Delayed implementation of new cluster gauge with compass


There’s the missing compass!

[UPDATED 9/8/2018]
The 2018 124 Spiders were supposed to come with the upgraded Multi-Information TFT Display.  In the Classica model, you would have had to order the Technical package to get the new gauge though.  I have a theory as to why that didn’t materialize.



The MX-5 RF debuted a new cluster gauge (the left-most gauge) which is actually a TFT (color) screen presented in a similar style to the mechanical gauges, but which can be customized to show a variety of different information, unlike our LCD info screen which is very limited in it’s capabilities and couldn’t be programmed to display feedback regarding the state of the retractable hardtop.  It appears that a compass has also been added to the primary screen to make up for the deficiency in the Navigation screens (and no Heads-Up Display).

It is officially called the 4.6″ Multi-Information color TFT display and I was wishfully thinking that Fiat would incorporate a turbo boost gauge in place of the unused monotone water temperature gauge (the color version functions nicely), and if not, perhaps a tweak of some sort might accomplish this goal.

Technical problem

Apparently the first generation of new clusters debuting in the RF had a significant battery drain issue (after about a week of not being driven, the battery will be incapable of starting the engine) because it will not go into “sleep-mode”, and instead will draw around 80 mA, if both of these conditions exist:

  • the ignition has been turned OFF
  • the cruise-control has been left “ON”

This was only recently discovered as the root cause and although replacement of the defective cluster gauge assemblies is the fix to the problem, they may simply modify the software to insure that cruise-control is always in the OFF mode during shutdown to cover-up the issue.

Perhaps the last minute discovery of the issue without knowing the root cause explains why Mazda recommended delaying the implementation of the new the new cluster gauge into MY 2018 124 Spiders and soft-top versions of the MX-5s.


I expect we’ll see TFT screens in the GT version of MY 2019 MX-5s (so that it can display traffic sign recognition graphics, among others) and some MY 2020 124 Spiders (if not sooner).


4 thoughts on “Delayed implementation of new cluster gauge with compass

  1. I doubt it will be easy to add anything to this display, but everything is possible.
    I did successful altering in current LCD display . What kind of information you want to see for Turbo?
    My current mod allows to display anything in range of 0 – 299, when cruise control is off.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sergey, my understanding is that the scan rates within the CMU, as well as the OBD2 port are not fast enough for realistic turbo boost readings. The data would probably need to come from an actual digital turbo sensor as in this kit.


    • Not clear to me how it works, but if this information is already available on the CAN bus, it could be displayed in real time. OBD2 protocol is different from CAN broadcast messages, which are broadcast a few times per second. With OBD you are sending request and waiting for respond with lowest priority, therefore there is always lag.
      Is not easy to figure out exact CAN message from the booster, without any documentation, but still possible.
      Some one already know, I guess. If I knew CAN message, I can display it on Instrument cluster, with my mod, or inside indicator panel.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sergey, knowing how you’ve experimented so much already, I’m sure you are correct. I lumped the slow OBD2 capabilities in with the CAN, because I’ve been reading that some implementers of the Speedometer version 5 app are unhappy with the tachometer response, but perhaps that is due to the app rather than the protocol capabilities.
    Here are all of the data outputs for the Mazda CMU, but unfortunately I don’t have such a list for the Fiat version (only difference being the ECU [PCM]).



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