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Oil gauge always flashing in HUD

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I have a Boxster 2.5 97 (65000km, no OBC) and I want to share the following problem.

Switching on the ignition (no engine running), the instrument cluster lights up without problem. The LCD in the right dial shows the oil gauge, with the indication of the time remaining before indicating actual oil level. The oil gauge marker is steady with the segment display that "cycles". Up to now, everything looks perfect.

When the countdown arrives to zero, the gauge should show the oil level. However, the oil marker flashes. As per the manual, this would mean that there is a fault in the measuring device.

I also discovered that the battery is dead in 4 days if I don't use the car.

I made the dealer check the problem and he said that the oil measuring device is good, the wiring is good. He said that both problems (oil gauge and battery) come from a problem in the instrument cluster that needs to be replaced ($$).

What makes me wandering about this, is the fact that he could not tell me why. He just repeated: "we put another instrument cluster and the oil gauge was working. The battery problem is linked to it".

Is anybody came accross similar problem or has any suggestions?

On this (excellent) site, I saw that some people bought instrument clusters on the net: is it a reliable solution? Thank you very much for your support.

Happy Boxstering!

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The electronic VDO instrument clusters do have some problems like anything that is electronic. I have not heard of a problem with the oil level gauge but there is always a first time. I have not been able to find a shop that repairs them as VDO does not sell parts.

On US ebay there is always a used Boxster/996 cluster but I take it you need a metric one. The problem with ebay is you do not know if a used cluster is defective until you plug it into your car - so watch out. Any 1997-2000 cluster will work in your car, it does not have to be from a 1997.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Thanks for the answer (sorry for the delay...)

I just found a 996 cluster on ebay in France (part number 996 641 105 01 70C) that should be in order.

It looks exactly like my 97 Boxster cluster with, in addition, the battery and oil temp indicators. Cool!

The speedometer goes to 300km/h. Cool x2! But...

Do I have to re-calibrate the cluster or it is just a matter of plug-and-play (oups, -drive).

I can see in a recent post that you (or somebody that you know) already installed a 996 cluster into a Boxster. So, I am asking for your experience.

PS: I removed the cluster to check for faulty connections (but with no success) and I have to say it was a rather easy task.

Thank you again. Ciao.


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That is a metric 996 cluster and it should work on your Boxster. It is not from a C4. It is for a manual transmission. The same part number is also for a Canadian cluster as they are metric.

You need to deal with the fact the 996 cluster is wider at the front due to the 2 extra gauges. There are 2 ways I know of and I guess Dale came up with a third way. If you want the oil pressure gauge to work then you have to swap a wire, or install a 996 sender and run an additional wire. The volt meter will work as it is.

If the 996 cluster is a used unit with over 62 miles then the mileage will not match your car and a dealer with the PST2 cannot change it. Aftermarket companies say they can set the miles to any number you want.

If you search around here there is more info on a 996 to Boxster instrument cluster swap.

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Ok, I did my homeworks, read all relevant posts and here my conclusions:

1- The cluster is a MY1998, metric, manual, just like I need. The connectors should fit.

2- The cluster is from a C2 so the fuel gauge should read the actual level.

3- The analog speedometer gauge will match the digital even if it's written 300 on the dial

4- I will not use the oil pressure gauge so I have no additional work apart from plugging the cluster.

5- The cluster has 20.000 km, so the dealer will be able to change it to the actual kms of the car (72.000km).

6- To fit the cluster in position, I will have to remove the battery and oil pressure gauges. I will also use the glass of my Boxster cluster.

Am I right? Am I missing something?

If no, the operation sounds like easy.

I will post some instructions and pictures if I find something interesting.

One last question: do I have to change the km before mounting the cluster in place or the dealer can do it after?

Thank you. Ciao.

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I think so but not positive on #3. The digital speed on my 996 cluster had problems so I could not compare it to the analog. Bill and Jonathan have 996 clusters and Dale has a turbo cluster so they can confirm if they match.

Once the cluster has 62 miles (is that 100 metric miles?) the displayed miles cannot be changed by a dealer with the PST2 - you have to find an outside company. There are about 3 of them in the US.

You cannot easily remove the 2 extra gauges. Dale did this as he had the new style cluster from a turbo and he was simply able to unplug and then remove the 2 gauges. You have the old style cluster which is different.

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