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My gauges just went out!

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:07 pm
by derby11
Hello all,

On my way home from work today cruising at about 65 mph (on the freeway) with the air on. My "WHOLE DASH BOARD" went out and the radio stop working. Nothing was working, it was as if the freestyle was sitting in my driveway with no key in the ignition.

My 2005 AWD CVT (98K plus miles on it) continued to drive just fine. First the red charging light came on and 5 mins later everything came back on. I never lost drive-ability at all. A few times this year while cruising on the freeway the red charging light has come on (30 seconds tops) but NEVER have I lost my whole dash cluster like today.

Battery is less then a year old and I changed the alternator 14 months ago. I did all the test to the charging system and EVERYTHING is A PLUS OK!!

How do you check to see if the belt is slipping??


Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:57 am
by Jaimster
Wow, that would get my attention if all the sudden everything went caput!

I am willing to bet that your battery and alternator are fine and that the culprit is actually your instrument cluster, a commonly known issue with the FS. Many have replaced the instrament cluster but i have seen somewhere on this forum that there is a simple fix you can do yourself if your at all mechanically inclined. I think it just involved a simple re-soldering of a component on the rear of the instrument cluster. I will search to see if i can find the thread/post.

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:27 am
by Jaimster
Here is a link to the thread involving the cluster. ... ter#p28203

Here are some pics. ... directlink

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:39 am
by andyf80
Hi Derby -
I would first start with the simplest/cheapest solutions to rule out a simple fix first.

Have you checked the fuse box?

Also, could it be that the ignition switch is on the way out? I'm not certain that a poor ignition switch would cause the symptoms you describe though....and still having the engine running etc. I had a Buick that had a bad ignition switch and caused some really strange issues as you're describing, but if I was able to get it started - it would stay running, but just cause some strange electrical grimlins while the car was running.

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:36 pm
by derby11
I wanted to do an update to my post. After weeks and weeks of just trying to figure my problem out. I just changed the alternator and that seems to have been the problem!

It’s been 1 week now (11-9-2012) and my lights are no longer flickering or the dash lights have not gone off.
Only time will tell if that was it or not.

This is my second alternator by the way!

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:09 am
by Wheelman
The red charging light coming on is a definite indication of a problem with the charging system. I would first check the battery terminals making sure the posts and clamps are clean and tight. If that is OK, then I would move on to the alternator and battery to get those checked out. Just because one or the other is one year old does not mean it does not have a problem. I once had an alternator replaced in a 1977 Chev that lasted less than an hour (poor rebuild job). You may also have a ground problem somewhere. As far as checking the serpentine belt for slippage, the easiest way is to have radio, fans,etc shut off. Have the car running, open your driver's door or window, rev the engine several times, if you hear a squeal then you have a slipping belt. If you check the belt visually it will be shiny (glazed) if it is slipping. The serpentine belts are not prone to slipping so that is not likely. Long winded, short course. :lol:

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:44 pm
by jepotter
Please do a search on the forum. I reported this issue and it was resolved by replacing the alternator. Brushes went out all of a sudden just like you describe. Good luck!

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:45 am
by derby11
update to my above problem. everything is still working great! (4-4-2013)

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:36 pm
by jpz
Thanks for the update. Always good to know that "a fix" did indeed turn out to be the right fix.

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:03 am
by derby11
Update: My alternator went out again (11-6-13) three days before my one year anniversary from the last alternator failure. All the classic symptoms, no headlights, no dash lights, no gauges worked and I lasted on battery power for 5 miles before she died. It was just enough to get me off the freeway and into a nice parking lot with lots of room to come get it later with my truck and trailer.

I'm getting good at replacing these suckers. This time it only took 2 hours!! Does anybody know of a direct replacement alternator that won't crap out after a year's time???

I now have 115,789 miles on my Freestyle and she runs like a champ still. :P

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:46 pm
by clynch1990
my alternator over charging caused this in my 05 freestyle

Re: My gauges just went out!

Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:27 pm
by kc4wvl
I recently had the same issue in my '07 SEL FWD.

Installing a Motorcraft alternator resolved the issue.