Dash lights out

Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 HONDA CRV
  • 164,000 MILES
I was changing climate control bulbs with LED's and while turning in one of the bulbs using a square drive (dumb idea) I shorted the circuit somewhere. Since then the climate lights, dash cluster lights, and radio lights all don't work when the headlights are switched on. The back lighting's there if the lights are off. I checked all internal fuses under the dash, nothing looks fried on the back of the cluster itself, and the one interior light fuse under the hood in that fuse box was fine also. My front blinkers work. I'm about to check my rear ones now since reading this post.

https://www.2carpros.com/questions/dash-lights-not-coming-on

Taillights are fine, so that rules out relay 13 right?
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Monday, January 13th, 2020 AT 6:19 PM

33 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Your issue is most likely with the underdash relay box. If you follow the power wire back for each of the components you listed they are all feed by the underdash box.

Here are the wiring diagrams. Let me know if you have questions but I think you are on the right path because I think you shorted them out.
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Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 AT 3:49 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
So by reading that diagram, as well as the fuse charts I've seen, I'm assuming the Headlight switch relay (since everything stops working once the switch is clicked on). I'm not clearly seeing which one that is. Also I'll note than when switching from parking lights to full headlights the "D" and "OD Off" lights flicker quickly.

As you can see in the chart, numerous things contribute to "gauge assembly". Is there a better way to rule this out? I know how to check fuses but relays are different. You have to connect them and feel for the switching right? Or is there a way to "jump" the terminals to then see if the panel works without the relay?
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Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 AT 10:04 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Here is a guide on how to test a relay:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-an-electrical-relay-and-wiring-control-circuit

When you are dealing with something like this, it is like a lightening strike and the only way to get through it is to test each component individually.
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Thursday, January 16th, 2020 AT 6:34 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
Okay, so I tested the relays with a simpler method I found (two terminals to the power source and the other two via resistance meter). The relays 13 and 14 (taillight relay and starter cut) were fine. 11 and 12 are turn signal and power windows, none of which were affected so I didn't bother with that.
Under hood fuses all check out.
Under dash fuses were all over the place. Unless I'm not understanding this, I used the circuit tester and 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24 were all unlit. Only a handful lit up the light. This makes no sense to me since a lot of those fuses power things like the ignition coil, radio power, key-less receiver unit, power windows, etc. And those all work! What the heck am I missing? The wiring diagram you listed has the headlight switch connecting to the main circuit which feeds down into things like the heater controls and such. But there's no relay on the board for that. Where is this relay? Or is that actually the headlight switch knob? And If so, how the heck do I test that?

Looking at this wiring diagram I got elsewhere, also for 03 CRV, shows a link between B3 and A15 (which I think it s typo and should be A3 and B 15, because both show G502 which looking at both wiring harnesses, is ground. But if the ground is simply a screw somewhere, how can it be a bad ground from a light bulb shorting?
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Saturday, January 18th, 2020 AT 12:32 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
What position was the of the key when you were testing these fuses? It appears all of them are downstream of the ignition switch. Which normally means the key has to be on for these to have power.
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Sunday, January 19th, 2020 AT 9:41 AM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
Oh well, I feel like silly. I did this with the key off.
But still, the relays passed my resistance tests. And the fuses themselves I checked with a resistance meter (still plugged in with car off) and they all passed, indicating to me that the fuses weren't blown. Unless I'm not understanding fuse testing properly. But you're saying I should do the light tests with these fuses with the car on?
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Sunday, January 19th, 2020 AT 1:29 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
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All fuses work with the key in "on".
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Sunday, January 19th, 2020 AT 7:23 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
So if all the fuses are working then I would go to the component with no back lighting and make sure the power is getting to it. If it is then the bulb is burned out. If you don't have power then you have a short between the fuse and component but this is unlikely based on what happened.

When you shorted the circuit the bulb is sometimes the weakest point which caused the open.

The only issue is it looks like the cluster is an LCD back light. I am not able to find if this is replaceable. If not then you will need to replace the cluster to fix it. However, I would pull the cluster out and see if you can access the bulb from behind it.
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Monday, January 20th, 2020 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
So there are bulbs that illuminate all the dials and the odometer back-lighting. I shorted out the dash, then in the mix of things, swapped in the new bulbs. Only to find they were still out. So bulbs have been changed since this debacle. I guess the next step I could do is check the wiring harness for 12 V power. If that's fine. Then I assume the cluster is fried somewhere? Is that fixable at all? I don't really want to swap clusters because then my mileage wouldn't match. Also, the radio back-light and climate control still don't work, so it can't just be the cluster.
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Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 AT 12:07 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Yeah. I would check for 12 volts and if you have it then more than likely the component is failed at this point. The cluster has a circuit board that may have been damaged.

The way I would approach this is to look at each issue individually. It could all be related but if you just search for the common denominator you will pull your hair out. If you fix one and it fixes the rest then that is just a bonus. If not then you fix one and then move onto the next.
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Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
That's crazy how one low voltage LED short can screw up so many things. So testing these components individually, I should see if power's even getting there right? So for the climate control for example, I need to find a wiring diagram to see which terminal is power, then can I just hook up the car battery to the power terminal? I'm assuming no due to fuses and such.
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Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 AT 7:08 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Yes. I included the diagram for the HVAC control panel. You want to see if you have 12 volts on the black/yellow wire. Do I understand correctly that the controls don't work or just the back lighting? If it is just the illumination doesn't work then check power on the Illumination circuits shown. If no power then we need to chase those. If you have power, then it is the unit.
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Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 AT 7:26 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
Yes, the car's fully functional for headlights, with exception of radio back light, gauge lights, and climate with headlights switched on.
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Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 AT 9:45 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
I discovered something new. My power windows are all out. So darn. I was sure I checked that relay but I'll have to check again. A mobile electronics place near me charges $70.00 an hour to fix. I really don't want to pay but I can't figure this out.
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Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 AT 11:13 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Sorry for the delay I was out of town. Were you able to check the power on those illumination circuits that I supplied on the wiring diagram?
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Friday, February 14th, 2020 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
So wherever there is a wire harness check to see if 12 volts is at the black and yellow port?
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Friday, February 14th, 2020 AT 9:34 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Well. The black and yellow wire is the ignition feed for the heater control which is what power the back lighting.

So if your issue is that the backlighting does not come on when the headlights are on then we need to check the ignition feed for power. If you have it then we need to test for power on the illumination circuits which for the HVAC control head are the Red and Red/Black wires.

Unfortunately these wire colors are probably going to be different for each module unless they share a splice.

Let's just turn the headlights on so that the backlighting should be on and test for voltage on these three wires. Let me know what it is and we can go from there. Thanks
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Saturday, February 15th, 2020 AT 12:18 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
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Finally got around to this. Been busy at work. So black/yellow, red, and red/black all have power. I had one terminal at the clip and the other on ground to measure.
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Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 AT 4:09 PM
Tiny
KYLE MENDES
  • MEMBER
Okay, did more testing. On the dash clusters (two harnesses of A and B) B2 had only 6 volts, B1 had nothing. A6 had 4 volts, A7 was normal. Those were the only ones that seemed pertinent due to lighting circuits. These are on the chart listed a few posts up by me.
Also, I out in a new relay for the one I fried and the windows still don't work.
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Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 AT 4:30 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Okay. Let's stay on the lights. If we fix that and the windows still don't work we will need to get a new post started for that. We need to keep each post limited to one issue because others will not find the solution to the window issue if it was not related. If we fix the lights and it fixes the windows as well (I doubt it will) then that is a bonus.

As for the lights, I am not sure why did didn't pick up on this before. The bulbs you replaced with LED bulbs, were they filament bulbs? If so, try getting the proper replacement bulb and switch them out and see what happens. LED's operate on a totally different level then these bulbs and when you add LED's to non LED circuits, you need to add resistors in order for them to not cause issues.
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Sunday, May 24th, 2020 AT 6:38 PM

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