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Thread: Message center issue

  1. #1
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    Default Message center issue

    I just picked up a 1994 MkVIII for a good price. It had been sitting for 2 years since it had the tranny dip stick leak. That's fixed along with all of the other neglected fluids and such. It runs great. But now I have two problems The first is a message center and gas gauge issue. It does need new front suspension too since it leaks down over night. I'll probably convert it. The tires are the other issue, but I'm looking for answers on the tire thread.
    The message center displays warnings, but none of the control buttons appear to do anything. I finally was able to dismiss the oil change needed message, but the other messages won't go away with reset. None of the other buttons work It says low fuel with a full tank and the gas gauge is pinned at beyond full. The other message is check exterior lighting, but I expect that since I installed LED headlamps and they won't display resistance like conventional lights. How do I get it to respond properly?
    Bill W.

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    Welcome!

    Based purely upon your mention in the other thread of the wheel sizes that were provided to you with the car, this particular Mark has had a very interesting life.. This will be fun to watch..

    If no buttons on the message center do anything at all, I'd be suspicious of the wiring harness that feeds it being disconnected. If I recall, the message center can be removed by prying ever so gently around the edges, and "popped up" from the dash. Keep in mind 2 things. I've only done this on '97 and '98 cars, so yours may be different. Also, that plastic is extremely delicate. don't break it. If the stereo is easily removed, you may be able to reach into that "hole,' and pop it up from the inside.

    Assuming the previous owner has made attempts to "personalize" the car, you could find all kinds of innovative wiring going on in there..

    I do think we need to know more though. What other messages are you seeing? I have seen faulty wiring (bad grounds, bus wires shorted to ground) that that can prompt a whole array of false alarms from these systems. Your car, however. also appears to have the distinction of being modified enough that each error could be explained individually, as well..
    Mike Martin

    1997 Mark VIII LSC 5.0
    2001 Dodge Dakota

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    The only mods that the PO has done were a different stereo head along with a subwoofer and amp for it. The seller who had parked it took the subwoofer and amp, but the stereo still functions through the car's speakers. The subwoofer and its amp were bad kit anyway. The only other mod was a set of blue led floor lights.
    The message center itself appears to be working, but the controls don't. Although the clock button shows the initial clock message, you can't go any further into its menu. I may try pulling out the stereo head to see if something got partly unplugged on the control panel. But beyond that I'm unsure why it would only sense one of the buttons and not the others. The messages that it's showing seem legit since it only came up with the check exterior lights when I installed the LED headlights. I could believe the oil change one too since I found an old receipt in it that indicated the proper interval between now and then. The gas level one is wrong and the gas gauge is definitely not right since it needed about 8 gallons to fill it and it was stuck pegged at beyond full before I filled it. What usually goes wrong with the gas gauge system?
    Bill W

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    Welcome Bill!

    It is not uncommon for the switches to go bad on the message center. One or more could be stuck or inoperative. You could try to source a used part or remove it and attempt to clean the contacts after some disassembly.

    As for the fuel gauge, it sounds like a wiring issue (short or open circuit) from the fuel sending unit. I suppose the fuel sending unit could also be defective, particularly if the fuel pump has been replaced in the past.

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    Hitting it with contact cleaner and testing seems like a good first approach. How do you remove them without breaking everything?
    Bill W

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    Carefully slide a thin screwdriver or putty knife under the front of the assembly, pry up and it will pop up, all years.

    Bill
    1994 Deep Jewel Green 183,142 miles
    1997 White LSC 135k miles
    1998 White Collectors Edition 175k
    1994 Black (#2) 100k miles
    1993 Deep Jewel Green Convertible

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