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Haynes’ World: Skoda Yeti instrument cluster repair - part 2

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Haynes' World is a regular feature that takes a look at what the staff at Haynes are doing with their cars, bikes and other vehicles. This time, the instrument cluster lights on Euan's Skoda Yeti get repaired.

Skoda Yeti

Car: Skoda Yeti

Owner: Euan Doig

Light – what an amazing thing. I’m not talking about light as in ‘not heavy’, although that would also be a good thing (or so my doctor keeps trying to tell me).

No, I’m on about light as in ‘not dark’. Bright, even, such as provided by a lightbulb. We all take a constant flood of electrically powered light for granted, right up until the moment the source of that illumination doesn’t do what it’s meant to.

Yeti dash lights out

Flickering lights

That was the case with my Skoda Yeti last year. Mine is the base model, so the instrument panel is illuminated constantly, and there’s no way to brighten or dim it. It’s a little brighter than I would normally have, but I can live with it.

Or at least I could until it started to flicker – not all of it, just one section, in the bottom left-hand corner of the speedometer.

Worse still, it was pretty random, so it’d be fine on some trips (and would be fine just long enough for me to relax and think it had sorted itself), but on others it was like being at a Jean-Michel Jarre concert.

Yeti instrument cluster removal

Quality concerns

Some internet research revealed that the instrument cluster has no individual bulbs in it, and instead has a board of LED lights behind it, and that this is a relatively common issue with VW Group machinery of a similar vintage to mine. The general consensus is that perhaps not enough had been spent on the quality of the original materials.

Still, onwards. It was pretty clear from the outset that actually repairing the cluster was going to be beyond me, so I began to search for someone who might be able to do the work. I was also keen to keep the same cluster, because I didn’t want to lose my car’s mileage figure.

Yeti instrument cluster removal

Instrument specialists

This research led me in the direction of a company called Cartronix (02392 265986), which is based in Waterlooville, Hampshire.

Cartronix can not only sort instrument illumination, but can also repair LCD displays with missing pixels, replace faulty processors etc. I called, they told me that the only way to resolve the issue would be to replace the board of LEDs with a higher-spec one, which I was happy to go along with, because I plan to hang on to the car for a while. They gave me a price of £150 plus VAT, and so an appointment was made.

On the day in question I turned up, and Steve from Cartronix came outside, removed the cluster from the car in less than a minute, and went back in to carry out the swap.

He was back in less than an hour, and then spent time installing the refurbished cluster, then testing it to make sure all was well.

And that was it – utterly painless and hassle free. The cluster lighting has performed faultlessly ever since.

So, if your car’s instrument cluster start to show signs of being temperamental, a call to Cartronix would be well worthwhile.

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the nice, soft, constant glow afford by the new LEDs – the future is bright!