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ZC32s Instrument Cluster Disassembly & LED Repair Guidance

Here is a sort of walkthrough on how to, first of all, remove the instrument cluster from a 2012 ZC32s Suzuki Swift Sport and then I will show you which LEDs to purchase to fix the issue. I will not cover the soldering of the new LEDs onto the circuit board as I believe I am not experienced enough to do this. However, I will link some youtube videos that helped me get through it and some suggestions. I am open to any improvements that can be made to this guide and I am also open to showing my soldering station if anyone needs any help with that. Please do not be discouraged by desoldering and soldering parts onto circuit boards, it is not as difficult as it seems. Here goes the guide:

1. First off, you will need to remove the instrument cluster plastic surround. It is only held in by plastic clips, so, start off by pulling from just above the steering wheel, pulling towards yourself. Then work your way around the instrument cluster surround in an anticlockwise direction until all the tabs have been popped out and the surround is free.

*Subsequent steps to come in the replies as I can only upload 5 photos at a time.*

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2. Next, you will have to remove the instrument cluster from the car. This is simple to do by, first, removing the two screws on the bottom corners and then pulling towards yourself at the top right corners. Be careful and do not pull too hard as there is a cable connected to the back. Remove this cable and the instrument cluster is now free from the car.

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3. Now the instrument cluster is free of the car, we can remove the plastic visor covering the gauges. To do this you must remove the highlighted 8 T10 torx screws from the backside of the instrument cluster. Then you can pop each of the tabs as seen in the 3rd picture and the front plastic visor can be removed from the instrument cluster.

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4. Now to remove the black plastic rear panel you must press both white tabs as pictured. This reveals the rear of the circuit board and please take care not to touch it too much. If possible, try to keep your work on an antistatic mat and wear an anti-static wristband. I didn’t wear one, but I have prior experience with electronic repairs, and I don’t want to be held accountable to anyone messing up their circuit boards!

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5. Now we must remove the needles from the fuel, coolant temp, speedo and rev gauge. I have done this several times and used a car trim removal tool or another plastic spudger to pry from underneath carefully and straight up without twisting it at all. Take care at this stage and they should come out. Also, it might prove useful to use some masking tape on the gauges to highlight where the needles sit with no power to them. In addition, try not to twist the needle and motor as it can mess up the positioning of them.

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6. Now turn the whole assembly over and have it positioned like image 2. We can now, by prying the two plastic tabs as highlighted in image 1, rotate the circuit board from the plastic surrounds.

*CAUTION BE CAREFUL AT THIS STAGE AS THERE IS A RIBBON CABLE (see image 3 and 4) CONNECTING THE LED SCREEN ON THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER TO THE CIRCUIT BOARD. THE CIRCUIT BOARD CAN BE FLIPPED ROUND WHILE KEEPING THE RIBBON CABLE CONNECTED, BUT DO NOT TRY AND COMPLETELY SEPARATE THE CIRCUIT BOARD FROM THE SPEEDOMETER/PLASTIC HOUSING. SUPPORT THE PLASTIC HOUSING AT THE REAR BY A BOX OR BY THE PLASTIC INSTRUMENT CLUSTER VISOR TO KEEP ANY STRAIN OFF OF THE RIBBON CABLE.*

Now we can see the side of the circuit board with the LEDs on it.

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7. The LEDs that were broken for me were the fuel gauge and coolant temperature gauge needle LEDs. These LEDs are found in the locations pictured in image 1, 2 and 3. The correct led replacements are PLCC-4 3528 LEDs and the colour is cool white or in this case, white. I ordered them from ebay from the following link:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Quality-SMD-LEDs-0603-0805-1206-3528-PLCC2-PLCC4-RED-PINK-WARM-WHITE-BLUE-GREEN/203289179638?var=503652117957

I am sure there are many other options available. Make sure that you purchase more than needed. I messed up a few attempts and so I was lucky to have purchased 10 of them.

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8. Now, this is where I leave you fellow swifters. All there is to do now is desolder the old/broken LEDs and solder on the new ones. I used a video from youtube to teach me how to desolder and solder circuit board items. It is as follows:

I highly suggest you watch it and take into consideration his hints and tips as he is a far better circuit board repairer than me. Also, if you are going to go through with this repair DIY, do practice on a practice soldering board before as you run the risk of damaging your circuit board if you don’t practice. Always solder in a well-ventilated environment as it is good practice, especially when using lead solder.
I wish you all the best of luck and hope this helps. If you don’t want to go through with this guide yourself, I don’t blame you but it isn’t as difficult as it looks. Only a year ago I started soldering and I have repaired TVs, games consoles, computers and now my car! It is a very worthwhile skill to learn and one that will prove useful. If anyone needs any help on any soldering equipment needed, don’t hesitate to ask. I used pretty much what the man in the video above used and it worked out well, as you can see in the pictures attached. Take care and peace!

Tom

p.s. The new LEDs under the fuel and coolant temp needles are brighter than the other needles now but at least I can see them in the dark now!

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Mark Gibbon has reacted to this post.
Mark Gibbon

Wow. Thanks for posting all that info Tom.

My gauges are behaving themselves but I've seen on this forum that they fail every now and then - I would attempt a diy fix now! Cheers

Tom Duncan has reacted to this post.
Tom Duncan

Tom Duncan you are a Saint 👌