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Dash gauges dead (intermittent)

Old 05-07-2008, 12:10 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Default Dash gauges dead (intermittent)

I've been having this problem off and on for the past year. Sometimes when I go to start my car (Civic LX 2001, 30k miles), the engine goes on but the dashboard does not come to life. The needles of the fuel indicator, tachometer, and spedometer all stay resting at the bottom of their dials, no brake, check engine etc. lights come on. Nothin'. Nonetheless, the radio, headlights, turn signals and every other aspect of the car are absolutely normal and I can drive off to work with no trouble. While I'm driving around, the dashboard will sometimes suddenly "wake up" and go through its usual turn-on-all-the-warning-lights routine and then settle down normally. I have not been able to correlate this with hitting a bump in the road, temperature change, use of any other electrical device, etc. It seems to be random. Doesn't happen every time, either - sometimes I drive 30 minutes without the lights ever coming on. But, I could park the car at a convenience store, come out 5 minutes later, start the car and have everything come on normally.

I took the car to a Honda repair shop and they plugged their scanner into the computer but got nothing (neither while phenomenon was occurring, nor after it had gone away). The guys there had no ideas for me. Do any of you?
Old 05-07-2008, 12:32 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 9,453
Default RE: Dash gauges dead (intermittent)

Check whether fuse 9 (under-hood) and 10 (under-dash) are loose or improperly seated.

Likewise check whether connector B at the rear of the gauge assembly is loose or improperly seated.

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Old 05-12-2008, 10:52 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1
Default RE: Dash gauges dead (intermittent)

It's wild to see other people with the exact same problems. I think Honda must have had some retard ITT or Devry graduate soldering the boards for the intrument cluster that year. Anyway, I just purchased a 2001 LX with 138K miles and the instrument cluster was intermittent as well. All the gauges would be dead but a few lights on the left would work. The LED readout would also be dead. I removed the bezel for the instrument cluster and with the key on, I pulled the cluster out far enough to manipulate the plugs on top. There are 2 plugs. One on the top right (Green) and one on the top left (Blue). Pushing on the green plug made the cluster start to work. I ended up removing the cluster and taking the back white cover off to access the back of the circuit board. The green plug solder connections were very crappy. I used a microscope soldering station and re-soldered most of the connections and cleaned the areas of both plugs up with denatured alcohol. I noticed a VERY small bead of solder in between 2 of the solder contact terminals also, which I suspect was causing the intermittent problem. I also had to replace like 6 freakin instrument light bulbs for being blown. I have had no problems with it since. It beats paying $530 for a new cluster from the dealer. Hope this helps! I also did the timing belt, waterpump, thermostat, plugs, valve adjustment, transmission fluid, accessory belts myself recently. It took me about 12 hours to do everything.

My cluster is different than the 1 above. My Temp gauge is on the left, then a large Tach, Speedo, and the Gas gauge on the right. My electrical plugs were not that close together either. They were on top farther apart. I think the Canadian version lacks the Tach??

Old 04-15-2013, 11:24 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Default Honda Civic Dashboard intermittent dead/alive

Hi Fellows: Are there any easier solutions than a full-blown-up trouble shooting? I have the same exact intermittent issue. I never had such problem with other cars such as Toyota. Honda recalled my car for some thing on lower beam. But I think this is more a Safety issue than the lower beam. Yesterday I had the dashboard dead, and thus made an appointment with Honda garage. Well, the sashboard is back to life this morning. The garage service man said that they may not be able to figure out what was wrong when it is working, but told me the diagonise itself would cost me $150... ... I do not want to pay $150 for nothing so I just drove back home.
I feel that Honda should recall cars for this issue instead of other minor ones. Also, I tend to think it should be a single wire connection issue, since either the whole dashboard is dead or alive.
Please help! Thank you a lot!!
Old 04-15-2013, 04:51 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,023

what Kielohawk said. Basically if something is intermittent, you would carefully shake and wiggle parts of it to try and find what is loose. Or just remove it and resolder everything.
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