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VDO Temperature Gauge or Sender Problem

When taking out and reinstalling my instrument cluster (several times) to put in an aftermarket LED illumination kit, I seem to have damaged something related to the temperature gauge. I'm not sure if it's the sender or the gauge itself.

Symptom: the needle hangs straight down when the car is off; when cold, it points about 30 degrees left of down; when at operating temperature, it just about gets to the lowest mark.

I suspect I have bumped something I shouldn't have in the gauge, but I don't want to rule anything out. The possible scenarios I see:

1. I knocked the needle out of alignment. In which case either a) it's an easy DIY fix or b) I have to replace the gauge.

2. I static discharged the gauge, in which case it needs to be replaced.

3. I static discharged the sender, in which case it may or may not need to be replaced.

4. I just didn't reconnect the four BigAss connectors on the back of the instrument panel firmly enough. (This can just about be ruled out, since I have reconnected several times hoping it was this simple.)

Has anyone seen this? Does anyone know the "correct" voltage range for the sender? It shouldn't be hard to probe the sender at cold and warm temps... and I might even be able to rig up a current limited supply with a pot to test out the gauge.

Hints would be appreciated. Thanks.

(Also, got my new plates in today...

Old 04-04-2005, 03:41 PM
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