How to Repair the Frontier Instrument Clusterby Chris Moore
The instrument cluster on the Nissan Frontier is important for determining the speed and fuel level, and any problems on it need to be corrected. If the problem is a light that doesn't work, you can replace the light. Any other problems, such as needles on the gauges not working, cannot be individually fixed, and you must replace the entire cluster. This process can vary depending on the year of the Frontier, but it is similar to vehicles like the Xterra.
Removing the Cluster
Disconnect the Frontier's negative battery cable by loosening the black cable's clamp nut with a wrench.
Lower the truck's gear shift lever as far down as possible (automatic transmission only) and lower the steering column with its tilt lever.
Remove the lower screws for the knee bolster below the steering column and pull it off the dash. If the Frontier has its fuse box on the knee bolster, remove the cover for the fuse box first.
Use a screwdriver to remove the screws for the instrument cluster bezel, located along the underside of the bezel, and lift the bezel off the dashboard.
Remove the mounting screws for the instrument cluster -- there are normally two up top near the center and two at the bottom corners on the Frontier -- then pull out the cluster, disconnecting its electrical connectors.
Twist and remove the bulb holder(s) from the instrument cluster if the lights need to be replaced. Pull the bulb out of the holder socket.
Hold the replacement bulb, using rags or gloves to keep skin oils off the bulb's glass, then push the replacement bulb into its holder.
Connect the electrical connectors to either the old or replacement instrument cluster and insert it back into the dash. Reinstall the screws with the screwdriver.
Reattach all the trim panels with their screws then raise the steering column and gear shift lever.
Reconnect the battery cable.
Items you will need
- Instrument cluster light bulbs (Optional)
- "Chilton Nissan Pick-ups Repair Manual"; Jeff Kibler; 2004
- detail: glowing dashboard image by davidcrehner from Fotolia.com