Option 3. Used Instrument Cluster

These are very popular vehicles, so used repair parts should be plentiful in most regions. Used instrument clusters are readily available from most automotive parts recycling centers (automotive junkyards).

While he cost of the cluster itself will be considerably less than the cost of a new cluster from the dealer, there are a number of important factors to consider, which will increase the cost.

Unless you have a knowledgeable friend who can remove and reinstall the instrument cluster for you, you will have to pay a repair shop to do it. Otherwise you will have to do it yourself. (If you are going to remove the cluster yourself anyway, why not just fix it yourself?) You CAN fix it yourself. See Repair Option 4 below.

If you replace the instrument cluster, there will also be additional expenses to have an odometer programmer reset the replacement odometer to the actual mileage of your vehicle and to have the passive anti-theft system (PATS) reprogrammed. You may  also require additional speedometer and odometer calibration if the cluster was taken from a vehicle with different size tires and wheels than those on your own vehicle.

There is a very good probability that the used cluster will have the same odometer problem as your existing cluster, since the intermittent odometer problem is caused by a manufacturing defect in the instrument cluster circuit panel used in all these models.

Unfortunately, Ford never issued a recall on this problem, so unless your vehicle is still under warranty, you will have to pay for the repair yourself (see Repair Option 1 for estimated costs of dealer replacement.)

Therefore the bottom line is this:  Unless your instrument cluster has more serious problems than an intermittent odometer, you should NOT spend your hard-earned money to replace it with a used one, since you would be no better off obtaining a used cluster that has the same intermittent odometer problem. If you have other more serious problems, replacing it may be a viable option. If the fading, dim, blank, intermittent odometer display is the only problem, why waste your money replacing the entire cluster when you can fix your existing cluster yourself?

And keep this in mind also: Installing a used cluster will  require that you have it programmed and reset to the current mileage on your vehicle. (This is the law.) Dealers normally charge approximately $85 to $100 to program and reset the mileage.

Another consideration: If your model has Passive Anti Theft System (PATS), you will also have to have the PATS programmed or your vehicle will not start. (Most vehicles have PATS). This will add another $30 to $100 to the cost. So when you add up the respective costs, a used cluster may not be such a bargain after all. 

By now, it should be clear that the only economical way to repair the intermittent odometer problem is to repair it yourself.  You really CAN do it! You just need a concise step-by-step guide to show you EXACTLY how to fix it. (Many ladies have repaired  their own odometer!) See Repair Option 4.

Option 4.  You Can Fix It Yourself

   Ford Truck & SUV Intermittent Digital Odometer
                                                                                                                                 (c) HES Enterprises  2007
If you are still considering replacing your instrument cluster, you need to read this first...