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Join Date: Jun 2008
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2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/02/2009 8:59 AM

None of the gages (Tachometer, Speedometer, etc.) work on my 2004 Honda Civic since I cleaned my carpets. No water was directed toward the instrument panel during cleaning, but the mist or excessive humidity could have affected the area. The failure could be a coincidence, but I don't think it is.

In addition to the gages, the instrument panel lights do not work, my brake light now stays on all the time (no brake problems) and my radio lights are dim. The radio, overhead lights, cruise control, turn signals and all external lights work correctly. The turn signal and bright light indicators illuminate correctly on the IP.

I have checked all fuses (under the IP and under the hood). They are all good.

Has anyone had a similar problem or have suggestions?

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Pathfinder Tags: gages honda instrument panel interior lights
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#1

Re: Gages don't work on 2004 Honda Civic after cleaning carpet.

11/02/2009 9:44 AM

How did you check your fuses? The only way to positively check fuses is to confirm continuity through each with a multimeter.

In my experience when I have inconsistant electrical failure in a vehicle it is usually either fuses / breakers, loose wire or bad pigtail connection. Double check your fuses, find out which one corresponds to your problem and switch it for one you know is good. If that doesn't help, it could be the wires in the fuse panel (but that is very rare).

Exorcising electrical demons from a vehicle can be tough. Good Luck!

Drew

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Gages don't work on 2004 Honda Civic after cleaning carpet.

11/02/2009 9:53 AM

I removed every fuse from the panel and checked them with a multimeter. I switched suspect fuses with other fuses of the same rating.

I have not troubleshooted any wiring. I also don't know if any wiring is under the carpeting.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Gages don't work on 2004 Honda Civic after cleaning carpet.

11/02/2009 10:12 AM

There usually is some wire under carpet, either along the center, or more commonly along the door sill. It should be sealed well enough to handle even a good dunking.

Has there been any aftermarket stereo equipment added? Many people don't seal up the wires going t their amps.

Is the car completely dry yet? If not, leave doors open in a warm garage (with ventilation or in the sun with doors open.

Also, check for continuity between fuses and a known ground to see if any are shorting out.

Drew

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Gages don't work on 2004 Honda Civic after cleaning carpet.

11/02/2009 11:25 AM

The carpet felt dry a couple hours after cleaning it. I thought a bead of water may have been shorting 2 wires together, so I have been running the fan on maximum to further dry our everything. It has now been almost a week with no change. Everything is original in the car (no new wiring). I'll probably try to unbolt the carpet next to check for wiring connections.

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#5

Re: Gages don't work on 2004 Honda Civic after cleaning carpet.

11/02/2009 12:02 PM

I would pay to have someone run a computer check. The car is five years old, anything can happen. Under the seats are plugs for the seat wiring, check that. On a lot of cars the brake lites will work even with the key out, I would definitely check out that circuit, or did you mean the brake warning lite..

You know, this is sounding like a bad ground. The cleaning could have compromised a ground wire for the dash circuits. Find all ground wires and refresh the contact. Get a good manual schematic to show where they are. Think like a factory robot, the dash was put in as a unit, and the ground wire was connected to the inside of the car. Look behind the glove box, sometimes you can release the catch to let the door drop further.

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#6

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/02/2009 11:00 PM

How much time do you want to spend on this? (aksing us for help that is). The first thing you need to go with your multi-meter is a wiring schematic.

After that, assume that a feedback loop of some type has been created since dash and tail lights are normally on the same fuse. Instruments are on different fuses.

The fact that the brake lights are on all the time makes me suspicious of that particular switch since it tends to be down low and in an area where it could easily get wet. It will not be the only problem and I do think either a wiring connector is damp or a ground is corroded as well.

The best advice I can come up with is to start tracking errors down by disconnecting the brake light switch and seeing what happens. After that, you will have to check connectors for damp and or corrosion. Then you need to make sure the grounds are good.

Once all that is done, hopefully the problem is gone. If not, more of the same; check and check again.

There is a good chance that this will take quite a few hours to sort out.

Good Luck

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#7

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/02/2009 11:18 PM

Ok. Let me try to go one step at a time.

1) No tach, speedo, etc. The only common wires for the gauges would be the ground, and the 12Volt power from the ignition switch. Try to find a wiring diagram for your car to tell you the color code for the ground wire. You can also find this by looking at other simpler circuits. Compare the left high beam and the right high beam. Hondas will have a different color code for each power supply for the high beams, while there will only be one color for the ground. NOW, get a multimeter and see if the ground wire that grounds the dash gauges is well grounded. If not, establish a ground, and connect it to any of the ground wires going to the dash gauges. If the ground is good, test the power supply to the gauges. If the power is not there, go back to the fuse supply for that circuit. It should be a switched wire from the ignition switch, or a relay that is switched by the ignition switch.

The dash lights are powered by the light switch. Again, the ground wire is the clue to starting this search. By now you should have found out the color of the ground wire. The power for the dash lights is more complex, it runs from the headlight switch, through the dimming switch, to the dash lights. Again, if the ground is good, get the diagram out to find the fuse for this circuit. Do the gauges first, fixing them may cure the dash light problem.

As for the brake lights staying on, (I am assuming you are referring to the lights that would normally light up only when you step on the brakes) it is possible that you have gotten water inside the brake light switch. It is mounted close to the brake pedal, and is activated as soon as the pedal is moved. It may also have become out of adjustment from the carpet cleaners hitting it. Look under the dash at the brake pedal and see if you can disconnect the wires from the switch. If this turns off the brake lights, you have found the problem area. If you can not readjust the switch, you may need a new one. Usually inexpensive. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

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#8

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/03/2009 12:37 AM

For the instrument cluster circuit 2004 Honda Civic comes in 4 flavors: (DX,GX) (EX,HX,LX) (Hatchback) (Hybrid). I picked Hatchback for no good reason.

The only ground I see that could cause such widespread dash problems is from gauge assembly black wires B11 and B12 that ground (G502) under the right side of the dash. Another diagram says that B11 and B12 ground under dash assembly (G501). G501 appears to be incorrect.

The dash turn signal lamps ground through B12. The gauge and radio lamps ground through B12. The brake lamp is run by the dash CPU which grounds through B11. The high beam indicator is driven entirely by another system.

G502 grounds gauge assembly B11 & B12, Accessory power socket, keyless receiver unit, right power mirror, right side turn signal light.

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#9

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/03/2009 6:56 AM

I tend to generally agree with the posters that a ground is defective somewhere, it would explain a lot of your problems....

But you should also consider (when strange problems appear in ANY car, but probably not in this particular case) the possibility that there is an extra fuse somewhere, that only the manufacturer knows about....

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#10

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/03/2009 7:45 AM

Unfortunately, I didn't get to try your suggestions yesterday. I left home at 6:00AM for work and returned at 11:00PM. I will check some things at lunchtime today. The BRAKE light that is on is the one in my IP (the light that comes on if you're low on brake fluid, etc.).

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#11

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/03/2009 3:47 PM

Assuming you're talking digital gauges, is it possible that while vacuuming the carpet (before washing/shampoo-ing) you raised the tool off the carpet and upward toward (or in conductive contact with) the dashboard...where static charge accumulated (from rubbing the carpet) on the vacuum (hose end) tool discharged into and ruined a critical instrument panel component?

Perhaps inputting a low voltage directly into a gauge will tell you whether the gauges themselves have been compromised...or something upstream (in which case the entire panel might need repair or replace).

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/03/2009 4:18 PM

My gages are analog, so I don't think it's static.

I received this information from another source:

if all of the warning lights work but the gauges do not then the problem is either with the gauge cluster or the ground. The gauges are controlled by a CPU built into the instrument cluster. that CPU processes the signals from the separate sensors or from the PCM and powers the driver for the gauges. The driver has a separate ground that is located under the front passenger seat.

if the CPU doesn't output a signal the gauges won't work. If the driver gets a signal from the CPU but doesnt "push" the signal out to the individual gauges the gauges won't work. if the ground is loose or corroded the gauges won't work (high resistance).

something is going open circuit after you start the car to stop the gauges from working. open cirucits usually result from temperature as the current flows through the device it produces heat and breaks in the circuit or circuit board open up to stop the flow of current through the circuit. if the ground is good then the problem is in the gauge cluster. There are no repairs for the CPU or the driver; they entire gauge cluster has to be replaced.

if the warning lights work and if the car will come out of gear once started then all of the fuses are good.

I am definitely checking the ground under the passenger seat next.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/04/2009 12:11 AM

G551 for the Hatchback under the passenger seat grounds fuel gauge sending unit, fuel pump, driver's seat belt switch, passenger's seat belt switch, and OPDS unit. Clean it all you want but unless those are malfunctioning I'd concentrate effort elsewhere.

The CPU is static sensitive whether the dash is digital or not. That said the enclosures are usually made static resistant since static in cars is common.

There is another odd device in this diagram that may help. The dash CPU translates the following exclusively: fuel gauge sending unit, washer fluid level, and oil pressure switch. The dash CPU receives information from some sensors through a Multiplex Control Unit in the under hood fuse/relay center under left side of dash: EPS control unit, VSS, Immobilizer control unit, and parking brake switch + brake fluid level switch. All other sensors come through ECM data lines.

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#14

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/11/2009 1:49 AM

Just throwing it out there, but does this car have a body control module (BCM). The body control module is usually located within the dash panel or surrounding areas. As this part is located inside of the vehicle and not designed for wet climates it could have easily shorted out if it got wet. If the car does not have a BCM then its most likely a loose ground connection. If all else fails bench test the instrument panel.

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#15

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/13/2009 11:13 AM

I was unable to repair the problem and ultimately took it to a service shop. They verified that the instrument panel CPU was dead. I am now waiting on the refurbished unit to come in and get programmed. The service personnel said there have been several Civic IP CPUs replaced in my area recently.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: 2004 Honda Civic - Gages Don't Work, But Carpet is Clean

11/13/2009 12:45 PM

Thanks for updating us with the conclusion, always helps in case we run across a similar problem.

Drew

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