A well known fault by Ford who just don't want to know. I would have a go at BBC Watchdog and see if they want to have another bite at it.
I just wanted to post and say thank you to all the people took the time to post help and advice here. I read through the entire 47 pages and some other sites recommended.
I have a 03 ford focus 1.6 zetec with the infamous cluster problem of dials and odometer not working at random.
So following advice and instructions in this thread I set about repairing it myself. I also found a really useful video on YouTube showing how to take the cluster unit out. Paste this into YouTube search box " kOrmDJ-GojM ". Or you can seach for " How to remove a ford focus instrument cluster "
After I had removed the cluster unit I examined the Printed Circuit Board ( PCB ) and noticed what looked like scorch marks at various locations. These marks were small brown circular areas that appeared to run across some of the silver trace lines of the PCB.
I used PCB cleaner 200ml which I purchased from Maplins for four pounds. I sprayed this onto the PCB and then gently rubbed at the scorch marks with cotton wool buds . This had the effect of removing the scorch marks and leaving the PCB pristine and new looking.
I then left the cluster for about 2 hours just to make sure all the PCB cleaner had evaporated before I refitted the unit into my car.
As soon as I started the ignition all dials and odometer were functioning correctly.
My local Ford dealership had quoted me £375 for a new cluster £39.99 for a diagnostic and £68 per hour for labour all plus vat. So almost £600. I asked Ford about the £99 offer and gave them my car registration number .They called me back and said my car didn’t qualify.
I fixed it myself for four pounds and about 30 minutes work.
p.s just a note to people that WD40 isn’t to be recommended as a cleaner for PCBs as it is oil based. I used PCB cleaner which has the advantage of evaporating away and doesn’t leave any residue.
The only real problem that I had through the entire thing was disconnecting the cluster from the wiring scart socket. After a while I realised that there was a black lever catch holding the scart in place and this simply levers up to release the socket.
I would emphasise how easy it is to do this yourself and potentially save a lot of money and unnecessary time at a dealership.
I hope that my post helps people and thanks again to all the previous contributors to this thread.
Last edited by frontinius; 25-08-13 at 15:10.
Frontinius, excellent advice, tempted to try this before going to my local garage. Got a 10 year old Ford Focus and the dash went off twice in March/April this year, then was fine, until last night. Went off again, stayed off.
Will get some cleaning fluid.
Hope that it works for you jonwade. Its been 2 months since i used the cleaner and the problem has not re appeared.
Just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOrmDJ-GojM
Originally Posted by frontinius
shows how to remove the instrument cluster.
Once removed, how easy is it to access the actual circuit board for a clean?
I am a little nervous about all this .... I generally do not touch anything on a car, but I think I can do it!
I spent a very frustrating five minutes or so trying to work out how to unplug the “scart” type connector from the back of the cluster.
Then I had a eureka moment and noticed the black plastic clasp that holds it in place and this simply levers up/forward to release the socket. On the video you can see his index finger doing this at approx 2:35 minutes and takes barely a second to perform once you know what to do.
At the back of the instrument cluster there is a cover which UN clips to reveal the PCB. If you pause the video at 2:40 you will see the instrument cluster and notice the white plastic part and also the black plastic back cover which is held on by "U" shaped clips. Just gently push these up over the white plastic raised " stops" . Also there are 2 additional screws holding the cover in place they need to be removed and then the cover comes off to reveal the back of the PCB. I only cleaned the back of the PCB. I didn't want to take the front part off unless i had to
I noticed brown marks as detailed above and sprayed the PCB with PCB cleaner then gently rubbed them off with cotton wool buds.
Like you I have little to no experience with anything like this. It was however a very simple and easy process to carry out.
Some posters in this thread have mentioned that if Ford change your cluster out for a new one the odometer is set at zero and it can be a problem to get the original mileage certified .This was enough for me to want to try a repair rather than a replacement .Oh and of course saving £600 was an additional bonus.
If you are unsure or not yet feeling confident to do this yourself i would suggest reading back through the various posts in this thread.Its full of great information.
Last edited by frontinius; 25-10-13 at 13:27.
Reason: added more information
Hi every one,
It is a relief to see that so many people have the same car problem. I have a ford Focus 2005, 1.6. I recently bought it second hand. While the first owner said she had no complains, within a six month period, i have encountered a problem with the eractic display of messages on my dash board. Of recent the ignition would not start, i would have to turn the jey in the ignition a few times before it starts. I have heard everyone talk about the cost, but guys it appears that Ford made these vehicle so that they could make their mony off the sale of these expensive parts. Well i am from the caribbean, St. Lucia to be exact. That mean in addition to sourcing my part, i would have to pay for postage, customs duty, vat and the cost of replacing the cluster. Not forgeting, the local dealer with the franchise charged me 55 pounds sterling (250 eastern caribbean dollars) to diagnose it. Ofcause i am not sure they did any diagnosis cause an employee had already informed my mechanic that it was the cluster. But i wanted to make sure so i paid them that EC$250. From the diagnosis i was told i would have to pay EC$3850.00/ 885 pounds sterling. This is crazy, i was informed by an ex-employee that they have had a number of these same fault to these fords. So i give my full support and will be glad to advocate something in my own country, although this is not a pretty new make of vehicle in this couuntry. I will have to print the post before mine and ask my mechanic to check this theory out .
I find that the central locking randomly clicks while I am driving. on my ford Focus.
thank you so much for putting all this information up. I have one BIG problem. I followed the steps to take off the PCB board and cleaned it with PCB cleaner, but now nothing works. The car will not start, the clocks dither rapidly and the warning lights show up randomly and then disappear. It's just not normal. Absolutely nothing works, not even the central locking. Is there anyone who has any ideas on where I went wrong or can advise me out of this black tunnel I find myself in?
I would be ever so grateful for any suggestions.
Thank you in advance.
You might want to also post this as it's own thread in the technical section.
Originally Posted by Focusdisaster
Tags for this Thread