There are times when the engine starts to give inaccurate readings. Before you conclude that something is wrong with the ECU, it is better to reset the instrument cluster beforehand. Many people have reported a high rate of success in the process.
But now the question arises, how to reset GM instrument cluster?
The process is quite complicated, and its starts with removing the headlight fuse. Many people think that the process is as simple as unplugging and plugging something back in. I can assure you that this is not the case.
Stay tuned to this article because it will enlighten you with the process of resetting the cluster and detail other things that you must know about. So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it.
Why Is An Instrument Cluster Reset Needed?
Before you understand the steps to the process, you need to know why and when a reset is needed. As I stated in the introduction, a reset is needed whenever the engine gives incorrect readings.
Although the problem is much rare in newer engines, older MG engines, especially those released around the start of the 2000s, needed this issue resolved. A cluster reset will do as the name states.
All of the sensors and gauges will be reset, with any data wiped clean. This will eliminate any glitches present in the system.
7 Steps To Reset The Cluster
We shall now discuss the question you have all been waiting for. Unfortunately, the process is not as simple as writing down a few lines.
I will be detailing each step, so you can know exactly what you are doing.
- The first step is simple. You have to turn to your headlights on and off repeatedly. You may be wondering if that will reduce their lifespan. Yes, it will. That is why it is recommended to remove the 15A fuses before you start with the procedure.
They are located in the fuse box, in positions 1 and 6, for those who didn’t know. They may be installed differently, so you should refer to the vehicle’s service manual.
- Insert the key into the lock and leave it. You can put it at 1, but I advise that you don’t take any unnecessary steps.
- With the key in the ignition chamber, you now have to press and hold the reset knob in front of the fuel gauge.
- Now, this step consists of two things that you should do. Turn on the headlights and then turn the key to position number two. All of this must be done while the reset knob has been pressed.
- Here comes the tricky part. Now you have to turn the headlights off and then on and off again. This must be done within five seconds of turning the vehicle on. And remember, during the process, the reset key will remain pressed.
- We are almost done. Stop pushing the reset button and then press it three times repeatedly. When you do this, the whole cluster will initiate a self-test. The three presses mean that the instrument cluster will cycle the gauges three times.
- Now, you must turn the vehicle completely off or drive at a speed no more than 1.5 mph. This will completely reset the instrument cluster.
This video will also help:
Additional Steps And Warnings
Some of you may find this process a bit tricky. It is because you have to follow a strict procedure and within a given time.
The only warning of the process is to replace the headlight fuses before you start driving your vehicle. Other than that, you should not get into any issues as the process is not overly complicated.
The Reset Did Not Work
Although this process is pretty much universal, some GM vehicle owners complained that there was no reset or the gauges kept fluctuating. In that case, you may need to repeat the process. As the process is tricky, you may have difficulty getting the process right on the first try.
This process may not work for all of you. An alternative method may have a high chance of working if the previous one did not work.
If the instrument cluster is causing issues, then you can follow this procedure:
- Insert the key and turn it into position two. Do not start the vehicle. It must be in the position where all the lights on the odometer light up.
- Now, you have to press the reset button five times.
- Wait for the odometer to display information.
- Press the stem for thirty seconds.
That’s it. Although this process is much simpler and easier than the previous one, it has a low chance of working when compared to it.
Reasons For An Instrument Cluster Malfunction
Many factors can result in instrument cluster failure. The most common reason is a blown a fuse. Even if you replace the fuse, the system may act erratically as it cannot reset itself. You have to go through the procedure mentioned above to make it right again.
Symptoms Of A Bad Instrument Cluster
So, you are not sure that the instrument cluster is causing issues. Some symptoms will confirm if it needs a reset or not. These symptoms may be due to other underlying problems, so the instrument cluster is only one of the many possible options.
- Instrument lights are dim.
- The check engine light turns on and off or is on at all times.
- The fuel gauge stops working unexpectedly.
- The lights on the odometer blink constantly.
These are the most common symptoms of a faulty instrument cluster. If any one of them is present, then you may need to reset it immediately.
Can I Drive Without Resetting The Cluster?
Honestly, you should never consider this. To answer your question, yes, you can drive without resetting the cluster, but I honestly don’t know why you would consider it.
Delaying the fix may cause problems in the future, and you may never know when something is wrong with the engine and when you may run out of fuel.
Plus, the fix does not cost anything. All you need is five minutes of your time and the tutorial I have detailed above, and you will be good to go. There is no need to risk the engine without any reason.
Location Of The Instrument Cluster Fuse
Unlike most other fuses located in the fuse box, the fuse of the instrument cluster is located beside the instrument panel. This is a smart move from the manufacturer as replacing it becomes an easy process.
Plus, you won’t have to refer to the service manual to confirm which fuse it is, as long as you know its location.
A blown a fuse will stop the circuit altogether. However, one not seated correctly or is faulty may cause issues such as flickering of the lights. This may happen if the fuse is hindering the current from flowing properly.
Simply reseating the fuse may also fix the issue. This may not work for all, but users have reported some degree of success using this method.
Battery Drain Issues
There have been reported issues of a malfunctioning instrument cluster causing quick battery drain. This is possible as it could turn on even when the engine is off. In a case like this, the system will slowly drain the battery to the point that it will need to be jumpstarted.
Again, you should perform a reset, and if the issue persists, you have to visit a mechanic as soon as possible. The longer the battery goes through full discharges, the more likely it will fail earlier than predicted.
Other Possible Reasons
Unfortunately, the issue of cluster malfunction can happen due to other reasons too. Aside from simple glitches, users also reported that the issue could be due to a failing battery.
If the battery is unable to provide adequate voltage, you will run into problems. The issue may show when the clusters become faulty.
In cases like this, a reset will help you for a short while only. You will, sooner rather than later, have to get the battery replaced.
Early 2000’s GM vehicles also had bad stepper motors in the clusters. They could only be fixed using a reset.
You may have to reset the instrument cluster every couple of weeks because the motor may cause issues repeatedly. The best way to eliminate the problem is to replace the stepper motor altogether.
You certainly got a lot more information than what you wanted, right? This article has covered every possible answer to how to reset GM instrument cluster.
I have also very clearly detailed the steps of the actual process and an alternative method if the first one does not work. You will certainly not find any need of referring to another article for information regarding this topic.
Whether you have an MG vehicle or not the instrument clusters are something that needs immediate attention.
If a reset does not work, then it is recommended that you get your vehicle towed to the nearest workshop to get the problem diagnosed and fixed. The issue will not cost you a lot, but it is necessary if you don’t want to run into problems in the long run.