Mercedes-Benz Instrument Cluster Odometer Problems

Mercedes-Benz Instrument Cluster Odometer Problems

Have problems with your Mercedes-Benz Instrument Cluster? Learn about problems that cause Mercedes-Benz issues and how to use a Mercedes-Benz All System Scanner to diagnose cluster problems yourself by following the procedures below.


It is not uncommon for the Mercedes-Benz instrument cluster (IC) to stop working or gauge malfunction. Here is a list of the most common symptoms:

  • Mercedes Instrument Custer is dead.
  • Dashboard Gauges not working
  • The instrument cluster is too dark and hard to see.
  • The engine starts, car runs, but the cluster stays off.
  • Older models suffer pixel issues, typically with the LCD of a clock or gear display.
  • The speedometer, tachometer, fuel, and temperature are not working.
  • Turn signal arrows on IC not working.
  • Gauges, tach, clock, speedometer, fuel level, and coolant level do not work.

Common Problems

1. Defective Cluster

dead mercedes instrument cluster

The instrument cluster itself may fail. In such cases, the cluster needs to be replaced or repaired by a professional. Mercedes-Benz dealers generally do not repair defective clusters; they only replace them. Finding an independent repair shop specializing in instrument clusters can save you money.

You need to use a scanner to read and transfer coding to the new cluster when installing a new cluster. This includes transfer mileage, drive authorization, user settings, etc. This must be performed with a professional scanner such as the Mercedes-Benz Star Diagnostic scanner.

2. Blown Fuse

instrument cluster fuse

Picture of a good instrument cluster fuse.

If nothing on your instrument cluster works, the problem could be a blown fuse. If the instrument cluster doesn’t turn on, doesn’t light up, and none of the gauges works, check the instrument cluster fuse box on the dashboard’s side.

If the instrument cluster fuse blows, it indicates a problem in the instrument cluster or a damaged wire harness.

3. Battery

battery causing mercedes instrument cluster problems

Low battery voltage can cause instrument cluster problems. The first indication is a warning message stating: “Battery protection, comfort functions temporarily switched off.

This issue is often caused due to a partially discharged battery.

Jump-start the car may cause the instrument cluster to malfunction or flicker.

If your gauges work erratically or seem to jump, the problem could be a lousy voltage regulator.

Fully charge the battery or replace it if needed for the instrument cluster to operate normally. Some Mercedes-Benz S, E, ML, and GLS models have two batteries. The main battery (G1) and a second auxiliary battery (G1/7). Both need to be tested and fully charged.

Jump-starting the car incorrectly can cause permanent damage to the instrument cluster.

Check the ground (negative) connection at the battery terminal.

4. Corrosion

instrument cluster connection

A short wiring harness or loose ground connection to the instrument cluster can prevent the instrument cluster from turning on. This may be the case, especially if you are experiencing intermittent cluster problems.

instrument cluster connection

The terminals where the wire harness plugs into the instrument cluster may develop corrosion. Remove the cluster and check. Inspect both the terminals on the instrument cluster but also the connector.

Cleaning the connections can bring the instrument cluster back to life if corrosion is present.

5. Headlight switch

instrument headlgiht switch

The headlight switch may be defective if your instrument cluster background lights don’t turn on or are too dim. Try setting the headlight switch to AUTO or ON to see if these two settings work.

Also, remember to turn up the instrument cluster brightness.

6. One gauge is not working.

mercedes gauge not working

If only one of the gauges does not work, the problem may not be the instrument cluster.

For example, if the fuel gauge does not work or intermittently, the problem typically is with the fuel level sending unit installed in the trunk instead of the instrument cluster.

If more than one gauge is not working, the problem may be a defective SAM unit.

Test Mercedes-Benz Instrument Cluster

test mercedes benz instrument cluster

You can carry out several tests to check Mercedes-Benz’s operation.

Test you can perform:

  • Turn on all the dashboard lights.
  • Activate all gauges/needles
  • Check instrument cluster background lights.

You will need an OBD2 scanner to diagnose the Mercedes-Benz instrument cluster module to carry out proper diagnostics.

Scanners that you can use:


  1. Connect your scanner to the diagnostic port located under the dashboard.
  2. Turn on the ignition.
  3. Select Mercedes-Benz > Chassis
  4. Go to Control Units
  5. Select Information and Communication
  6. Select Instrument Cluster
  7. Select Live Test
  8. Select the test you want to perform.
    • Test gauges
    • Test instrument cluster background lights
    • Test cluster colors
    • Test all lights
    • Test instrument cluster speaker

Troubleshooting Mercedes-Benz instrument cluster issues can be very challenging. In some cases, it may take several hours to find the root cause of the problem.

Can I install a used cluster on a Mercedes-Benz?

install used mercedes benz cluster

You can, but the mileage will not show on the instrument cluster. It will display as ——. Used instrument cluster mileage is very challenging to program.

The EEPROM memory needs to be erased before the mileage can be corrected. Few repair shops will be able to reset the mileage and program a used Mercedes-Benz cluster.

On most 2000 and older Mercedes-Benz, you could swap the cluster. The cluster shows the mileage of the donor vehicle.


If there is an instrument cluster open recall for your Mercedes-Benz, the dealer will fix the problem described in the recall free of charge, even if your vehicle is out of warranty. Check if there is an open recall by going to the National Safety Highway Administration website.

We hope you find the Mercedes-Benz Instrument Cluster Odometer Problems guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Mercedes-Benz.

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