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Flashing Odometer


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I have a 99 V8 Esprit, and the LED odometer will intermittently go haywire. It does it in all weather conditions, wet, dry, hot, cold, it always come back on line, but the question is when.. it's almost never while I'm sitting at the the emmissions station and the tech wants to record the mileage. I thought it had something to do with voltage, or mositure. Of course the all the dealer wants to do is replace the entire speedometer head.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Gold FFM

So my isn't the only one at least :detective:

I've tried to reposition the flat-cable betweeen the clamp and LCD feed connector -but this was not an permanent fix. It does it with engine running, without engine running and as so with the car in 'standstill' , so it can't be an simple fault in the contacts caused by vibration from driving.

My thoughts are more in the way of dried out elements on the electronics-plate :unsure: something with 'aged' condensator elements ('m not sure that there are really ones responsible for the LCD element feed )

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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  • 1 year later...

Mine too..99 -- been doing it for awhile. At first thought it was vibration from rough roads effecting connectors. With the passing of some time I've concluded it seems to be random. Never looked into it, as it works more than it does'nt...curious as to cause or fix.. PS (different topic) but speedo is a bit faster than actual road speed and probably racking up a few more miles than actual. Tires are spec size!!

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  • Gold FFM

as crazy as it is (and the question is if it is legal for a car manufacturer to fit a system as easylie accessible as this).. but that is an other point

-Larry, you can recalibrate the VDO speedos simply by changin the impluse-rate .. that's the second reason to have this flat button there.

If you press and hold , prior to turn the key ..so that it is pressed in the same time as the ignition goes on you should see a change in the digital display. You can readjust those numbers now with the button, and if you unsure go to the several web-pages mentioning how to calibrate the VDO speedo (it is also in the manuals there on the VDO pages in some languages..)

by the way -car is now 14years old and still does it ..trip-counter/odometer display flashing and jumping with all or some of the cristal brakets there randomly ..not dependand on temperatures or climate/moisture or if the radio is on or not ..so no real interferences from other systems natural influences..

I just ignore it most of the time and use the sat nav to calculate trip distances

Edited by Günter

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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  • Gold FFM

what have you done ?

..as the 'crazy' reactions only come on from time to time, or more or less stay there until you dismantle the dash and try to find something .. and after some days as it is back in -the same happens again ..

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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  • 1 month later...
  • Gold FFM

rossvm: even as I like to get parts from steve for his competitive pricing compared with German suppliers,

to send my instrument over to UK for an repair would be just to much money spend -compared with the problem it makes on driving ;)

..think the knowledge to fix that up is something that should be shared within the comunity, as simple as this ..as it's mainly just an odd impression for the Lotus character and if you have a passenger inside, but not a serious fault that stops me from using ithe car.

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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  • Gold FFM

Not sure that you actually know it -but that's whats all about ..this problem is only there for the VDOdigital instruments ..as the old (pre '98) boomerang cockpit versions used an manual speedo with mechanical gears for the tripp-distance and mile counter.

So if you have a past '98 restyling cockpit, the small round one -like I have ..think you should now the general differences.

That's why I ask what was actually done on your VDO digital version, do you know it ?

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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  • 11 months later...
  • 3 years later...

Hello all,

i wanted to check in on this.  My 99 V8 (US) does the same thing with the odometer working fine, then it flashes to some letters that don't spell anything in particular (but could possibly be codes?).   It did it quite a bit right after the engine was rebuilt so I actually assumed it was the ECM doing some re-calibration during the first few hundred miles while running it in.   As I ran the engine in more, the flashing went away and the normal odometer miles came back online.    Has anyone heard an official answer from the factor on this?

Cheers!

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  • 5 years later...

I'm having this issue as well.  I got what appeared to be an error which was flashing for a minutes.  Stopped the race for about 15 minutes.  It then took longer for the odometer to register the error.  Typically, the odometer displays within a few seconds, but this was a 5 to 10 second wait.  This occurred this morning for about 3 hours driving the car around town.  Now the screen is blank.

2003 V8 LotusEsprit_Odometer_issues.jpg

"I thought it was Lambo" -  Thank you very much and now it's time to educate the Exotic Less.

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Blimey.

I had no idea this was so common. Mine does it too (2002 V8). Has for a couple of years. 

When it happens, it seems to do it on start up, then goes away after I've driven for a bit.

I think it is display related only, because if (say) it shows 30,000 miles, then goes wonky and I drive 5 miles, when it comes back properly it reads 30,005 miles.

Its a minor irritation, but it would be nice if anyone has a solution. My standard thoughts on old electronics are (1) Earthing problem. (2) old capacitors.

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4 hours ago, fjmuurling said:

Bad contacts of the LCD inside the speedo.

Thanks-can you clarify if that is a proven fix, or a suggestion?

Has it happened to your Esprit too?

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Well after letting my car sit a day in the garage average temp 78 F.  I started it up and within 5 minutes my odometer was working.  It looked it was using an upside "F" and a reverse "F" and they would alternate with 0.0 in the first minute or so.  Then the trip meter was reading 5.2 miles with those characters still alternating back and forth.  Eventually those alternative characters stopped and I was able to read my odometer again.  It was 85 F when I drove out the garage and I set the A/C to max.

I'm guessing it was communicating with the computer, but I really have no idea.

 

 

"I thought it was Lambo" -  Thank you very much and now it's time to educate the Exotic Less.

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On 29/06/2022 at 16:26, LotuStuart said:

Thanks-can you clarify if that is a proven fix, or a suggestion?

Has it happened to your Esprit too?

It does not happen in my esprit (mechanical ODO)

It is more like a suggestion.

 

The picture above and the posting that when it works it displays the right numbers and my experience with similar failures on LCD displays make a strong case with failing contacts.

The LCD displays in general are connected to the PCB by solder contacts or by means of rubber conductive strips which are clamped between the display and the PCB.

Fixing the bad solderjoints is not so difficult.

If the display uses the "strips" one has to remove in general a (brittle) plastic holder and then the contact points on the pcb can be cleaned with IPA. Another problem that can occur is that the plastic holder for the display is a little bit out of shape and does not apply evenly distibuted pressure / force along the row(s) of contacts.

 

In both cases you have to open the speedo  

  • Like 1

Esprit Freak

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