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Ten Years Old - Instrument cluster - is it worth fixing?

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by car4kids, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. car4kids

    car4kids New Member

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    I have 3 choices...

    1. Sell it
    2. Fix it & keep it
    3. Keep it and stop spending on it.

    New to me in December, it is a 120,000 mile 2.5 Tdi on a 51 plate. Unremarkable apart from it has been clocked by some plonker a few years ago (shows 60k on clock) and shunted in the back - which seems to be to its benefit as when the bumper and boot lid were replaced the whole car was made cosmetically perfect. I know the chap that fixed it up and saw the vehicle before the repair.

    I have spent around £2,200 on fixing it up - odd jobs inc. cam belt,water pump, thermostat, engine mounts, all the oils and fluids, air con top up, winter tyres, brakes, ABS sensor or two and brake pads and discs all round. So the £3,300 purchase plus work stands the cost to me at £5,500 - probably more than I would get for it on private sale. But I know what I have now - hopefully a reliable and well maintained vehicle.

    The last job on the list of niggles is the instrument cluster (yet to be confirmed by a diagnostic - but near certain in need of replacement). So do I get it done? £700 at a main dealer to include the diagnostic that will confirm whether it will solve the problem.

    The symptoms are just an intermittent faulty temp guage and totally non functional fuel guage. Easy to live with but everything else on the vehicle is perfect and I hate a niggle like that.

    If fixing it will end all my worries then I'll do it. But am I just going to find another problem round the corner? Hard to know of course but with everything I can possibly think of treated and put right it seems a shame to abandon the cause.

    I know everyone has different circumstances and good advice for one person is different to good advice to another. But given I have the option of storing the vehicle over summer and running it just in winter to keep us in 4x4 for the snow should I keep it? I have 4 other cars - all newish so what ever happens it isn't going to get a lot of use. But I really love it for its quattro and hugely torque-heavy engine. I tend to choose it over all the posh cars for my daily run to work at the moment regardless of weather. I just don't want to get to next winter and find I have all those jobs to do again!

    If I do store it - any considerations to maintenance? I'll SORN it so no road tests but have a yard at work I can drive round if it needs an occasional run and will put a trickle charger on the battery. What else should I do if I store it?
     
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  3. A4 nut

    A4 nut Member

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    You have a forth choice live with it that problem is not to bad,or a second hand set of clocks will set you back £50 make sure the imobliser code comes with them any good indy should fit them for around £75 and as you say you have a mechanicaly sound car
     
  4. hades-

    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep.
    Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    you wont get the SKC code with second hand not at 50 quid anyway
    but get second hand fit your self for free realy is a 30 min job if that and get a local company to recode for you id say £200 all in
     
  5. A4 nut

    A4 nut Member

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    Ive bought them for £50 TT and A4 cab so there out there!
     
  6. Tooks

    Tooks Active Member

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    The alternative way of looking at it is this. Is it right to junk a perfectly good car for the sake of £700?

    That's about 10 tanks of fuel...

    As others have said, this can be done much cheaper at independents or specialists, making it even more of a case for fixing it.

    I'm like you, it would drive me mad!

    I've been in a similar boat myself to be honest, purchased a 51 plate car after some muppet crashed into my old one and wrote it off. I've spent about £2000 (Oil pump, cam belt & tensioner etc etc, and some other non essential stuff like a remap!) on it since I got it last June, but I've got a car now that I'm very happy with and is running very well. I also know that all the stuff likely to go wrong has now been dealt with (including the dreaded sludge issue!) and hopefully it'll be fine for a good while yet. Besides, I enjoy tinkering with it.

    If my cluster went, and I'm not convinced mine isn't a bit temperamental either as it seems to go from 1/4 of tank of fuel to nearly empty overnight, though it could be the fuel sender of course, I wouldn't hesitate to drop another few hundred on it to get it sorted. Afterall, any replacement vehicle might develop faults too.

    It's your cash at the end of the day, and as you say you've got other cars available to drive it might not be an issue, but clearly you like driving it and you wouldn't have sunk all the cash you already have if you didn't see something in it.

    Besides, it's our duty to keep older Audi's on the road!! :thumbsup:
     
  7. swarcup

    swarcup Well-Known Member

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    The temp and fuel guages are fully changeable although they are not available to buy you can swop them from another cluster, when you take the cluster apart the centre part that contains the electronics and skc code are removable its really quite easy, ive fitted the guages from a b7 to mine. Just thought id mention it as doing it this way means no coding or code retrieval. should have the whole lot out and sorted in an hour
     
  8. car4kids

    car4kids New Member

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    OK - done some tinkering and not sure what the problem is anymore...

    I removed the cluster unplugged and replugged the loom.

    That solved the problem - for a short while. So far temp guage works and is totally accurate.

    Fuel guage is back to old tricks. 2 short journeys and a refuel and guage now reads over-full.

    So what can the cause be? Another suspect fault is the ABS light comes on for no reason. When I was fiddling with cluster tugging at the loom caused the ABS light to come on - plugs firmly seated so possible there is a short possibly worn cable sheath (couldn't easily see one though).

    I would love to know why the guages work and then stop working! Will swapping out the individual guages work or is it something on the circuit board?

    Has anyone ever repaird their cluster (I'm thinking a decayed capacitor may be at fault - they commonly fail on older circuit boards and have a shelf life) if so, what did you do?
     
  9. hades-

    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep.
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    there is places that repair them
    try searching for dash services
    i had a B7 cab dash sorted for £50 plus postage
     

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