How to Repair the Instrument Cluster on a 98 Nissan Frontier

by Chris Moore

The instrument cluster on your vehicle is the panel above and behind the steering wheel that features the fuel gauge, speedometer and other needle gauges. If any of these needles are not functioning properly, you will have a very hard time gauging your speed and/or fuel level. Repairing an instrument cluster usually means replacing it altogether. Removing the cluster on a 1998 Nissan Frontier is similar to most other vehicles, but there are a few other panels you need to remove to access it.

Removal

Disconnect the Frontier's negative battery cable, then the positive one--loosen their cable clamps with an insulated wrench--and wait 10 minutes.

Pry off the access panel on the trim below the steering wheel and unplug the electrical connector for the driver's air bag.

Lower the steering column as far as you can. Remove the cover for the fuse box on the driver's side, then unscrew and remove the knee bolster with your screwdriver. Unscrew and remove the instrument cluster trim bezel.

Unscrew the four retaining screws for the instrument cluster using a screwdriver and pull the cluster forward and out of the instrument panel.

Disconnect the electrical connectors in the back of the cluster--they should have squeezable tabs--and remove the cluster from the truck.

Installation

Position the replacement instrument cluster on the instrument panel. Connect the electrical connectors, slide the cluster into position and apply the mounting screws.

Reconnect the other trim panels--the knee bolster and the fuse box cover--and then raise the steering column.

Plug in the electrical connector for the air bag and reconnect the access panel under the steering wheel.

Reconnect the truck battery, starting with the positive cable.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera detail: glowing dashboard image by davidcrehner from Fotolia.com