'97 And Newer Corvettes
The glass replacement lenses...
The glass replacement lenses are fragile, so be careful when packing your dash. They run $125 per lens!
According to the experts, these dashboards have a variety of problems, but nothing that an owner should consistently look for. These units unscrew (four mounting points) like the previous clusters discussed, with the electronic plug positioned in the back as well. The most common complaint with these units is that the Head-Up Display (HUD) and speedometer seem to be off a few mph. Fact is, the HUD is an exact number and the needle gauge is a pointer with a factory-allowed 2-3-mph degree of error. For this there is no repair. In the factory's eyes, it isn't broken.
Shipping, Warranty & Other Info
AER does all of the GM repairs in the western U.S., and can repair your system if you take the time to send your instrument panel to the company. Wrap it up carefully and insure it for $1,000 or more. Replacing an early instrument panel can cost more than $2,000, as cores are hard to come by and AER won't sent you one of theirs unless you send them one of yours.
All of these units require that you send them a core or that you repair your instrument panel. On C5 units where the odometer is electronic, they must reset the mileage based on the unit you provide. AER prides itself on 24-hour turnaround on repairs so once it's in their hands, you should have it back quickly.
The second-generation C4 dashboard...
The second-generation C4 dashboard is much simpler than the first-generation cluster. The most common malady is the missing segment from the center read-out.
You can save hundreds of dollars by doing this yourself. When calling about the service, give them the part number on the sticker located on the top of the instrument panel. Don't worry if you can't find one, as they have a tendency to become brittle and break off. If you don't have the information, AER can still help when the unit arrives. When you send in your instrument panel, include a complete description of when the unit fails or other problems you've encountered (for example, AER had one customer send in a unit that failed only after the trip odometer hits 649 miles-if you don't tell them they may not test for your problem). AER will repair the problem you list and check the unit for other problems as well. When you receive the unit back, it will be under a warranty from AER for one full year.
But Wait, There's More
AER also fixes pesky climate-control systems and that chronic C4 problem: touchy Bose speaker amplifiers. For those with early Corvette instrumental panels, they have contacts to help there as well. Full service, to be certain.
The second-generation C4 cluster...
The second-generation C4 cluster mounts in four locations, and the electronic plug is mounted in the back.
The C5 cluster is a good one...
The C5 cluster is a good one with no regular pattern of failure.
The C5 cluster is mounted...
The C5 cluster is mounted with four tabs like the rest with an electronic plug-in to the back.