Electronics > Repair

Ford Focus dashboard repair, should I use lead or leadfree solder

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Today we have traced a intermittent electrical fault on a 2005 Ford focus Tdci to CANBUS communication failure on the dashboard/instrument panel. Things like throttle and start signals go through the panel so the car is undriveable when the fault is present. Warming and slightly flexing the PCB behind the speedo makes the fault come and go with a simultaneous rise in the canbus H voltage.
Dry joints seem likely and tomorrow we are going to reflow as many solder joints as possible but should we use leaded or lead free solder?
Presume it has lead free originally. Both are available but I do prefer leaded! Flux is my favourite homemade rosin.
Thanks in advance.

If you're not going to resell it, there's no real reason not to use leaded solder. It's better in pretty much every way.

The issue could easily be a damaged trace on the board. Check for that before you reflow. 

Just done some googling and it seems leaded solder on original LF joints is ok but not as strong. Not what you really want to hear on something like a car instrument panel!
Ok yes we should be able to trace the two wires along the board and check for breaks.
The pcb appears to be single sided but cannot see for certain until its stripped down tomorrow.
Its not my car hence the concern about getting a degree of reliability in the repair.
Thanks for the interest will post how things went tomorrow evening.

I doubt if it is lead-free originally, automotive applications are RoHS-excempt (or they were?). But we're talking 200x.


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