Mechanics

GAUGE CLUSTER

2002 Honda Civic

Electrical problem
2002 Honda Civic 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 96000 miles

The gauges usually work normally. But every once in a while the speedometer and tachometer will drop to zero, and the odometer will display all 8's. The dash light will go out. It may stay this way for 5 seconds up to several minutes, and then return to normal. We just recently purchased this car, but evidently it has had this problem before. The gauge cluster was replaced in 2007 at 75,000 miles. Also, just before it was traded in, and unknown to us when we bought it, the Honda dealer had replaced the electronic load detector. They have looked at it since, but since it is sporadic, they cannot find anything. Our 17 year old is driving this car and we need to find the problem. Any ideas? Thanks.
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Mlpcivic
October 27, 2009.



Hi mlpcivic,

When problem occurred, was the engine performance affected?

Was the ignition switch was checked/tested.

KHLow2008
Oct 28, 2009.
The engine performance was not affected. The radio stayed on. I do not know if the ignition switch was checked or not.

I did see there was a TSB about erratic gauge displays. And there was a Feb, 2003 Honda service bulletin about how to reset the gauge control module, which I tried. It did not correct the problem.

Thanks.

Tiny
Mlpcivic
Oct 28, 2009.
Problem should not be due to ignition switch as the performance was not affected.

Here are some diagnostics that you can carry out to see if you can get any info.

SELF - DIAGNOSTIC FUNCTION

• The gauge assembly has a self -diagnosis function.
• The beeper drive circuit check
• The indicator drive circuit check
• The LCD segments check
• The gauges drive circuit check (Speedometer, Tachometer, Fuel gauge, Coolant temperature gauge)
• The communication line check (the coolant temperature signal line between the gauge and ECM/PCM)

ENTERING THE SELF - DIAGNOSIS FUNCTION
Before doing the self -diagnosis function, check the No. 9 (10A) fuse in the under-hood fuse/relay box and No. 10 (7.5A) fuse in the under-dash fuse/relay box.

1. Push and hold the trip/reset button.
2 . Turn the lighting switch ON.
3 . Turn the ignition switch ON (II).
4 . Within 5 sec, turn the lighting switch OFF, then ON and OFF again.
5 . Within 5 sec, release the trip/reset button, then push and release the button four times repeatedly.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_GaugeSelfDiagnostic02CivicFig06_2.jpg



NOTE:

• While in the self-diagnosis mode, the dash lights brightness controller operates normally.
• While in the self-diagnosis mode, the trip/reset button is used to start the beeper drive circuit check and the gauge drive circuit check.
• If the vehicle speed exceeds 1.2 mph (2 km/h) or the ignition switch is turned OFF, the self-diagnosis mode ends.

THE BEEPER DRIVE CIRCUIT CHECK
When entering the self -diagnosis mode, the beeper sounds five times.

THE INDICATOR DRIVE CIRCUIT CHECK
When entering the self -diagnosis mode, the following indicators blink. Seat belt indicator, Door/trunk indicator, Brake system light, Low fuel indicator, Maintenance required indicator (USA), Washer fluid level indicator light (Canada), Oil pressure light and, A/T gear position indicator (except P, R, N).

THE LCD SEGMENT CHECK
When entering the self -diagnosis mode, the odo/trip segment blinks five times.

THE GAUGE DRIVE CIRCUIT CHECK
When entering the self -diagnosis mode, the speedometer and the tachometer, the fuel gauge, and the coolant temperature gauge needles sweep from the minimum position to maximum position, then return to the minimum position.

NOTE: After the beeper stops sounding and the gauge needles return to the minimum position, pushing the trip/reset button starts the beeper
drive circuit check (one beep), and the gauge drive circuit check again. The check cannot be started until the needles return to the minimum position. If the gauge needles fail to sweep, replace the gauge assembly.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_GaugeSelfDiagnostic02CivicFig06_1.jpg



THE COMMUNICATION LINE CHECK
In the self -diagnosis mode, after the odo/trip LCD segments check, the self -diagnosis starts the communication line check.

If all segments come on, the communication line is OK.

If the word "Error" is indicated, there is a malfunction in the communication line between the gauge assembly, the multiplex control unit, and the ECM/PCM.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/192750_GaugeSelfDiagnostic02CivicFig07_1.jpg



ENDING THE SELF - DIAGNOSIS FUNCTION
Turn the ignition switch OFF.

NOTE: If the vehicle speed exceeds 1.2 mph (2 km/h), the self-diagnosis function ends.

If any of the checks do not function as specified, replace the gauge assembly.


KHLow2008
Oct 29, 2009.
I ran the diagnostic and as far as I can tell, everything passed. The needles on all of the gauges did go from minimum to maximum and back to minimum. I did check the 2 fuses first. They looked OK too. The odometer did not show the word " error".

When I ran the diagnostic, the gauges had been working correctly the last time it was driven. Maybe we need to run the diagnostic immediately after the gauges have not been working?

This is the second gauge cluster to have these problems. Would that indicate that it's something else?

Thanks for the help.

Tiny
Mlpcivic
Oct 31, 2009.
The diagnostics indicates there are no fault within the system and it would be good to perform the test immediately after the problem occurred.

There is a possibility power supply is interrupted causing the problem and that would be a headache to diagnose.

I would not rule out the possibility iof a faulty meter cluster as it could be due so some technical fault of the assembled units and tends to fail intermittently.

KHLow2008
Nov 1, 2009.
In the last 2 months, my 2002 Civic has been having the same dashbord light issues. They go out intermitently but the engine, heater, radio, headlights, tail lights, cruise and emergency blinkers all work fine while the gauges are all dead.

I have taken it to the Honda dealer for diagnosis and the 70,000 mile service, and they found nothing. All systems checked clear.

If a solution is found, please post! I drive early in the morning before sunrise and it freaks me out when the lights go out even though the car continues to run!

Tiny
Lepepe83
Dec 10, 2009.
Hi I had the same problem. After a year of checking almost all the electric system I found the issue. At the beginning I was thinking that the fuel meter sensor ground was the issue but at the end it was not.
Here is what I found: The small piece of rubber that activates the cruise control switch in the clutch pedal was not there, so the circuit was always opened. It was leaking current and CPU on the gauge cluster was getting incorrect voltage levels from the MCU or fuse box. The CC switch is normally closed so it is always consuming current so when you put the key on ignition mode it absorbs current and provide what is exactly needed for the gauge cluster.

Hope it helps.

Tiny
Vivicho
Jul 18, 2011.
Vivicho,
Where exactly is the small rubber piece that activates the cruise control switch. Is it up on the clutch where it enters into the car? Once I find that location, can I just place a new rubber piece there. Can I buy that piece at a hardware store? I guess I am just asking for some more details on how to fix the problem from your previous response on July 18th.

Hi I had the same problem. After a year of checking almost all the electric system I found the issue. At the beginning I was thinking that the fuel meter sensor ground was the issue but at the end it was not.
Here is what I found: The small piece of rubber that activates the cruise control switch in the clutch pedal was not there, so the circuit was always opened. It was leaking current and CPU on the gauge cluster was getting incorrect voltage levels from the MCU or fuse box. The CC switch is normally closed so it is always consuming current so when you put the key on ignition mode it absorbs current and provide what is exactly needed for the gauge cluster.

Thanks

Tiny
Nathan.d.balk
Nov 7, 2011.
Thanks for this post! I have a 1999 Civic EX with Auto trans that my 19 yo daughter drives to college. She called when heading back after Christmas and said that while driving she turned on the headlights and that all of the gauges went to zero then came back on after about 2 seconds. Said her radio continued to play and the car did not stop or die (thank goodness!) I had to replace the fuel gauge when we bought the car almost 4 yrs ago. This has just started happening so I want to jump on this and get it fixed asap! Unfortunately she is 8hrs away at college so I wont be able to do the test on the gauges. I will keep you all posted as to the test outcome. If you have any other suggestions. Thanks again!

Tiny
Weeze
Jan 17, 2012.