Gauge cluster problems

Tiny
VKHALUS
  • 2001 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 169,000 MILES

My 2001 Honda Civic lx gauge cluster turns on, then turns off, then turns on again. Its affecting the tachometer, speedometer, fuel guage.

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Friday, December 31st, 2010 AT 4:13 AM

23 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
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  • 41,951 POSTS

See if the following is of any help.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Sunday, January 2nd, 2011 AT 2:52 PM
Tiny
VKHALUS
  • MEMBER

Thanks for the info, I did the self-diagnosis test, and the word "error" is indicated, and you said there's a malfunction between communication line between gauge assembly, and the ECM. So what do I do next, remove the gauge assembly and check the wires, or replace the whole gauge assembly.

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Sunday, January 2nd, 2011 AT 8:43 PM
Tiny
VIVICHO
  • MEMBER

Hi I a pretty similar issue, but selfdiagnostic does not show any error message and it works fine. Sometimes everything turn off no RPM, no speed, just the break light is on. And sometimes everything works fine but the odometer says 8888888. I think it could be a grounding but not sure where to look for. Any ideas or help on this,

thanks.

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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 5:29 PM
Tiny
VKHALUS
  • MEMBER

The best way to fix this instrumental panel problem is to replace it and get a new one, this might be illegal but I dont care, I dont want to spend hundreds of dollars to fix the broken one, instead I got one for free, and it works just perfectly. So when the mechanic says, "it (instrumental panel) will only work for that car only, cause there's a chip" then thats bs, cause he just wants more money from you. So just get a used instrumental panel on ebay or a junk yard, and all those electronic problems go away, trust me.

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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 5:44 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
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Yes, it is possible for the instrument cluster to be bad. The mileage can be recalibrated to the one on your vhicle to make it legal.

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Monday, July 4th, 2011 AT 8:29 PM
Tiny
VKHALUS
  • MEMBER

So, how do you recalibrate the mileage, because im selling my civic in a couple of months.

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 AT 12:15 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Apart from the dealer, I am not sure who does it in your area but if you ask around at parts outlets, they might be able to recommend someplace who can do it for you.

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2011 AT 2:01 PM
Tiny
VIVICHO
  • MEMBER

Hi I finally found the 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.

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Monday, July 18th, 2011 AT 6:21 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Thanks for the input.

It definitely is going to help others.

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Monday, July 18th, 2011 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
NATHAN.D.BALK
  • MEMBER

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

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 AT 12:06 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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On the clutch pedal there is a bracket on which a rubber stopper should be installed. It is for cutting off the neutral start switch when pedal is release. Kindly take note that this is only applicable for manual transmission vehicles.

Quite often this stopper would disintegrate due to age. If you look at the brake pedal near the brake switch you should see something similar.

On way of testing is to start vehicle in neutral without depressing the clutch pedal. If engine cranks, the stopper should be missing.

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 AT 2:04 PM
Tiny
NATHAN.D.BALK
  • MEMBER

Thanks for the speedy response. I have another few questions if you don't mind.
I did more research on this rubber stopper. Are there two stoppers? One is very visible and one is actually at the top of pedal behind the metal framing? It looks like I need to remove the clutch to get a good view of where the top rubber stopper should be. Am I right on this? I can see the bottom rubber stopper is there. Should I remove the clutch to see about the top one? And if that rubber stopper is gone, do I just need to replace that. Some people have said you could hot glue a penny where the rubber stopper should be. Or is there a rubber piece I can buy for a few bucks? Thanks for such a speedy response.

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 AT 11:11 PM
Tiny
NATHAN.D.BALK
  • MEMBER

I was able to reach both the lower and upper rubber stopper. I think they are both fine, but maybe worn down a bit? For now I taped a penny on top of each stopper to make it thicker. The lower stopper pushes in a button when the clutch is not pushed. The upper stopper pushes in a bottom when the clutch is pushed in. What does each one do? I made both thicker and hope this helps. I got lost in the "Why" that Vivicho. Any more thoughts or explanations would greatly be appreciated.
Thanks

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 AT 11:42 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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There are 2 stoppers because ther are 2 switches.

Item "B" is the clutch pedal position switch, for the cruise control.
Item "I" is the clutch interlock switch. This is for enabling the starter to be cranked when clutch pedal is depressed

If you depress the clutch pedal, you should be able to see both stoppers from under the dash.

Such stoppers should be available at less than 2 dollars a piece.

You can glue anything you want but anything that is hard would wear the brake switch plunger and damage it, which is a more expensive component.

Whatever you do, you need to ensure the adjustment is correct in order for the switch plungers to be fully depressed with sufficent clearance between pedal to master cylinder push rod.

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 AT 12:26 PM
Tiny
NATHAN.D.BALK
  • MEMBER

I added some soft padding to both stoppers to ensure that the buttons are fully pushed in when they are supposed to be. I will try this out and see if the dashboard gauges maintain accuracy and don't wig out. If they do flicker again, do you have any more ideas on how to fix the issue? Further, is this issue a BIG issue, or would you say it is more of just an annoyance? I don't know if I should be extremely worried about my car or just annoyed. Any more advice would be greatly appreciated. I am very thankful for this site and the info you have provided KHLow2008. Thanks

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Thursday, November 10th, 2011 AT 2:30 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Buttons fully pushedin is one thing. Sufficient clearance for the clutch master cylinder push rod is another. If there is insufficient clearance, the clutch master cylinder piston would not be able to return fully and pressure would build up, resulting in the clutch selfapplying while driving.

The symptoms you are experiencing could be similar to what others have experienced but the cause could be different.

Go through trouble-shooting guide in above post again and se if you can come up with anything.

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Thursday, November 10th, 2011 AT 1:14 PM
Tiny
SHAH82
  • MEMBER

Hi everybody,
I am having the same problem as described in the thread, but my car doesn't have cruise control, then where can be the problem? Will there still be the rubber thing under the clutch?
I got civic coupe 1.7(1668cc) 2001, made in America.
Mechanic said cluster/meter problem, he fixed it but still got the same problem. He said might be some bad earth with the body but he is not sure. Help pls.
Thanks

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Friday, December 16th, 2011 AT 11:22 PM
Tiny
NATHAN.D.BALK
  • MEMBER

Shah82,
Take a look at the November 9th picture that was posted about the clutch. There are two rubber stoppers (B and I). Since you don't have cruise control, you won't have the B stopper. You should still have the I stopper which is at the top of the clutch. If you look up from the floor of your car you should see a metal casing where the clutch seems to disappear. If you stick your hand up over the box you should feel the rubber stopper on the clutch. If you push in the clutch you can feel where that stopper should be pressing against a button that is mounted in that metal box. I had cruise control, so I duck taped pennies on both stoppers. For you, I would assume it could be just for the top stopper since that is all you have. It has worked perfectly for the last month. Just recently my wife said it was wigging out again. I got worried that I really didn't fix the problem then. BUT, when I went to look I noticed both of my pennies had fallen off of their duck taped position. I duck taped them again and the problem has been resolved. I am not a mechanic, and I don't know much about cars, but the advice I got form KHLow2008 really did work.
Hope this helps.

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Saturday, December 17th, 2011 AT 4:54 PM
Tiny
SHAH82
  • MEMBER

Nathan,
Thanks for the help, I left the car in the garage today and will take it on monday so will try the trick as you explained. I have spent 100 on it so far but the problem is still there.
Did you have the same issue and you solved it the same way as you explained? If it's the case then it's amazing coz vivicho has the same problem with the same solution. Thanks

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Saturday, December 17th, 2011 AT 6:37 PM
Tiny
NATHAN.D.BALK
  • MEMBER

I don't fully understand why the stoppers and the buttons are the issue, but I do think Vivicho did get it right. When I would just mess with the stoppers and buttons I could get the lights to switch on and off. So knock on wood, I did fix the problem for a grand total of 2 cents (literally) :). Hopefully it works for you as well.

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Sunday, December 18th, 2011 AT 4:34 AM

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