Usually when I notice it, but the time I'm able to safely get my phone out and ready to capture, it stops doing it.

Tach Light Bulb Replacement 2000 Outback

How to remove dashboard to replace instrument panel light in 2001 Subaru Outback.? - Yahoo! Answers

Are there any better guides for getting to back of the cluster? All of the dash disassembly guides I've found for the circa 2000 Outback are for stereo upgrades or other things toward the center of the dash, and don't show how to get to the instrument cluster.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Question Have You Found The Cause?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decius View Post
Hi everyone. Once again I need to tap into the collective expertise of these forums. I have posted a video of the problem I am about to describe so you can see what happens. Sorry for the shakiness of the video; I was actually trying to watch the road.

2000 Subaru Outback Instrument Panel Problem - YouTube

The problem shown happens only occasionally, though it does appear to be getting more frequent now. At first I thought it happened more often when it was wet or very humid outside, but now it's happening fairly often when dry. I'm assuming there is a short somewhere, but also wonder if it could be a bad ground connection. Only the tachometer, speedometer, clock, and odometer appear affected. I also notice that some mornings the clock has lost anywhere from a few minutes to several hours after sitting in the garage overnight.

I have no starting problems, the battery is less than one year old. Can anyone suggest where I might look to fix this?

Thank you!
Greetings, I am having a very similar problem with my 1999 Outback. It starts with the radio losing power, then the tach. and speedometer. Also the ABS dash light comes on. Gauges bounce around for awhile then all is fine.
Have you found the cause of your problem? This is a tough one to solve.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red romper View Post
Greetings, I am having a very similar problem with my 1999 Outback. It starts with the radio losing power, then the tach. and speedometer. Also the ABS dash light comes on. Gauges bounce around for awhile then all is fine.
Have you found the cause of your problem? This is a tough one to solve.
Those are the symptoms I encountered immediately before my alternator finally died. You might want to check your charging system...
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red romper View Post
Have you found the cause of your problem? This is a tough one to solve.
I have not had time to disassemble the part of the dash that nipper suggested. Plus, the problem has disappeared for me, so I'd have no way of really testing whether the problem is fixed. If it starts to occur regularly again, I will try to find some time to do some detective work behind the instrument cluster.

I do wish you luck with your problem, though!

Dave
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