Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Repairing Instrument Cluster dashboard light

So far, ELD5 Inverter was successfully tested on the following cars:


Make / Model Production years Trim Engine
Chrysler Sebring 2007 - 2009 All All
Dodge Caliber 2006 - 2009 All All
Dodge Avenger 2007 - 2011 All All
Dodge Grand Caravan 2009 All All
Chrysler Town & Country 2009 All All


If your car or year model is not listed contact us or come back later as this page is frequently updated.


Is this look familiar to you ? Dasboard Light flicker or not working at all? Then read on!

     There is no shortage in Dashboard light, there is no fuse-related problem, also spraying the back cluster's connectors with contact lube will do no good, there is no poor connection either. The Instruments Cluster Light came from a thin EL (electroluminescent) foil that is right under the printed transparent plastic of your instruments.

This electroluminescent foil in terms of electronics is nothing but a capacitor and it have the property that when is connected to alternative voltage it emit light. Now, There is no AC alternative voltage in your car so it need to be created by an inverter.

      The fault part is the inverter situated on the board PCB. This inverter use a specialized IC which produce a maxim 300Vpp (peak to peak) under load at 250Hz with a wave shape that offer effective 114Vrms at maximum intensity.
Instruments clusters light failure appear because this inverter is under dimensioned from the start , yes that's right a electronic design flaw.


     The same PCB (printed circuit board) and schematics was used by Chrysler to build dashboards for couple of they cars, either if is Chrysler Sebring , Dodge Caliber or Dodge Avenger and other, the electronics inside the dashboard is the same. On the outside, gouges may look a bit different from model to model but inside , they are all the same


     From the gauges illumination point of view all this dashboard clusters share the same inverter that fail as mentioned above. That is why this illumination problem are spread all over those cars regardless their model, engine or gearbox type.

     No wonder that this instruments lights are dying like flies in autumn all around the world, and a new one sooner or later will have the same fate. I bought a used Dodge Caliber Instrument Cluster from Ebay, where there's tons of them, (I wonder why) and it worked exactly six months before fail in glory as original one. 

   So I decide to play this game no more and build my own inverter that fits just fine and is capable of driving EL clusters up to ~450nF !!! in total, maintaining all functionality as original one, dimming , intensity per dimming steps .. everything. 


Electroluminiscent Inverter Driver - ELD5

The ELD 5 inverter is designed to drive any EL panels up to 200 square inches (~1300 cm2), A2 size, and have digital inputs for controlling output intensity. In this way it seamlessly integrate with instrument cluster, ELD5 talking with dashboard's MC9S12 processor trough digital interface makes dimming function to work exactly as original.

ELD 5 - Printed Circuit Board

Couple of key futures of ELD5:

-  It drives the large EL Panel  of instrument cluster without any problem

-  Designed to be easy installed and fit inside the Instrument Cluster box

- Retaining the same functionality as original one including dimming capability

- Capable of outputting a whopping 175 Vrms  under load, compared with 114Vrms of original, so the maximum brightness can be higher than original.

- State of the art design with no expenses spare


Installing the inverter are straight forward procedure and consist of completing the 7 steps. 

1. Remove the dashboard instrument cluster from the car.

2. Place the dashboard on your working bench, bottom up, and remove the plastic back cover and place it near as indicated in picture bellow.

3. Place the ELD 5 add-on card in to one of the available plastic gopher of the back plastic cover and secured it in place with plastic glue gun. 

4. Disconnect the backlight electroluminescent foil from the board by unpluging transparent ribbon cable from the black socket. Using a sharp razor or fine metal tip tool, cut the four PCB traces. The points where traces must be cut are marked in picture bellow with red tiny "x" signs. Click on the picture for high resolution photo.

Cut each of the four traces in the indicated points. "x" marks the spot

5. Connect the ELD 5 card to the main board's PCB by soldering each ends of the six wires to the indicated points.

Main board connection points

The wire colors are irrelevant, always identify J1,J2,J3,J4,J5,J6 by consulting the pin-out bellow    

6. Reconnect the transparent ribbon cable back into the the black socket.
7. Paying attention to the six wires reassemble the dashoard instrument cluster and mount it on the car.

That's it !

Epoxy coated ELD5 inverter cards

Here is a guide video of repair procedure 


Bellow its a short video with ELD5 inverter lighting an Instrument Cluster on the bench.

If you need any other details please contact me

***** WARRANTY ****


Product: ELD5 - inverter add-on card 

Product MTBF (mean time between failures) - 50000 hours

Effective Warranty: 2 years* (from the time of purchase)


We, GUARANTEE the user that this product, upon proper installation, see the seven steps above, will fix the illumination issue on specified vehicles and will not interfere in any harmful way with any on-board electronics of the vehicle. 

***** FEEDBACK *****

There is no ELD5 "fun club" and probably never will, people "set and forget" but we encourage you upon installation to leave us a feedback bellow. If possible please use your g+ account to do so.

Here are couple of picked up ELD5 feedback's from the users :


From Germany / ELD5 on Dodge Caliber:

ELD5 received

ELD5 Installed


From Latvia / ELD5 on Chrysler Sebring:

Installing ELD5

After Install , Light ON ! :)


From Italy / ELD5 on Dodge Caliber:

On our Facebook account

From Germany / ELD5 on Dodge Avenger: