How to Remove an Instrument Cluster on a PT Cruiser

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The instrument cluster on a car is the panel/window behind the steering column that contains the speedometer, fuel gauge and other gauges; on most models of the PT Cruiser, this cluster also includes one air vent. If you need to remove the instrument PT Cruiser's instrument cluster, this can be a relatively easy process; you will need to disassemble almost the entire dashboard on the driver's side, however, in order to complete the task.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Flat-bladed tool
  • Remove the air filter housing cover, located in the engine compartment, by loosening the intake duct's clamp with a screwdriver and then releasing the cover's two spring clips, in order to gain access to the car battery.

  • Disconnect the negative cable from the car battery by loosening the black cable clamp nut. Use a wrench with an insulated handle for extra protection.

  • Pry off the trim caps for the A-pillar trim pieces. Pull out the heater/air conditioner control knobs, remove the power window switch and then unscrew and pry off the dashboard's center trim bezel.

  • Remove the screws for the instrument panel top cover with the screwdriver; disengage the clips along the cover's rear edge, using a flat-bladed tool; lift the rear edge and slide the cover to the rear to remove it.

  • Remove the left-end cover and knee bolster--grab the bolster at the top, pull it back sharply and rotate it out. Grab the instrument cluster bezel by the sides and pull it out to remove it.

  • Remove the instrument cluster's mounting screws (two are located near the bottom corners and two are located on the sides, near the top corners), using a screwdriver, and then separate the cluster from the instrument panel.

  • Disconnect the electrical connectors from the back of the instrument cluster and remove the cluster from the car.

Tips & Warnings

  • Lowering the steering wheel can help give you more clearance to remove the cluster.
  • Installing the current or a replacement cluster is the reverse of the removal process.
  • Disconnecting the battery will cause the Powertrain Control Module to lose memory of certain functions. Once you reconnect the battery, the car's driving may feel unusual while the PCM relearns these procedures.

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References

  • "Chilton Chrysler PT Cruiser Repair Manual"; Robert Maddox; Haynes North America; 2003
  • Photo Credit Car dashboard image by Andrejs Pidjass from Fotolia.com
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