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1991 420SEL, 1989 Porsche 928-S4, 1973 Lincoln Continental Town Car, 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This morning all of my gauges, with the exception of the economy and clock, failed! Including the trip/odometers!

I've checked my fuses, and nothing looks obviously blown; and none of the descriptions list "gauges".

What could have taken all of the gauges, and the odometer out?

I did just have the engine steam cleaned (see oil leak post), but that was almost 2 weeks ago - and everything was fine until this AM.

I think I'm at the point I'm going to have to replace it :mad: :surrender: I can deal with an oil leak, but it's too risky to be without fuel, oil pressure, speed, etc gauges.
 

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Premium Member
560SEC, 190E, Frontier, 240Z
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1,329 Posts
Maybe it will come back in another week or two?

Does your Cruise Control work?

When I zapped a diode in my panel due to being an idiot I lost my cruise control.
I think there is a ground path to CC from Panel of some sort that I have not researched.

Just curious.
 

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1,648 Posts
The ignition switches eventually give trouble. Although usually it's the climate that does not start unless you jiggle the key a bit in the run position. Try it.
 

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1990 300SE
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275 Posts
Hoping for an answer on this one, my clock recently has been kind of spotty. I'm watching it while I'm driving and sure enough it works. But, for some reason this morning when I got into the car the clock wasn't correct. I'm guessing it stopped working for a period of time then started working again so it was a few hours behind.

Here's to hoping that you find a solution, HFChristie. And, hopefully I can use the info too. :)
 

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Premium Member
560SEC, 190E, Frontier, 240Z
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1,329 Posts
Clock is easy. Capicitors are probably going bad and not holding juice overnight.
They are easy to replace, but moderately hard to get to.

I did mine and it was right at the hairy edge of what I wanted to be doing with all those gauges.

HFChristie: What part of town you in? I can stop by if you have free time and wanna second eyeball.
 

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1978-350 SL 5 speed,1981-500SLC, 1995 C-36 AMG ,1995 E 320 Wagon
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105 Posts
Hi hfchristie.
Last week I had the same problem with my 1986- 560 SEL.
I opened the fusebox and found no blown fuses.
What I did,I rotated very fuse carefully and started the engine again and everything cam a live.Please don't asked my which fuse was giving my trouble.
What nice feeling.
Good luck with your car.
Kurt
 

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Registered
1991 420SEL, 1989 Porsche 928-S4, 1973 Lincoln Continental Town Car, 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
TJYAK50 - I'm actually in Sedona for the near future, but if I make it down to Phoenix, it'd be nice to beet a fellow W126 fan. ;)

I had planned on replacing all of them just in case - all look OK, but there are 1 or 2 that look old. Twisting them, however, didn't seem to do anything (but then again, I did it myself, so there's no telling if I just missed a good spot while spinning). Getting all new fuses is on the list for tomorrow.

To continue this drama; Today I noticed a loud humming coming from (inside) the gauge area. It seems to be constant in battery position, but cuts in and out while driving (unfortunately, gauges remain out regardless of hum).

Openning the hood, however, it sounds and feels like the humming is coming from the fuse box. In that, feeling the relays, it felt like the 2nd from the left relay (201-821-00-047 I think) is the culprit. Pressing on it changes the pitch of the hum.

But, from what I can find, that's for the flasher/wiper relay. Not sure how that could be related, though. Tomorrow I'm going to have to yank each relay to see if I can isolate which is humming, and/or if that shows any change in gauge behavior.

However (damn), I cannot for the life of me see how any of these possibilities explain why the odometer has stopped working! I can't see anything obvious hanging (like a disconnected harness), and I haven't had the time to try and lift the car.

Does anyone know where where the transmission is connected to the computer? Maybe that's disconnected, and the ECM isn't receiving any data to send to the gauges? Although, that wouldn't explain the fuel, oil pressure, and water temp gauges.

Double Arg!
 

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1991 420SEL, 1989 Porsche 928-S4, 1973 Lincoln Continental Town Car, 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
CJay - on your clock; They're connected to a constant 12v power source, unlike the gauges which are switched. Is it only off time when the ignition is off, or just everynow and then whether the car is on or not?

Trace it's power and ground lines. Maybe one of those is broken or corroded? Not a project I would embrace - I hate working behind a gauge package.

One other thing I just though of; Have you checked the fuse for the clock? I don't remember what other accessories are on that fuse (to see if they work when the clock isn't), but it could be just starting to fail but now quite blown.
 

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1990 300SE
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275 Posts
Clock is easy. Capicitors are probably going bad and not holding juice overnight.
They are easy to replace, but moderately hard to get to.

I did mine and it was right at the hairy edge of what I wanted to be doing with all those gauges.

HFChristie: What part of town you in? I can stop by if you have free time and wanna second eyeball.
Ahh, thanks for the info, tjyak50! :D


CJay - on your clock; They're connected to a constant 12v power source, unlike the gauges which are switched. Is it only off time when the ignition is off, or just everynow and then whether the car is on or not?

Trace it's power and ground lines. Maybe one of those is broken or corroded? Not a project I would embrace - I hate working behind a gauge package.

One other thing I just though of; Have you checked the fuse for the clock? I don't remember what other accessories are on that fuse (to see if they work when the clock isn't), but it could be just starting to fail but now quite blown.

It's only off time when the ignition is off, and it has only been off time once since I bought it 3 weeks ago. I got in the car that one morning and started it up, and noticed the time was wrong, I set it correctly and its been on its merry way working well so far.

From the sounds of it, with it being so close to all these vital gauges, I'm just going to leave it alone. Since, I'm quite the newbie with working under the hood in general, and especially so with the W126, I'd rather just leave the clock alone in fear of messing up something vital. I'm content with having to set the clock every once in a while. :p
 

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1991 420SEL, 1989 Porsche 928-S4, 1973 Lincoln Continental Town Car, 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well, the egg is on my face! :eek:

I replaced most of the fuses in the car (could only find assorted packs, and so I had to buy the store out just to get those!). And, viola! Everything is working again.

Here's the egg - When I read the fuse box legend originally, I was quickly scanning for "gauges". When I didn't find that, and because the odometer failed also, I didn't look closer.

While replacing the fuses today, I read the various 8 amp fuse (white) details closer, since I was still 4 short of those and wanted to make sure I used the ones I did have on the more important accessories. There, I found one that listed each gauge individually (instead of as a category). Duh! I want to say it was fuse #6 or 8, but ...

Even more confusing, though, is that replacing the fuse also fixed the odometer. Why that would be fuse controlled, instead of mechanical, I have no idea, but at least it's all working again!

To finish the comment I made last night about the humming; It is coming from the flasher/washer relay. These accessories still work, it just hums. Of course, that had no bearing on the gauges.

Thanks for all the help
 

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500 SE (1989), 304,000 km.
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659 Posts
Same thing has just happened to me. Weird humming sound from around dash panel. Only the clock is now working, but the gauges for the odometer, fuel, oil pressure and revs are all not working.

I have to do a check now on the BB -- cos I'm not sure which fuse/s this prob relates to.


Well, the egg is on my face! :eek:

I replaced most of the fuses in the car (could only find assorted packs, and so I had to buy the store out just to get those!). And, viola! Everything is working again.

Here's the egg - When I read the fuse box legend originally, I was quickly scanning for "gauges". When I didn't find that, and because the odometer failed also, I didn't look closer.

While replacing the fuses today, I read the various 8 amp fuse (white) details closer, since I was still 4 short of those and wanted to make sure I used the ones I did have on the more important accessories. There, I found one that listed each gauge individually (instead of as a category). Duh! I want to say it was fuse #6 or 8, but ...

Even more confusing, though, is that replacing the fuse also fixed the odometer. Why that would be fuse controlled, instead of mechanical, I have no idea, but at least it's all working again!

To finish the comment I made last night about the humming; It is coming from the flasher/washer relay. These accessories still work, it just hums. Of course, that had no bearing on the gauges.

Thanks for all the help
 

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1993 300TE, 1995 E320 Wagon
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1,895 Posts
While replacing the fuses is an excellent start, I highly recommend taking a Dremel tool with a soft wire brush, or emery cloth, to each of the fuse clips/posts-- really helps with getting the gremlins taken care of. Used relays are inexpensive and relatively easy to come by in the junkyards-- and I know there's a good number of them in AZ!!
 
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