Do you own a four-vehicle drive? A car that you love with all your heart certainly needs to be taken care of. Most people think that cars cannot malfunction, but like any other electronic item, these can too underperform at times.
Have you been seeing the gauges flickering for some time? The reading to be inaccurate? If you’ve been wondering what the problem is, it might be time you need to reset the instrument cluster. What is a GM instrument cluster? How to reset GM instrument cluster?
We know there’d be like a hundred questions running through your mind but hold your horses’ people. You’ve certainly landed at the right place because we’ll guide you through every step of the process.
But before we tell you how to reset an instrument cluster, you need to know what it is and how does it work!
- What is a GM Instrument Cluster?
- How Does the Instrument Cluster Work?
- How to Reset GM Instrument Cluster
- How to Find Out About a “Bad” GM Instrument Cluster?
What is a GM Instrument Cluster?
Wrong gauge reading can be problematic for the driver! Imagine driving at a high speed and the speed gauge showing it much less can get you straight into trouble. Likewise, flickering fuel readings can make you question the reliability of your car.
An instrument cluster refers to the varying gauges placed carefully on the front of your dashboard. The cluster here refers to the group of meters including the fuel gauge, speed-o-meter, and oil pressure gauge, all fixed in one place.
In layman terms, we usually call it the “dashboard” and the cluster is what hides behind it. Because all the meters are inter-connected, if one fails to work as normal, it affects the performance of the others as well.
Hence, if you are wondering why do all your meters have mysteriously gone “crazy” overnight while you only observed the speed-o-meter flickering the night before, the “single” connection is what leads to the problem.
How Does the Instrument Cluster Work?
So, before we head into details of an instrument cluster works, let us break it down into components for better understanding. An average car instrument cluster consists of:
- Speed Meter/ Speed-o-meter
The speed gauge right at the front of your dashboard keeps you aware of the vehicle’s speed. It contains numbers between 0 to 180 or more in some cars, and needles that move around, hence helping you adjust the speed accordingly.
- Fuel Gauge
How do you know your car’s fuel tank is empty? If it wasn’t for the fuel gauge, you’d only be guessing around.
Just like a speed-o-meter indicates the speed of your car, a tachometer shows the revolutions per minute (rpm) of the engine. Hence, keeping you well aware of its performance.
How do these gauges work? Earlier, the gauges were connected directly to their respective centers.
For example, the fuel gauge was directly connected to the fuel tank and hence, powered by it.
But since the evolution of cars, engineers have changed the system entirely. Now, the instrument cluster is connected to the vehicle with a wireless harness which makes it easy to remove when needed.
Moreover, the cluster is powered by the fuse-box carefully placed under the dashboard, in front of the driver’s seat. In case the instrument clusters start to die out, you can reach out for the fuse box and reconnect the wires.
How to Reset GM Instrument Cluster
GM instrument cluster was the term first used when the gauges in few cars manufactured by General Motors showed a problem. Hence, under the settlement, the owners were given a lessee to get the “cluster” replaced without incurring further cost.
BUT replacement of the instrument cluster isn’t always necessary. Although, there is no way you can rightly fix the issue, still, it can be catered to like a professional at home.
Sounds cliché, right? But believe us, it is much easier than said. Here is how to reset GM instrument cluster if you’ve been facing a serious problem with the dashboard.
Remove the Headlight Fuse
This step is certainly fun! All you need to do is switch your headlight on and off repeatedly.
But how does it help? The constant switch on and off of the headlight improves the life of HD lights in most GM cars. Thus, once you are done, check the fuse box hiding under the hood to remove the headlight fuse.
If you are wondering how will you know which fuse to remove then let us be of assistance. Use your hands to find the 15A fuse at the right and left side of the box and once you find them, detach it from the box.
Push the SEL/Reset Button
Next, take out your key and put it right inside the ignition. Turn it to point 0 or 1 and leave it there until you find the SEL/Reset button of the car.
The button is usually present near the dashboard or the gauges, hence when you get to it, push and hold it for a few seconds.
Switch on the Headlight and Ignition
While holding the button down, switch on the headlight of the vehicle. Turn the ignition to point II and you’ll observe the lights on the dashboard have switched on too.
Switch the Headlights on and Off Again
While you are still holding the SEL/Reset button, switch the headlight on and off repeatedly like you did initially.
Release the Button
Now release the SEL button quickly. Push it again and release it. Thus, repeat the process at least 3 times within 5 seconds and not more.
Turn of the Car and Place the Fuse
Since we’ve reached the end of the process, you now need to switch off the car and place the fuses back.
How to Find Out About a “Bad” GM Instrument Cluster?
Although we’ve already discussed how to reset GM instrument cluster, we surely missed one important aspect of the discussion and that is:
How would you know if your GM instrument cluster is going “bad”? Honestly, there is no rocket science here. All you need to do is look out for the following signs:
- Dim dashboard panel lights
- Flickering gauges
- Inaccurate gauge readings
- The engine warning light constantly beeps
- The gauge needles do not move
These are some of the many signs that indicate a problem with your dashboard or instrument cluster. Hence, requiring your immediate attention!
No matter which advanced model of General Motor’s car do you own, the instrument cluster can sometimes act funny.
To save yourself from heavy damage, make sure you keep a strict check on the dashboard. And in case you feel something isn’t right, reset the GM instrument cluster before you call out for professional help!