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Old 11-27-2012, 10:41 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Default How I fixed my 2002 S60 instrument cluster

Just bought a 2002 S60 with 112K miles. The instrument cluster would work intermittently. All gauges, all lights, and displays, would work then suddenly shut down; go completely dark and gauges would pin out, then everything would come back on. On for 10 minutes +or-, off for 20 minutes+or-, an obvious short somewhere. I did notice at times I still had Temp and Fuel gauges, but most often everything was dark. Most posts pointed to possible cracked solder on the instrument cluster circuit board.

I removed and dissassembled the cluster. I studied both sides of the curcuit board, especially around the main wiring harness connecting pins, with a magnifying glass looking for cracked, or bad, solder joints. I found that someone had already made some solder repairs at the main pins. The job was sloppy with some solder splatters on the board. Some of the pins had a little corrosion. I cleaned flats areas with a cuetip and soldered pins with a small plackers dental brush, both dipped in isopropyl alcohol. I also checked the first foot of wiring harness in the car, that attaches to the cluster, for damaged wires. All wires appeared to be good. I reassembled and tested the cluster back in the vehicle. This did not fix the problem.

What I noticed when I reassembled was that if I pressed in on the exposed metal plate on the back left hand side of the cluster, all the lights and gauges would work. See link for bigger pic of exposed plate:
Click the image to open in full size.
This pic also shows my alteration to the back panel. You can see my "Fix" above the exposed metal plate. See next pic ,
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

The fix was made by running a bolt through the metal bridge plate and circuit board and using a nut to apply tension to the metal plate. This tensioning by nut and bolt acheives the same effect as if you were pressing in on the exposed plate.The next pics show how this was done. Note in the pic above that I drilled a hole to allow the nut to be exposed which also allows the back panel to properly seat. This also allows me to adjust the tension on the metal plate without removing the back cover. Proper tension seems to be key. Don't over tension. You can break the board. Make sure you remove the cover from the circuit board before attempting to drill a hole. If you hit the circuit board with a drill bit, you could very well ruin the board.

Okay, so how did I know to put a bolt and nut here? Because, there is an existing hole in this metal plate and a correspondig hole in the circuit board. I have no idea what this metal plate accuately does. I have a therory that the rapid expansion and contracting from the super heating and cooling that occurs within this metal bridge could be what is cracking the soldered connections. The metal plate bridges a large area of the board. Tensioning the plate and circuit board may be closing a crack I can't see. I inserted the bolt through the existing holes in the circuit board and the metal plate.The head of the bolt I installed sits against the circuit board. I only had a long bolt. I cut it to fit. You can use a shorter bolt ,
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

I also drilled a hole in the front panel cover (white one only). See pic below. Again, remove the front cover from the circuit board. This requires you remove the gauges. Don't bend the hands on the gauges, and don't bend the spring pins when reinstalling the gauges. The gauges require the spring pins to be inserted properly in order for the gauges to work ,
Drill here Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

Above is a pic of the hole in the front cover. Both holes in the front and back covers allow me to retension the bolt without disassembling the entire cluster. After you test the unit in the car, It is a good idea to dab a little silicone on the nut side of the bolt to keep the nut from vibrating loose.

Pic below shows the head of the bolt in circuit board. Note the blue tape to the right. At the same time I did the bolt I noted what looked like a cracked solder joint where a lead attaches to the bottom of a 1/4 inch black resister. I resoldered this connection. I used a 25 watt pencil wand, with 40/60 small diameter rosin core solder with flux in the solder.The blue tape is to protect the board from drips and splatter. I did not check this repair separately from the bolt work, So I can't say if resoldering the connection had any effect. (I have since re-tensioned the nut and bolt when the cluster blinked out once. The nut was loose, so I added silicone to the nut to keep it from moving again. This solder repair did not have any effect.)

Click the image to open in full size.

Okay, this worked for me and saved a $450 replacement. How long will it last? Don't know but its working now! Look on youtube for instructions on how to take out the cluster
and also how to solder.

Update: 12-14-12 Still working.
Update: 3-30-13 The cluster's operating condition started deteriorating again beginning in March. I replaced the unit around mid-March with a remanufactured unit from Xemodex. The fix had the instrument cluster working perfectly, except for the clock, for about three months, and it did buy me some time.

Last edited by shaddykac; 03-31-2013 at 10:08 AM. Reason: update info
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:58 PM
Senior Member
2001 Volvo S60
Join Date: May 2007
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 750

Hey shaddykac,
The pictures are not showing up for me. It might be a hosting issue. Can I make a recommendation? Try uploading your pics to a site like for free. You may also want to post this to the Member Write-Ups thread in the General Volvo Chat sub-forum so it reaches more of an audience. I know it is used in other vehicles.

Other than that, nice job with the fix and thanks for taking time to document it. I'm sure it will help some folks out.
S60 2.4
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:16 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 6


Thanks for the heads-up! I checked the pics after posting and they were visible then, but are now invisible for me too. I'll try your suggestion later this week after I replace the struts on my 02 - if I survive. If you don't see the pics later, you'll know what happened to me.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:22 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Posts: 104
Default Humm .... interesting fix!

my DIM has started to act up today, no lights at times and speedo and tach working intermittently clock is going nuts. From my research it is the large chip in the upper left corner near where you put the screw that needs to be re-soldered. I will give it a go tomorrow.
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How I fixed my 2002 S60 instrument cluster-volvo-dash-chip.jpg  
'00 Black S70SE 2.4, 230K KM
'03 Black S60 2.4, 126K Miles
'06 Nissan Altima 3.5SE 181K KM
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:17 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1

Hi. I can see your pictures, but they're so small that I can't make out any detail.
Have you had a chance to upload them yet to another site?
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:21 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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I added some links for the pics, If you click on the link by the picture, it will enlarge the picture to full size.

Last edited by shaddykac; 03-31-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:45 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 9

if the DIY doesnt work you can easily send out your cluster to get repaired for under $200. I just did it. Go to Ebay and lookup seller euro-electric. They give you easy instructions on how to pop out your panel, mail it to them and they ship it back fixed 1 2 3. Dont do like I did and wait for years and trying everything under the sun.

There are other sellers that seem more expensive out there.
or can search.
"VOLVO INSTRUMENT CLUSTER REPAIR". If you dont want to use ebay
you can just call them. 866 281 2414.

No I dont work there i just used their service and boy I wish i knew about it earlier
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1
Default Thanks.

I just did this fix. I can see what you're saying about it being temporary. But it does seem to buy me a little time. Even when it does go out now, one push of the odometer button and it's back on. Thanks for the write-up.
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:08 AM
Join Date: May 2015
Location: DFW, Texsas
Posts: 34

Originally Posted by Maxhead View Post
I just did this fix. I can see what you're saying about it being temporary. But it does seem to buy me a little time. Even when it does go out now, one push of the odometer button and it's back on. Thanks for the write-up.
Same thing here. I am writing a tutorial on how to fix it permanently. will be updated as I go about fixing my own DIM. Trying to make it low cost DIY. may even make a video for fix #2. But this (temporary) solution will help to prevent the problem aswell. So my tutorial at Volvo DIM repair options (DIY) should be of more help once it is finished, and hoping to make it a sticky; as it seems to be a common and expensive occurrence.
That damned 17 year old electronics testing technician...
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