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Dashboard gauges are a window to the inner workings of your vehicle. From indicating the car speed to monitoring the oil levels, they let drivers know their car or truck is working properly. If your Chevrolet Silverado gauges suddenly stopped working, don't ignore it. We have researched this topic to help you solve this problem.
The dashboard of your Chevrolet Silverado displays many different functions. Gauges and lights malfunction for several reasons. The problem could be any one or combination of the following:
- Blown fuse
- Defective instrument cluster
- Bad sensor
- Voltage regulator problem
- Wiring problem
- Blown bulb
Since there are so many variables in gauge malfunctioning issues, we know you have more questions. Keep reading to learn more about what could be wrong with your Chevrolet Silverado gauges and what you can do about it.
Vehicle gauges measure a variety of important functions. In most cars and trucks, they are displayed behind the steering wheel on the dashboard. There are also a variety of indicator lights in this section of the vehicle too. Together, the gauges and indicator lights display vital information about different systems to help drivers become aware of internal issues before extreme damage occurs. So, if your gauges stop working, it is very important to fix it.
To learn more about the different gauges in a car, read this post.
Why Are The Dashboard Gauges And Lights Not Working?
If you have a Chevrolet Silverado made between 2000 and 2007, it is most likely an instrument cluster issue. You may qualify for a free replacement, so contact your dealer.
But, this may not be the problem. Sometimes all dashboard readings stop working, and sometimes just one gauge stops working. Since there are so many issues that cause problems, it may be hard to diagnose it yourself. If you are knowledgeable about vehicles, check the fuse box, instrument cluster, and sensors. Usually, the problem is found there. But, if you don't even know where the fuse box is, it may be best to take your truck into the shop. A professional mechanic will safely identify the problem and fix it for you.
All that being said, vehicles are complex systems. There are many problems that may cause your gauges and indicator lights to stop working.
1. Blown Fuse
Bad fuses are the most common reason gauges stop working. Fuses help control the electrical currents in your vehicle. A faulty fuse means no current can get to your dashboard gauge and display vital information. If none of the gauges work, then this is most likely the issue.
To check for yourself, locate the fuse box, and identify the correct fuse. If you see any dark discoloration inside the fuse, then it is most certainly blown. If you don't see this, use a multimeter to measure the voltage. The fuse should have power from both sides. If there is no power, it is blown.
This is an affordable multimeter that would be great for measuring the voltage of your fuses. It is always a good idea to keep a multimeter in your car in case of emergencies.
Next, you should replace the fuse and see if the gauges begin to work again.
Here is a 120-piece fuse set. You could easily replace a blown fuse and fix your gauge problem with one of these. As a bonus, you get plenty of fuses to help you out in the future.
2. Defective Instrument Cluster
If none of the gauges work, it could be an instrument cluster issue. You should check for power and a ground connection. A faulty instrument cluster might be difficult to replace. We recommend taking your truck to a mechanic when this is the issue.
Is There A Recall On Chevy Silverado?
A malfunctioning instrument cluster is a common problem in many Chevy Silverados. There is a possibility you are eligible for a free instrument cluster replacement. To check for vehicle recalls, all you have to do is use this website.
If you are interested in reading about more common problems found in Chevrolet Silverados, read this blog post.
3. Bad Sensor
A bad sensor also causes gauge issues. Typically, this is the problem when one gauge or light stops working, but the rest function normally.
First, you must locate the specific sensor connected to the broken gauge or light. Use your car manual to help. Next, you should try to disconnect then reconnect the sensor. The gauge may work now.
You can also connect the sensor to the ground to see if there is power. If the gauge works now, then there is an issue with the sensor sending unit. You need to replace it to see if it was the issue. If the gauge still doesn't work, there is most likely an issue with the wire or gauge itself.
4. Wiring Problem
A wiring malfunction could also be the issue if only one gauge or light stops working.
To troubleshoot for a wiring problem, do the same thing as troubleshooting for a sensor problem. If the gauge is not working when the sensor is connected to the ground, it is most likely a wiring issue. The only way to know for certain is to replace the wire and see if the gauge is functioning normally. A mechanic should probably do this for you.
5. Voltage Regulator Problem
A voltage regulator is responsible for distributing the correct amount of electricity flowing to specific parts of the vehicle. If your gauges seem stuck at their highest point or move all over the place sporadically, it could be a voltage regulator problem.
Sometimes cleaning the voltage regulator terminals is enough to get your gauges working again. Locate the voltage regulator and remove it. Clean the terminals, and then reinstall the regulator. Hopefully, your gauges are now working. If not, it could be a bad ground connection or faulty voltage regulator. It would be best if you took it to a mechanic for further diagnosis.
6. Blown Bulb
If your gauges are working but one or more indicator lights are not working, then there is most likely a blown bulb.
To check for a blown bulb, insert your key into the ignition. Then, turn it to the on position, but don't turn any further to start your car. All of the indicator lights should illuminate when the key is in the "on" position. Any light that doesn't turn on connects to a bad bulb.
To change the bulb, you will have to remove the dashboard panel and replace the burnt bulb. It is possible to do this yourself, but it may be better to take your car to a professional to avoid unintentional damage.
How Do You Reset The Gauges On A Chevy Silverado?
If you have tried to diagnose your gauge problem and still can't seem to find the answer, you may want to reset the gauges. This may be tricky for someone with little car maintenance experience, so remember it is always best to take your truck to a mechanic.
- Find the fusebox and remove the headlight fuses.
- Insert your key into the ignition and turn it to position 1.
- Push and hold the SEL/RESET or Multi-Information Display Info button.
- Turn the headlights on.
- Turn the ignition on.
- While the button from step 3 is still pushed, turn the headlight on and off three times.
- Release the button and turn the headlights off.
- Push and release the button three times.
- To end, start the truck and drive over 15 mph.
- Reinstall headlight fuses.
What Are Some Truck Ground Issues?
Sometimes, gauge issues are accompanied by ground issues. Here are a few of the most common symptoms of truck ground issues:
- The engine will not start
- The battery does not charge
- The headlights flicker
- The battery voltage is low
- There is visible damage to the ground strap
With some DIY knowledge, you can tackle many of these issues. Or, as always, if you don't feel comfortable trying to fix these issues yourself, take your truck to a mechanic.
Get Your Gauges Working Again
Certain Chevy Silverados are known to have gauge reading issues, but similar problems may occur in any vehicle. You can try to diagnose the issue yourself, but remember, it can be difficult since so many parts affect gauges. It is always best to take your truck to a professional to ensure the problem is solved correctly.
Dashboard gauges and indicator lights help keep drivers informed about their vehicles. So, it is vital to fix gauge problems as soon as possible. You need to be safe out there!