Time and Trip resetting once engine is off

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JohnMcClaane
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Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:38 am
Drives: 2002 Polo 1.4
Location: London

Time and Trip resetting once engine is off

Post by JohnMcClaane » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:50 am

Hi everyone,

I'm in a bit of a pickle...could I pick your brains, please? (5 door, 1.4 2002 Polo)

My dashboard instruments (Time, Trip, RPM hand, Temp Hand) seem to have some sort of an issue. They display information accurately when driving (gauges), but as soon as the engine is turned off with the key, they just freeze in place (fuel, water temp, and RPM). It feels that once I kill the engine current just stops going to the instrument cluster altogether.
On top of that, the time and trip information are both resetting to 00:00 and 0 after the engine is turned off, irrespective of how long I drive. When the key is turned for stage 1 of start (just electrics starting) there seems to be a little icon in the middle of the cluster that only gets half-lit, as opposed to all other which light up just fine.
Everything else works fine (background light, reading light, cigarette lighter (albeit all the f time).
So far, I identified the correct fuse and replaced it with a brand new one (5 Amp) - to no avail.
My next plan is to clean the battery terminals & contacts and attempt to identify the ground wire and clean its connection to the chassis.
I also will test the battery voltage with engine off and on (I know what values to look for).

I read everything that google threw at me, it seems to be a common problem with threads that never go as far as explaining what it is and how it can be fixed.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Drive safe!

JohnMcClaane
New
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:38 am
Drives: 2002 Polo 1.4
Location: London

Re: Time and Trip resetting once engine is off

Post by JohnMcClaane » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:37 pm

I thought I would help someone else as I found the culprit.
It was not a fuse or a battery problem.
The instrument panel, once unscrewed from behind the leather cover on the top of the steering wheel, has 2 cable connections. One to the right (next to speedometer) which is a push-clip design and green in color. Another one to the left (next to RPM meter) with a simple plug. Once both disconnected and the plastic backing of the instrument panel removed, the left plug socket that was attached to the instrument panel electric board was loose. It has 8 contacts and mine had just an ever so slight play - the solder on the connections just chipped away.
I put some more solder on top of each connection, just a drop (being careful not to short the board circuits by connecting 2 separate ones) and now the dash works perfectly. The time and the mileage stay on all the time, as supposed on a 9n.

Hope this helps someone!

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