The Drive Guys take on erratic guages

Ed Kriston,Jeffrey Boone
Drive Guys Ed Kriston and Jeffrey Boone are automotive repair specialists based in the Towson office of AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Dear Drive Guys;
?I have a 1999 Ford Windstar with 158,000 miles. It is a strong running vehicle but recently all the gauges have gone crazy. They peg themselves and go back to normal, sometime continuously. The alternator is working; the battery is keeping a charge. Help!!!?

Ed - Intermittent problems are every technician’s nightmare.  A couple of things I would suggest are checking the wiring right at the alternator to make sure it is tight and not burned.  The second thing would be to pull the instrument cluster and disconnect each wiring harness connecter and reinstall several times, hopefully cleaning the connections somewhat.  If either of these things fixes the problem for any length of time, put more emphasis in that area like tightening up the connections in each connector.

Jeff - Well this is one I have seen before. There is a control module mounted on the back of the instrument cluster. This usually becomes loosened over time and sometimes fails altogether. This is most likely the cause of your issue. I have seen this on other Ford vehicles. I would suggest having the unit sent out for repair. You could check in your area for an electronics repair company that may be able to repair this for you. I would suggest calling the dealer for either a place to send it or a price to have it repaired.
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