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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, i need help on my 2004 trailblazer LT, my instrument panel suddenly stopped working, it still runs ok but all the gauges doesnt work, i still have light on the instrument panel and only the check engine indicator works. I already tried checking the ground, the underhood fuses 22 and 24, even took out the ignition switch and checked it for discoloration but it seems fine. tried pulling out the panel to reseat the terminals and unhooked the battery to reset it but everything stayed the same, it did not reset. even check the wiring in the liftgate for frayed/grounded wires, but everything seems fine. already changed my stepper motors a year ago with the help of another forum member. been researching the forum for other fixes, any suggestions out there on what else should i do? when i took out the ignition switch it doesnt seem to be burnt or shorted, what are the signs of bad ignition switch? is there any way i could test it out? thanks!
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ls
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257 Posts
A visual inspection of the ignition switch often times will not indicate anything. And no one that I have seen has found a way to test it. Luckily it is a fairly cheap part, I bought a spare a while back that I just keep on hand (because I know eventually it will die) for a little over $20. The symptoms you describe could be the switch though. A lot of strange things occur thanks to that horrible little switch unit.
If the lights were out too, I would look for shorts in other areas, like the heating control unit, which is something that happened to mine. I had no lights, no instruments working, no indicator lights, nothing. But with the lights still working, I would suspect the switch though.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Strom, im just making sure i cover all the options before ordering the parts online, our local dealers doesnt have the ignition switch in stock, i usually order parts from the US which takes about two to three weeks to ship. will try swapping out ignition switch with another trailblazer this weekend, will update if anything comes up.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
managed to find an ignition switch from a local US auto parts importer, swapped my old IS to the new one, cluster still dead, the RPM needle rotates really slow, no movement from everything else, check engine light still works along with the signal indicators. any other suggestions? at least i got myself a spare switch.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
solved this problem of mine, hope this procedure will help a lot of TB owners out there having the same exact issues. after doing all the suggested procedures, i almost gave up and was about to place an order for a new instrument panel when it crossed my mind to have a look inside my IP.
this should be the FIRST thing you should do when your gauges start acting up, this would be the easiest and cheapest procedure of the lot, 2nd only to checking underhood fuses 22 and 24.

here's what i did:
1: i removed the IP from the dash
2: remove the black plastic back cover to expose the circuit board
3: under a good lamp, check for small corrosions in the circuit board, mine looks like small black/gray dots, they look like tiny black snowflakes, my IP had about 7-8 of these.
4: get rubbing alcohol (i used 70% isopropyl) or a contact cleaner and a Q-tip (cotton bud)
5: moisten the Q-tip with alcohol and gently clean out the corroded areas by rubbing, this may not completely remove the dots for it has corroded into the board but this will clean those tiny "terminals" in your circuit board.
6: airdry then put everything back together and install your IP.

this procedure has brought my IP back to life, im sorry for not posting photos, didnt get the chance to take pictures for i wasnt sure this would work. planning to put a coating in my circuit board next time to prevent further corrosion, will try to take pictures then.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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79 Posts
solved this problem of mine, hope this procedure will help a lot of TB owners out there having the same exact issues. after doing all the suggested procedures, i almost gave up and was about to place an order for a new instrument panel when it crossed my mind to have a look inside my IP.
this should be the FIRST thing you should do when your gauges start acting up, this would be the easiest and cheapest procedure of the lot, 2nd only to checking underhood fuses 22 and 24.

here's what i did:
1: i removed the IP from the dash
2: remove the black plastic back cover to expose the circuit board
3: under a good lamp, check for small corrosions in the circuit board, mine looks like small black/gray dots, they look like tiny black snowflakes, my IP had about 7-8 of these.
4: get rubbing alcohol (i used 70% isopropyl) or a contact cleaner and a Q-tip (cotton bud)
5: moisten the Q-tip with alcohol and gently clean out the corroded areas by rubbing, this may not completely remove the dots for it has corroded into the board but this will clean those tiny "terminals" in your circuit board.
6: airdry then put everything back together and install your IP.

this procedure has brought my IP back to life, im sorry for not posting photos, didnt get the chance to take pictures for i wasnt sure this would work. planning to put a coating in my circuit board next time to prevent further corrosion, will try to take pictures then.
DUDE............ :eek:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU...........:thx :woohoo::tiphat :thumbsup::woot::yes: :D

Your story is so much like mine, it is scary. I have dealt with this same issue on and off for the last 5 years and never found a solution. Tried so many things and recommendations from trailvoy and was just about to order a new cluster when I thought to give it one more shot and research a solution on trailvoy.

I read your story and thought "No Way... this is too good to be true". I tried it and BAM, it works. :)

You don't understand how happy & thankful to you I am.

You have certainly helped me, and I thank you for posting the solution.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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1 Posts
Excellent post!
You are a life saver. I was about to take my 03 Envoy to the shop for the same thing when I came across your post, gave it a try, and what do ya know, $2.99(rubbing alcohol) & a couple of Q-tips later and problem solved! Thanks for saving me a bill I didn't need to pay. Should repost so more members see this. I know I have seen a lot of posts on here with people having the same problems.
THANKS again!
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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6 Posts
Ok. Came across this thread. I've been having issues with my IC for about a year or so. It finally failed on me today. Checked ground and it had 70 ohms at pin A4. 12 volts at pin A2. Measured resistance across the cannon plug on the IC at pin A4 and A2. Had 1.65 mega ohms. Took off the ba k cover and noticed black spots everywhere. Cleaned all the spots up with alcohol and q tips and now it reads infinity. Installed and all worked. We will see how long it lasts. I have pics of before and after. Will post later.
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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solved this problem of mine, hope this procedure will help a lot of TB owners out there having the same exact issues. after doing all the suggested procedures, i almost gave up and was about to place an order for a new instrument panel when it crossed my mind to have a look inside my IP.
this should be the FIRST thing you should do when your gauges start acting up, this would be the easiest and cheapest procedure of the lot, 2nd only to checking underhood fuses 22 and 24.

here's what i did:
1: i removed the IP from the dash
2: remove the black plastic back cover to expose the circuit board
3: under a good lamp, check for small corrosions in the circuit board, mine looks like small black/gray dots, they look like tiny black snowflakes, my IP had about 7-8 of these.
4: get rubbing alcohol (i used 70% isopropyl) or a contact cleaner and a Q-tip (cotton bud)
5: moisten the Q-tip with alcohol and gently clean out the corroded areas by rubbing, this may not completely remove the dots for it has corroded into the board but this will clean those tiny "terminals" in your circuit board.
6: airdry then put everything back together and install your IP.

this procedure has brought my IP back to life, im sorry for not posting photos, didnt get the chance to take pictures for i wasnt sure this would work. planning to put a coating in my circuit board next time to prevent further corrosion, will try to take pictures then.
THANK YOU SOO MUCH! My IP had gone completely dead (minus backlighting) after consistently having "unknown driver" issues. I did your suggested fix and am now three days without issue!

Fingers crossed this fix holds, but if it works, you're seriously a life saver! :thx
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
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4 Posts
Fixed

After checking my fuses, I found a stepper motor thread and was convinced that this was my problem. Not even thinking that this would have nothing to do with an odometer that was blank. But before I thought about that, I couldnt wrap my head around all 6 stepper motors going out at once. So I figured it was electrical issue. Cleaned all my grounds....... and nothing.
I found this thread at the last second before submitting to failure. Cleaning the circuit board was brilliant. Only the back lighting and check engine light were working on my IP as you described in your situation. I could only find about 3-4 of the "black snowflakes" on the circuit board. So, I had my suspicions, but it most definitely did the trick.
A million thanks for posting this thread. Great work using your brain instead of your wallet.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
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2 Posts
solved this problem of mine, hope this procedure will help a lot of TB owners out there having the same exact issues. after doing all the suggested procedures, i almost gave up and was about to place an order for a new instrument panel when it crossed my mind to have a look inside my IP.
this should be the FIRST thing you should do when your gauges start acting up, this would be the easiest and cheapest procedure of the lot, 2nd only to checking underhood fuses 22 and 24.

here's what i did:
1: i removed the IP from the dash
2: remove the black plastic back cover to expose the circuit board
3: under a good lamp, check for small corrosions in the circuit board, mine looks like small black/gray dots, they look like tiny black snowflakes, my IP had about 7-8 of these.
4: get rubbing alcohol (i used 70% isopropyl) or a contact cleaner and a Q-tip (cotton bud)
5: moisten the Q-tip with alcohol and gently clean out the corroded areas by rubbing, this may not completely remove the dots for it has corroded into the board but this will clean those tiny "terminals" in your circuit board.
6: airdry then put everything back together and install your IP.

this procedure has brought my IP back to life, im sorry for not posting photos, didnt get the chance to take pictures for i wasnt sure this would work. planning to put a coating in my circuit board next time to prevent further corrosion, will try to take pictures then.

HOLY COW!!! I LOVE THIS FORUM!

Fella, if I was in the Philippines, I would look you up and buy you a beer! This was the solution to a 5 year long problem of mine. At first, it was only occasional glitches in the IP, usually when the car got rained on. Numerous lights going on and off, gauges working or going off, unknown driver, etc. It was very rare for the panel to be completely dead. I tried all the other fix suggestions that had been made years ago. This year things got much worse. A lot of dead panel episodes. I really thought I had a liquid water problem some how, and never considered that it was humidity interacting with corrosion.
Pulled the IP out, checked the circuit board, and found 6-7 spots. They were so small that I didn't see them right away. Cleaned it and it is working perfectly.
There is a nice video on YouTube of a guy pulling the IP out in about 6 minutes. I couldn't believe how easy it was to get out.
THANK YOU!!! :tiphat
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Just bought my 03' TB on 1/6/15. I put the key in to start it up but the IP only had the back light lit. Needles, Gear Selector nor Mileage showed up. The next day i started it back up and all looked and worked fine. Im going to check the fuses and check the circuit board.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Made a profile on Trailvoy just to promote this post. Started my 2003 LS up yesterday and lost the entire instrument cluster. Did the usual check fuses, grounds, etc. Came across this post and said what the hell. I will admit that my IC pcb did not look bad at all. I could only find one via that maybe had a bit of corrosion. I doused the bottom side it with contact cleaner anyway and cleaned the **** out of it with a soft bristled brush. Plugged it in to test and voila, got all functionality back. If I would pulled that board out without seeing this post there is no way I would have cleaned it, it looked too good! Hopefully it holds out. Thank you OP
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_ls
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223 Posts
Cleaning may not be enough.

Hopefully it is, but if you have the time & a magnifying device, you can go one step farther. Take a close look at each point that you find the "corrosion" & see if you can see where the fingers may be crossing between two traces. The "corrosion" is actually metal migration across the PCB & can form a bridge two conductors. If you can, use an exacto blade & carefully scrape away the metal bridge between conductors. Again CAREFULLY remove the metal bridges between conductors where you can clearly see it crossing between conductors. If you are at all uncomfortable doing this, then don't, because you can damage the PCB. I used Deoxit contact cleaner on the PCB & it did not remove the migrating metal & actually started to soften the coating on the board. It should not have softened the coating & the coating used may be the reason we are having this problem.
BTW Many thanks to davinci for his discovery & detailed description. I will be practicing driving with my fingers crossed for a few days.
FYI My problem with the gauges was intermittently loosing the Fuel, Oil, Volts & Temp gauges. The check gauges light would light & the battery light as well. Occasionally, when it came back to life the dinger would sound. I have not been able to determine the failure to be during dry weather of damp weather. It seemed pretty random.
Good luck to you all.
Thanks,
kev
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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2 Posts
Just stumbled upon this thread, gonna try this out today and see if it works on my 2003 envoy--if it works sir, you are a genius
 

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2002 TrailBlazer LS with all the usual stuff...
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10 Posts
My problem was that all the gauges died, the odometer wouldn't display, and none of the lights except the CEL came on (the cluster lighting still worked, however). I took it apart today and cleaned it out using davinci's procedure, and it's working again. Glad to have this source of information. (y)
 
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