View Full Version : Intermittent dash issue

09-28-2013, 03:06 PM
I just bought a 2005 Freightliner with 210,000 for $7,500. Needless to say, it has some issues. :cry:

I resolved the EGR issue by plugging it in. Ya, rly.

However, I am having an issue with my dash. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I get a dash Communications code when it doesn't. My first thought was a floating ground, so I found the main grounding block (behind the battery) and removed the bolt, cleaning everything up to shiny, shiny. All the solder looked good with no cracks and no cold spots, so I cleaned the bolt and put it all back in place.

Still no dash this morning. BTW, I am installing a back up camera, new speakers and a new radio today, so I am all over the dash. I would like to just pull the dash and the ecm out and clean all the connectors, but I have no clue where to start... other than starting to unbolt everything in sight. To give some insight into me, I worked in the automotive industry off and on from 1969 to 1999 as both an Automotive Tech and a Service Manager. I was an ASE Master Certified in both Autos and Trucks. Now I own ScubaBoard.com and teach Scuba. This will become my Scuba Support Vehicle when I travel to go diving (like Cave Country).

09-28-2013, 03:23 PM
Pete - welcome to the forum!

If you haven't done so yet, grab a free download of the service manual here - http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26431

When you describe dash, do you mean the instrument cluster display? There is a chapter on this in the service manual (8J) that goes into it pretty deep - description, operation, testing and programming.

Anything that you may have disturbed, maybe as simple as another loose connector? There's a ground point in front of the instrument cluster, too.

Let use know how it turns out.


09-28-2013, 04:23 PM
Thanks Bruce! I'm downloading the manual right now. Yes, it was the instrument cluster that sometimes goes AWOL. I just tried it two minutes ago, and surprise: it was back! I hate transient issues like this.

09-28-2013, 04:52 PM
Here's a few more questions I forgot to ask. When does the problem occur? After the vehicle has been running, and could it be temperature related, does it fail above a certain interior temperature?
The board for the instrument cluster is full of SMD's (surface mounted devices) that rival a PC motherboard.
Here's a thread to give you an idea of how to access the board: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=875


09-28-2013, 07:23 PM
It has never failed while driving. It either is there when I start up, or it's not.

10-04-2013, 08:53 PM
Follow-up. Unplugging and re-plugging the two connectors on the back of the dash seem to have resolved the problems. I thought the small plastic bars that swing one way to disconnect and the other to connect and lock in the connectors were pretty neat. That they were color coded (white and black) made it very simple. Now on with the rest of the repairs.