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Circuit Board Repair Resource Blog

Circuit Board Corrosion

Posted by Tim Wortman on

These irregular patterns and vibrant colors could easily be from satellite shots of an alien atmosphere. Yet these pictures are not of another planet. This is a severely corroded circuit board, specifically one for a truck’s instrument cluster. When metals such as iron, copper, tin, and lead are exposed to oxygen and water, metal oxides form on the surface. Different metals oxidize differently, hence the painter’s pallet of colors in these photos. As the owner of a vehicle or appliance, this is what you need to know: any exposure to water is bad for metallic compounds, but exposure to a lot of water is exceedingly bad and produces corrosive damage in a short amount of time. Therefore, if a circuit board is not cleaned and dried after exposure to rain, flooding, or spills, it will not take long for corrosion like this to appear.

If the corroded area is small and contained, it can be restored. The level of corrosion shown in these example photos, however, cannot be cleaned or fixed. Circuit board corrosion can cause important electrical connections to be severed, or it can create electrical connections where there shouldn’t be any. On a small scale, these broken or false connections can be individually repaired. But when the vias (copper pathways between the plastic board) are affected, or entire components are degraded, the best option is to find a replacement. Due to the unpredictable devastation of corrosion, we cannot pinpoint it as the cause of a malfunctioning circuit board without visual confirmation. If your vehicle or appliance is having electrical issues after water exposure, it is a good idea to send it to us. It may not be repairable, but we will always look for the best way to restore your damaged circuit board.


The Advantage of Exchange Clusters

We help people like you every day. You're a parent needing to drop your kids off at school; you're a hard-working American needing to get to a job site; you’re a salesman needing to drive a few states away next week. Whoever you are, your life has been upended by a malfunctioning instrument cluster in [...]

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TIPM Trial and Error – The value of eliminating possibilities

It is never comforting to receive a vague diagnosis for your vehicle’s symptoms. We all want a clear diagnosis followed immediately by a plan for resolution. However, a clear diagnosis can only be obtained from clear symptoms–a generic symptom such as "My car won’t start" could indicate many problems in many places. You may need [...]

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A Warning Against Buying "Pre-Calibrated" Turbo Actuators

Buying a “pre-calibrated” turbo actuator for your Dodge 6.7L Cummins engine may seem like a good idea in the moment, especially if the actuator has been cleaned so well that it shines. After all, if it’s been repaired and looks good, what more really needs to be done? This is likely the thought process of [...]

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GMC Yukon Tail Light Failure

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DIY VES DVD and Blu-ray Monitor Repair Kit

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The Benefits of Upgrading Your Instrument Cluster Backlighting to LED.

Driving through a foggy night or a heavy rainstorm can be challenging enough, and is even made worse when you have to squint your eyes at your blurry dash cluster while also trying to focus on the road. This situation can be frustrating and even dangerous. To fix this issue, you have two options: replace [...]

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Shipping Frequently Asked Questions

At Circuit Board Medics our goal is to minimize the cost for your repair and return your unit back to you as soon as possible with better than new parts.  We honor this goal through each part of our process, including shipping.  All of our standard repairs include a quick 1-Day turnaround in our shop. [...]

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How Do I Package My Module to Ship?

I know what you’re thinking… “I just placed my repair order and have no idea how to pack my unit.”  Let me help you. You’ll be tempted to wrap your item in 39 layers of Saran Wrap, an old t-shirt and a blanket, or surprise us with a box, inside a box, inside a box. [...]

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