Instrument panel problem | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Instrument panel problem


New Member
June 17, 2014
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Explorer
I have a 2005 Ford Explorer. The instrument cluster (to include radio, windows, rear defroster, but not A/C and not engine or headlights) will spontaneously and very randomly "power off" and then back on instantly. When it powers back on the gauges peg out at their lowest possible positions and "flutter" there for anywhere between 3-10 seconds. This happens with the car off and no keys in the ignition, at idle and while driving.
I have had it to a Ford dealership for repair and they have replaced the instrument panel twice. They can't seem to find the problem. Any suggestions?

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Welcome aboard!! :salute:

I have moved your thread from the Modified 3rd Gen Sub Forum to the Stock 3rd Gen Sub Forum for better exposure.

Good luck getting it sorted. :thumbsup:

Please keep us posted as feedback helps others reading this post looking for a fix to the same or similar issue!

I would suspect charging system problems. When voltage gets to a certain threshold the gauge cluster will freak out and flutter. Yet things like the radio will still work perfectly. Do you hear lots of relay type clicking, too?

Check your battery.

This 'gauge fluttering' happens when the battery runs too low.
You either have a battery that needs replacing, or worse, a parasitic draw (a short somewhere draining your battery).

Yes, you hear a relay click then the gages all drop and kind of chatter and the bells start beeping. This is very annoying. It goes back to Moberly Motors tomorrow but they have working on it several times and mainly wind up unplugging the instrument cluster and then it stops for a while.

You mentioned a parasitic draw being a short symptom, but could there still be a short without a draw? I have a similar issue in a 92 explorer, but I don't have the draw. Only happens when driving though.

to everyone: if the battery is low, check your alternator! 99% the culprit.