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dash gauges and speedo faults

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Hi All,

Have a now frequent random electrical problem with my defender. its a 2003 td5 defender.

For the last few weeks i have had an ongoing and random problem with the gauges and speedo.

99% of the time the speedo doesnt work, illuminates but no speed measuring.

Most of the time the temp gauge comes to life and moves a lil bit but no proper reading.

two thirds of the time the fuel gauge doesnt work.

Symptoms vary sometimes if i turn on/off things like front and rear heated screens or the fan, but not a lot.

Randomly one or more of the gauges will burst into life for a mile or two and then die again.

Garage has cleaned all the earths and that made it all work for 2 days then dead again.

At a massive loss for ideas here, and my electrical ability is nill, have a multimeter but need help to learn how to use it.

Am in banchory, aberdeenshire if any electrical experts nearby.



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just noticed when sitting with ignition on the handbrake warning light doesnt work, but fine with engine running until i turn rear screen on, doesnt make any difference whether i unplug terminals on rear screen or not.

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hi there,

I assume i am just looking in general for green/furry looking connections anywhere in there?

Never taken fusebox out before, is it as simple as cover off, then some screws and gently pull away?

If i do find some corroded - is it complete fusebox replacement or can it be cleaned with any chemical?



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decided tonight to look at fuses, gave them a quick prod after starting engine and miracles everything came back to life.

so decided to look a lil further, took fusebox off with two screws and then realised i couldnt see much as there isnt much slack in wires so chickened out and put back together. went with taking fuses out one at a time to see if corroded and there were a couple looking a lil scabby so replaced with new ones.

Now all seems fine, doesnt matter how much i turn on all stays working so thats good news. Time to wait and see over the next few days if anything changes.

In the meantime can anyone recommend an electrical contact cleaner spray i can use to take out fuses one at a time again and give each slot a squirt to ensure i get a lil cleaner.

did have a google but there were soo many choices i am hoping for a suggestion of one that folks have used and works well, and also what else i can do to help stop the damp corroding again.

Many thanks folks


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Hi Western,

Blade fuses in the 2003 td5.

The fuse blades looked kinda dull and like there was a layer of something on them, some sort of surface corrosion. None were really green and furry like i was expecting.

Pleased that just prodding the fuses and changing a few brought things back to life.

Will look up electrolube, or is there a different recommended one for blade fuses and spraying into their holders?



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Sort of related to this, my 2002 TD5 has started intermittent problems with the L/H indicator dashboard tell tale light.

Generally it does not work (but all 3 nearside indicators light up)however on a good day it will suddenly start working! :unsure:

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  • 2 weeks later...

:D just remembered i didnt post up again on this thread.

took each fuse out a week and bit ago, squirted in some electrical cleaner and stuck back in, then once all back together gave whole lot a hefty dose of silicone spray. did all connectors i could get at for heated seats, all roof lights, split charge, both battery clamps etc.

Thats 9 days now and not even the smallest glitch.

So thanks to everyone for help, saved me endless hrs of garage time chasing this. Have passed on what i did to garage who happy to hear result and will add to things to check list whenever next one comes in.


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