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OT- Leave it to GM (Chevy)

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  • OT- Leave it to GM (Chevy)

    The oil pressure gauge on my 04 Chevy 2500HD freaked out and pegged yesterday. Turns out after a little (OK, a lot) of research, the instrument cluster uses little stepper motors to run all the dials and needles. From 02-07 these motors were made incorrectly (spell that J-U-N-K), and though there was not a formal recall, a class action lawsuit was settled to replace all seven steppers.... IF: your vehicle was less than seven years old, AND, if your mileage was less than 80,000. I missed the problem by only a few months, but GM essentially told me to go push a rope uphill anyway. Soooo.....

    I am purchasing seven steppers for $25 bucks and will replace them myself. Question is: Has anyone else had this issue? And, how much of a PIA is it to de-solder the old motors off of the instrument cluster? I should imagine that re-soldering the new motors on will be pretty straight forward, but the instrument cluster is really just one big PC board. and I don't want to cook it getting the old motors off.

    Anyone done this?


  • #2
    could you find a complete replacement unit at a scrapyard for less money/hassle?

    i'd recommend that over trying to repair your defective unit if possible, as reworking electronics is a PITA and 7x$25 sounds spendy. (although i just re-read your post and it sounds like it's $25 for 7, not $25 each)


    • #3
      This isn't unique to General Malfunction (I own a 2008 Malibu), Ford did it with some issues on the ever-popular F-series trucks.

      My dad has an '06 F150 and the digital display for the odometer is well known for going blank. Considering that the federal emissions warranty extends to at least 5 years/80k miles, you'd think they would cover fixing the common failure. Nope, not a chance. Dealer fixed it for $650 and the only way they could do it was to bring the truck in, read the miles off the ECM, and have those miles entered into the replacement cluster. We were NOT happy.


      • #4
        Been there done that, get a solder sucker ......There is a site that goes thru it step by step with pics...............


        • #5
          25 bucks is for all seven steppers. $3.00 shipping

          No junk yard parts, though it was thought about. Would have the same problem with them.

          BUT...... I also found a place on e-bay that will change all seven steppers and lamps to boot for 60 dollars. I pay to ship it there and he pays to ship it back. Link follows:

          Since I don't need the truck often, and could drive it in a pinch without the dash cluster anyway, I am pondering this route. And he has 100% feedback. Now......... is my valuable time worth 60 dollars?

          On edit: I just re-read the service link. It APPEARS that maybe he only changes the faulty stepper. I will call him tomorrow to find out. I want all seven motors changed cause I just really don't want to do this again. Stand by.
          Last edited by garagemark; 12-19-2011, 05:56 PM.


          • #6
            most of the steppers you buy now are the upgraded ones...


            • #7
              garagemark's mention of the under 80,000 mile warranty reminded me of the EPA mandated warranty for emission control components. Even thought it's of no use in this instance, it might help someone else with warranty on emission control components. Only valid in the USA...

              Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


              • #8
                I can't say I've had to replace any stepper motors in GM cars & trucks instrument clusters. We used to send them out to a certified repair facility...mainly because tampering with the speedometer in some states is against the law, and technically, opening the instrument cluster would be interpreted as tampering. I do recall the speedometers going out or getting erratic on a few of the old, old Chevy pickups. The repair facility usually turned them around in a very short time at a reasonable price....

                Fords were a constant headache. And Ford actually expected people to flaunt the law and rummage around inside their clusters. Temperature gages, oil pressure gages, battery indicators, gas gages, and even speedometers. Fortunately....for us, Ford had everything inside the cluster made to plug in (almost like they expected to have trouble with it) They also had unending problems with ignition switches, brake light switches and cruise control switches....(in some cases people had their houses burned down by a shorted out cruise control switch....and, yes, the cruise control switch is actually wired directly to the battery....without a fuse)

                Bear in mind, I'm not being brand critical. Most people don't realize that some components in a truck perform better on some vehicles in different climates. (A good example would be the Ford engines. In the desert, especially during the summer, Dodge and GM engines are relatively trouble free, whereas Ford engines are constantly on the verge of heat-stress induced failure. Many of the guys commented that they had no problems with Ford engines, but didn't mention that they lived in the Northeast and Northern states.... A few, opinionated dildos accused me of being brand prejudiced....not the case, geographical location has a great deal to do with the "luck" you experience with different brands.

                If I had a GM truck with a failed instrument cluster, I'd head for the "recycling center" (not allowed to call them junk yards anymore...since they now contain Jap cars, too) A good servicable instrument cluster can be had for about $100.. (My nephew's Suburban had the speedometer go hay-wire. He picked up an up-level cluster for about $75....which was way cheaper than his wife getting speeding tickets.
                Last edited by saltmine; 12-19-2011, 06:13 PM.
                No good deed goes unpunished.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arcane
                  garagemark's mention of the under 80,000 mile warranty reminded me of the EPA mandated warranty for emission control components. Even thought it's of no use in this instance, it might help someone else with warranty on emission control components. Only valid in the USA...

                  In all fairness, GM Canada covers emission systems on cars and trucks sold in Canada anywhere from 3yr/60,000km to 8yr/130,000km for major emission system components.

                  Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                  Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                  Location: British Columbia


                  • #10

                    your not using FRAM oil filters are you???? thoses things are junk ,used to be good then allied signal bought it in 1987? iirc, and quality went down hill ever since, still junk. find "oil filter study" online well worth the read.
                    FORD BEATING JAP CRAP SINCE 1941!! CAROLYN JONES(1930-1983 actress)may this lady never be forgotten.