Focus 2003 gauges pegged to zero

Gents:
Vis: 2003 Ford Focus hatchback 2.0L/std-trans.
After 6000 issue_free miles on my (used) 2003 Ford(~47000 miles), my primary dash_gauges [ temp/speed/rpm/fuel] have all pegged to zero.
Otherwise Focus functions above expectations - good performance, braking, all lights/radio etc working.
Dash_gauge failure occurred after transporting car inside a van for ~400 miles. Afterward, a gauge-recovery occurred for several days, but now again dash gauges pegged to zero.
GOOGLE search turned up this group with various similar reports. What should I try (if anything) before taking car to dealer/mechanic ??
Thanks for any clues.
nss ******
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If it were a Mazda Miata I could tell you exactly which ground wire cluster to clean, as this sounds like a bad ground of some sort.
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On Sat, 09 Jun 2007 10:10:00 -0600, Mike wrote:

Mike:
A ground problem is very believable to me ... yesterday evening the gauge_package 'flipped' back to working. The Focus had done nothing all afternoon , but sit in the blazing JAX sun.
How would I recognize a "ground wire cluster"?
nss *****
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On my Miata, there was a cluster of 5 or 6 ground wires that were positioned in a place under the hood that was guaranteed to collect debris and stay wet resulting in rust and corrosion. I have no idea how Ford dealt with grounding all of it's dashboard electronics.
There seems to be a few people that have had similar problems in this newsgroup. Surely someone out there must know the answer.
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On Sun, 10 Jun 2007 11:02:19 -0600, Mike wrote:

Mike:
In my wayward youth I knew such things about a certain 1970 TR-6 ... but it's been forever since I foraged auto electrical systems. While a snarfed_ground may be the issue I have noticed/tested a strange variable today. Namely .... ... when I start the car BEFORE clipping my seatbelt, then the gauges work! ... when I clipon the seatbelt BEFORE starting the car the gauges do-NOT work.
Is that strange?? Poor statistics here, with only a couple tries, but ... could it be true ???
nss ******
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On Sun, 10 Jun 2007 17:27:51 -0400, noshellswill
zero:

What happens to the gauges if you clip the seatbelt at this point, i.e. after starting the car with the seatbelt un-clipped?
BTW, I use to have a 1965 TR-4. I *loved* that car. Before the TR-4 I had a 1961 Sunbeam Alpine. It had a crank to hand crank the engine if the starting system died.
--
To email me directly, remove CLUTTER.

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On Sun, 10 Jun 2007 17:41:15 -0500, Vic Dura wrote:

BigV:
Sometimes ON, sometimes OFF ... that's why the bad-ground / loose-wire sems plausable. A few more tests would be worthwhile.
But first -- soon as JAX temps drop below 100_F I will try the "remove and clean" battery terminal ploy, hoping that the auto_computer gets RESET somehow in my favor. I hate-to-think of the evil grin my Ford dealer will have when some lambypie comes waltzing-in with "electrical" problems ... ohme-ohmy.
nss ****
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On Mon, 11 Jun 2007 09:15:28 -0400, noshellswill wrote:

Well ... tried the disconnect-battery ploy ... it didn't work. Gauges haven't moved all day. Maybe it's time for the dealer.
nss ****
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In my case too there were strange combinations that would cut my fuel pump, like clutch in with the blinkers on, or the door buzzer going off with clutch in. I am still thinking that there is some shared ground point that many dashboard functions are combined, and your seatbelt warning light is part of the stuff sharing it.
Continue to start your car the same way and let us know if the gauges continue to work. If it is any thing like my Gremlin, it will change with the weather and may come and go. I have no idea how to run an electricians test meter, but unless someone has cured this problem and speaks up, I'm afraid that's what it might take. Like I said, keep us informed!
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