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No one can diagnose your exact problem over the internet.
got in the car a little while later and started up and it came up perfectly bright.
it a bad ground or just age?
There is a low probability it has anything to do with ground. If you always have the correct odometer reading cleaning or soldering the contact pads will probably not fix it.

From this end of the keyboard you are describing a problem with the high voltage circuit and resoldering the smaller board's parts then resodering it to the main board might fix it.
shudahadaV8 describes what needs to be done. For most cases someone with average soldering skills who follows shudahadaV8's instructions and looks at the pictures I reposted will end up with a working cluster. If the soldering dose not help it may be a bad electronic part. If you find someone who has a oscilloscope and understands shudahadaV8's waveforms and circuit description they might be able to fix it.

Can the cold cause this or aggravate it?
The cluster was designed and or manufactured badly. Some were failing during warranty. Some lasted a long time.

If you have not done circuit board soldering before send it to a repair depot. They would be the only people who might have the unique spare electronic parts
If you have repaired electronics before you should know about the solder cracks and issues shudahadaV8 spent time documenting.

This is a thread that needs to be read from first to last post before working on the cluster. Orge's pad repairs usually do not fix the display's problems. shudahadaV8's pictures of the cracked solder should convince most people to do his repair.

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