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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default Instrument Cluster (DIM) on the Fritz

    The Driver Information Module (DIM) a.k.a. Instrument Cluster in my 2003 Volvo XC70 seems to be on the fritz.

    Since buying the car in June of 2010, the system information display always showed the infamous SRS warning (despite the car having been looked over twice with no problems found in the airbag system).

    The SRS warning—always present—but can be dismissed by pressing the reset button on the end of the turn signal control stalk:


    Then, yesterday, it started the "scan line" behaviour shown in this video. Later the same day, all of the readouts on the dash were scrambled. You can see this at the very beginning of the video up until 00:03. At that point the gas gauge jumps back to a proper reading and the rest of the display gets back to normal.

    At present, the system information display functions normally for the first minute or two after the car is started, then reverts to the scan line behaviour. I haven't seen the scrambled digits or jumping gas gauge again...yet.

    Tapping—okay—thumping the DIM can restore normal function or make it shift to another malfunctioning display mode/

    My Questions:
    1. This is a DIM problem, right? Or is there some other issue I should rule out before sending my DIM to Xemodex?
    2. Can the car be driven while the DIM is out? I am guessing not, but would love to hear differently.
    3. Does Xemodex clear the SRS code, or is that something the dealer must do?


    Update:
    Things have gotten sketchier.
    • Sometimes the gauges work, sometime they don't.
    • Sometimes none of the digital LED displays are lit.
    • Sometimes the clock will display, but not the odometer.
    • Sometimes they are completely scrambled, meaning every LED segment is illuminated.
    • Sometimes the display is legible, but certain segments that should be lit, are not.


    I took it out. The wire harness looked like this:


    The harness was mashed between the back of the DIM and the dash! I got a little excited, thinking it might be a straightforward short circuit due to some missing insulation, but a superficial inspection revealed no exposed conductors.

    I removed the back of the DIM to inspect the circuit board. There was nothing of note, at least, not to my untrained eye, but something must be out of whack.
    Last edited by cheapo; 08-19-2011 at 08:25 AM.
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Posts
    447

    Default

    yes, sounds like your DIM is caput. The '03s have a high failure rate with the DIMs, do a search on DIM failure.

    Expensive item at the dealer, about $1,200. Your best bet is a used DIM from same model year and same part number as the one on yours.
    John, '01 V70 T5
    '04 V70 2.5T

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jda2000 View Post
    yes, sounds like your DIM is caput. The '03s have a high failure rate with the DIMs, do a search on DIM failure.

    Expensive item at the dealer, about $1,200. Your best bet is a used DIM from same model year and same part number as the one on yours.
    Agreed. As a suggestion. do a search here and read the information that I posted on the various numbers that are labelled on the DIM and what you want to look for if you go used.

    Good luck,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default



    VCC P/No: 8637993
    Spare P/No: 8602471
    S/No: 2248
    YZK P/No: 69294-620T
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Bill,
    Can you point me in the right direction? Searching for DIM turns up a million results. Searching for DIM + "Serial" or "Number" turns up none!
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cheapo View Post
    Bill,
    Can you point me in the right direction? Searching for DIM turns up a million results. Searching for DIM + "Serial" or "Number" turns up none!
    Cheapo:

    For best results, try and find a used DIM that matches all the numbers that you have in your picture except the one associated with the bar code. That particular one is a unique serial number for the individual unit. To make it easier, you will need to look for one that is from the same model year but it can be from a S60, S80, V70 or XC. Despite the expressed concerns about sunroofs, etc. everything will work but as noted the mileage will be the higher of the two stored in the used DIM or the central ECU.

    That's basically the synopsis of what I posted up on my experience with the situation.

    Good luck,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    148

    Default

    We just swapped the DIM on my brother-in-laws XC exhibiting the same problems. His DIM flipped out and eventually, just full-out died. He picked up a used one (same year, part number) from ebay for $200. Beware of potential mileage issues. His "new" DIM had significantly fewer miles than his car itself, and despite reading that the car will display the higher mileage between the DIM and car....the DIM won out in his case

    If you're feeling handy: http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showth...diy+dim+repair

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    157

    Default

    I am sooo tempted to try some of that DIY mojo, but then I read about how it messes things up for some of the people who try it (window and sunroof controls knocked out, etc.) and I get nervous.

    I sent Xemodex my video.
    They are quoting me $395 +HST to repair it with overnight shipping each way.
    2003 XC70 with 345,000 km (214,370 mi)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    1

    Default Another DIM bites the dust.

    This exact thing just happened to me 3 days ago, sometimes is goes back to normal, however I have a feeling it is just a matter of time...

    "billr99" thanks for the guidance and "cheapo" thanks for the images.

    One question: Is it still safe to drive until I decide which route i am going to take (used, e-bay or dealership)?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2K02 XC70 OceanRace View Post
    This exact thing just happened to me 3 days ago, sometimes is goes back to normal, however I have a feeling it is just a matter of time...

    "billr99" thanks for the guidance and "cheapo" thanks for the images.

    One question: Is it still safe to drive until I decide which route i am going to take (used, e-bay or dealership)?

    Thanks.
    Well, you don't have any instrumentation so I guess how safe it is is how well you can do things like judge speed. But if you go with the flow of traffic and if the car is gassed up and doesn't overheat, you should be OK. It drove me nuts not having working information, but driving-wise I was able to cope well enough but I wouldn't have wanted to do it for very long.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

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