Rebuilt instrument clusters are assembled panels of instruments or gauges that provide important information to the driver that have been repaired or remanufactured as a single module for easy repair and installation. These gauges include the major components of the instrument panel, such as the speedometer, tachometer and odometer, as well as fuel, temperature and oil pressure gauges.
Failure in any one of these gauges can take the form of the gauge failing to display the correct information, as when a speedometer displays the wrong speed or a gas gauge shows the gas tank as half-full when it is actually empty. A failed gauge can also manifest by completely ceasing to operate, as when the speedometer or tachometer fails to move at all when the vehicle is being driven. The constant heat and vibration under which these instruments operate are frequent causes for them to fail prematurely.
It may make sense to replace the entire panel rather than just the individual gauge that failed. In many cases, the same conditions that caused the original gauge to fail have weakened other gauges. It may also be difficult to isolate and replace one gauge without disturbing others or causing them to fail. It is also easier for the complex network of wiring, circuits and connections to be pre-assembled and replaced as one entire unit rather than trying to rewire one individual gauge. Having a pre-assembled cluster ensures selection of the proper model of the gauge and makes the repair and installation easier, faster and less costly in the long run.