How To Remove Instrument Cluster Needles? (Read This Before You Do It)

The instrument cluster is one of the most vital parts of any car because it allows you to see what is happening to the vehicle in terms of its speed, how many miles it has driven, how much fuel it has left etc. However, there will be times when you need to remove the instrument cluster needles on the different gauges on your dashboard especially when you need to do some replacements and repairs. In that regard, how do you remove the instrument cluster needles?

You can remove the instrument cluster needles by turning them clockwise and then pulling them back up. In some cars, you would have to pry them out using any tool that can gently pry them without damaging anything. The truth is that different cars have different instrument clusters that work differently.

In short, it depends on the make and model of your car when you want to remove the instrument cluster needles because of the very fact that the manufacturers don’t always have the same uniform way of manufacturing and designing their cars. As such, there might be different ways you need to try if you want to remove the instrument cluster needles. And in this article, we will try to go over a few ways for you to remove the needles on the different instruments on your dashboard. 

Speedometer-Odometer-connection

How to remove instrument cluster needles?

There is no doubt that your car’s instrument cluster is one of the most important parts of the entire vehicle. While the instrument cluster itself isn’t something that allows the car to move, you need to make use of the different instruments on your car’s dashboard so that you can actually drive safely and effectively. For example, you need to use your speedometer to know how fast you are going. And the fuel gauge is there to remind you that you probably need to gas up if you don’t want to end up getting stranded in the middle of the road.

That said, the instrument cluster needs to work at its best if you want to make sure that you are also at your best when you are driving. You need to keep it maintained well enough while also making sure that everything in the instrument cluster is working regardless of whether you are talking about the entire cluster itself or simply one or a few instruments that may not seem to be working right.

In that regard, there are some instances when you have to remove the instrument cluster needles on the different instruments on the dashboard. The reason can vary depending on you and your car. Some people simply want to remove them because they need to repair the instrument cluster. In some cases, the instrument cluster needles need to be replaced because they are not working right or maybe because the owner just wants to replace them with new ones.

Whatever the case may be, replacing the instrument cluster needles might be something you need to do in the future, especially if you like to fiddle around with the different instruments on the instrument cluster. But how exactly do you remove the instrument cluster needle?

The truth is that removing the instrument cluster needle isn’t something that is universal in the sense that you can remove the instrument cluster needles on all cars in the same exact way. There are different ways for you to remove the instrument cluster needle depending on the make and model of the car because the different car manufacturers around the world all design their car’s instrument clusters differently compared to their competitors.

So, with that said, let us go over some of the ways you can remove the instrument cluster needle on your car’s dashboard.

The first and probably the simplest way for you to remove the instrument cluster needles is to simply twist and pull. It sounds simple, right? But before you can simply twist and pull, you need to actually access the instrument cluster needles first. You can do so by removing the plastic case that is covering and protecting your instrument cluster.

After you removed the instrument cluster case, that’s when you can simply twist and pull. Try turning the instrument cluster clockwise and then pull it up if you feel that it has loosened when you turned it. It’s that simple. However, not all instrument cluster needles can be removed this easily, which leads us to our next method.

The second method, which is probably the one that can be used in most instrument clusters, is to pry the instrument cluster needles out as carefully as possible without damaging anything on the instrument cluster. In a similar way, you need to make sure that you remove the instrument cluster plastic case first so that you can access the entire cluster.

From there, you can go and get some tools that you can use to try to remove the instrument cluster. There are different tools that you can use (we will get there later) but you can actually still remove the instrument cluster needle using simple household items that are strong and sturdy enough to remove the needle without damaging the instrument cluster itself. 

One of the methods you can use to pull the instrument cluster needle out is by using two spoons. Hold one spoon in each hand and then put the tips of the spoons in the underside of the instrument cluster needle while making sure that the tips are facing each other. From there, push the handle of the spoons downwards while the tips of the spoons begin to pry the instrument cluster needle out. It sounds simple to do but you need to be careful not to pull too hard especially if you already notice that the instrument cluster needle isn’t budging.

Lastly, there will be times when the instrument cluster needles cannot be removed with simple DIY solutions at home. As such, you may need to have an expert or a professional remove the needles themselves because they may be trained to do so or they may have the proper tools at their disposal to remove the instrument cluster needles safely. After all, you shouldn’t risk removing the instrument cluster needles if you feel like doing it by yourself can actually damage the instrument cluster itself.

Instrument cluster needle removal tool 

Going back to the spoon method wherein you use two spoons to try to pry the instrument cluster needle out in a safe manner, you can actually still do this with tools that are specifically designed to allow you to remove the instrument cluster needles in a more efficient way compared to when you are using two spoons.

One of the tools you can use is the Tanin Auto Electronix GM and Chevrolet Stepper Motor Speedometer Needle Removal Tool, which is designed specifically to remove the instrument cluster needles on the instrument clusters of GM and Chevrolet cars, which are similarly built. By using this tool, you can remove the instrument cluster needles without breaking them. You can find this tool on Amazon for a really affordable price.

In the alternative, you can also use a set of pliers that is designed to help you remove your instrument cluster needles safely. We recommend that you go with the GOOACC 3 Pcs Clip Pliers Set & Fastener Remover if you are looking for pliers that are safe and small enough to pry the instrument cluster needles out without breaking them. You can get these pliers here.

Can you drive without an instrument cluster?

Finally, in case your instrument cluster needles are not working correctly or in case the entire instrument cluster itself is not functioning the right way, is it still possible for you to actually drive the car?

Of course, it is! The instrument cluster, as important as it is for your car, is not a vital part of the mechanism that allows the car to move and function. Your car will still operate well enough even without the use of an instrument cluster because nothing on the instrument cluster will prevent the car from moving or you from driving your vehicle.

The instruments on the dashboards are there to inform you of the status of the car and are not there to actually get the car moving. In that regard, you can still drive without the use of an instrument cluster because it is not necessary for you to drive.

However, just because you can drive without an instrument cluster, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should do so. Remember that the instrument cluster is there to help you drive safely while also telling you the status of the car. You wouldn’t be able to drive safely if you don’t know how fast you are going. And you don’t want to end up stopping and getting stranded in the middle of nowhere because you didn’t know that you had enough fuel left in the tank. 

You can even end up getting in trouble with the law if you drive without the instrument cluster because you might end up over speeding. And that’s not the worst part because you can get into accidents or lose control over some of your car’s functions if you try to drive without an instrument cluster.

In short, we will never recommend that you try to drive without your car’s instrument cluster because, even though it might not be vital to driving, it is still very much important for you to know exactly what is happening and for you to be able to drive safely and well-informed the entire time.

Sources:

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How to remove instrument cluster needles