1992 Honda Accord Electrical Problems

Tiny
LQ2009
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 230,000 MILES
I have a 1992 Honda accord my problem on it is that I think my electrical system where the steering wheel is at is screwed up. First the windshield wipers don't seem to work when I flick on the switch, they don't turn on or sometimes they just turn on randomly and don't turn off even when I flick the switch on/off untill I turn the car off. Second thing is when I turn on my lights the speedometer doesn't work. When I'm driving it doesn't read how fast I'm going but when I flick the lights off it right away it reads the speed. Third is also with the speedometer and the light switch. When I flick on my turn signal to go left the speedometer needle drops and when the blinker goes off it returns to the normal reading. What do you guys suggest is wrong?
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Saturday, October 11th, 2014 AT 1:35 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Multiple problems when unrelated circuits are involved are usually caused by a bad ground wire that is common to all the circuits. Often multiple ground wires are crimped into one terminal that is bolted to the body under the dash or behind a side kick panel. If that terminal is rusty or loose, current from one circuit can find an alternate path to ground through another one, commonly a lighting circuit, then when that light is activated, that circuit doesn't act like a ground for the rest of them.

Check those ground terminals and look for connectors that could have a stretched, corroded, or burned terminal.
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Saturday, October 11th, 2014 AT 2:39 AM
Tiny
LQ2009
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Thank you for replying to my question now another question where can I find the ground wire for the dash instruments and would it be safe for me to rewire the ground wire?
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Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 AT 7:57 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That's top secret and I can't tell you! Translation: I don't know. At least not specifically for your car. Most commonly ground terminals are bolted to the inside of the "A" pillar, behind the kick panel on each side. On some cars you'll find them bolted to a metal brace that runs from left to right, between the two doors, under the dash. You might even find them bolted to the firewall, although that is less common.

Most manufacturers use multiple ground terminals for two, three, or four different circuits or wire harnesses, and bolt them all to the body with the same screw. Some others, Ford in particular, put all of their ground wires into a single terminal, then bolt that to the body. That way guarantees if there's a bad connection, one circuit will back-feed into the others and cause weird problems, but the symptoms will be consistent. The first way can allow one loose terminal to make its circuit dead without regard to interacting with the other circuits. What that means is you might have intermittent dash lights, intermittent interior lights, and an intermittent heater fan, but any one or all of them could stop and start working at any time. When just one common terminal is used for all the circuits, a bad connection will always cause the same circuits to act up at the same time.

That's just "nice to know" information but it doesn't help with the diagnosis. If you find a loose ground screw, first just try to tighten it. If it is stripped, you can stick a piece of solid copper wire in the hole first, then run the screw in. The wire will make the hole hold the screw better. You can also drill a new hole.

If any of the wires are corroded, you might be able to see it or you might be able to pull the wire out of the terminal. The outer insulation is crimped to the terminal too, but it will stretch like a rubber band if the wire is corroded apart inside that insulation. Cut the insulation back until you find clean and shiny copper, then crimp on a new terminal. I always solder them too for a foolproof connection. You can put multiple wires in one terminal, you can use a separate terminal for each wire, or any combination. All you're after is each wire is in a terminal that is bolted to the body.
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Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 AT 9:35 PM

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