Instrument panel guages, speedometer and lights go and brake light comes on intermittently

Tiny
BORNTOBEOUTDOORS
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 136,000 MILES
My gauges including the speedometer as well as the instrument panel lights work sometimes and don't other times. When they are not working, my brake light comes on and stays on. Sometimes when the lights work tthe odometer and gas gauge work, other times the odometer shows all 8s and I don't think the gas guage is correct. I have already changed the under dash control unit, part # 38200-S5P-A11 since this appeared to be the source for very similar problems, including the air conditioner not cooling which I also have. All the harnesses going into the dash and into the control unit are tight. Sometimes everything works, and then latrer doesn't, other times they don't work but might come on later.
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 AT 10:43 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
A connection seems to be loose somewhere and this requires proper diagnosis to get to the bottom of it.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2015 AT 10:12 AM
Tiny
BORNTOBEOUTDOORS
  • MEMBER
All connections have been examined and are tight. If it were a loose connection, why would the brake light come on when the guages and lights don't work? Also have made sure the ground is solid and as I said, the MCU/Fusebox have been replaced. According to the two shops I have taken it to, other then replacing the MCU they have no suggestions. If it was the instrument cluster panel itself that was the problem, then the brake light should not be coming on.
I have seen similar symptoms with Honda's on some of the forums, along with the remote entry not working, power windows not working and a/c blowing hot air.I do have that problem with the a/c. The solution for all that was to replace the MCU which I did at considerable expense and all that did was lighten my wallet.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2015 AT 11:09 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
The brake lights are not linked to the MCU and are only conttrolled via the brake switch so I don't see any reason for them to come on except for a failed or misadjusted brake switch.

Are you sure it is the brake lights that is coming on orare they the taillights? They uses the same bulb except different circuit.

Is your vehicle hatchback or sedan and what is the engine size?

After replacing the MCU and you are getting the same problem so it means either the replacement MCU is also bad or it is something else.
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Friday, July 31st, 2015 AT 6:05 AM
Tiny
BORNTOBEOUTDOORS
  • MEMBER
It's the brake indicator light on the instrumenmt panel that lights up when the rest don't work. If the instrument cluster is working properly then the brake indicator light is off. Brake and tailights on the exterior of the car work fine.
It's a civic LX 4 door sedan.1.7L.
The replacement MCU is brand new out of the box directly from Honda. I also tried swapping the one from a friends civic and have the same problem. So, I know it's not the mcu, it's not a ground and it's not a loose connection. Since the brake indicator light comes on when it's not working, it's probably not the instrument cluster either.
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Friday, July 31st, 2015 AT 6:16 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
I would not rule out the instrument cluster for the problem. It is equipped with a CPU that can cause the indicator light to com on or go out.

Did you use a scan tool to test the instrument cluster and check for trouble codes?
How about swapping the instrument cluster with your frined for a test?
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Friday, July 31st, 2015 AT 6:40 AM

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