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Join Date: Aug 2012
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2004 Honda Civic DX Dash Intermittent

08/15/2012 12:38 AM

I have an 04 civic 2dr dx with a dash that is sometimes on, but mostly off. It seems to work when the weather is humid, but we've had dry weather lately, so it's off. When the problem first started, it would turn off for 20 minutes, then (mid drive) turn back on. I read a thread here about another honda civic that suggested a dead cpu, or maybe a grounding problem. The CPU doesn't seem dead since the dash sometimes works. I don't have service manuals for the car (and don't know where to get them). Could it be a ground or a fuse if the problem is intermittent? If so, where do I start? Thanks!

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#1

Re: 2004 honda civic dx dash intermittent

08/15/2012 12:50 AM

These are almost always a loose or corroded ground wire...Yeah this can be a nightmare, and sometimes it's the first place you look, it's just a matter of methodically redoing the ground connections...and there's always the possibility it's a loose connection on the pos side....It could be the ignition switch going bad...The fact that it is intermittent makes it even harder and may take several attempts....I would start off checking the ignition wire and switch, and do a cursory check of all the electrical connections to see if some seem loose or particularly corroded....

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#2

Re: 2004 Honda Civic DX Dash Intermittent

08/15/2012 9:08 AM

When you say "dash" do you mean the illumination function or do all gauges stop working ?

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: 2004 Honda Civic DX Dash Intermittent

08/15/2012 5:33 PM

all the gauges stop working, and the odometer too. If it's a ground issue, where do I find the ground wire for the dash, and what do I do to repair it?

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: 2004 Honda Civic DX Dash Intermittent

08/15/2012 11:19 PM

Get the back of the dashboard gauges where you can see them. Common connections for gauges are voltage supply, ground, and a lead to a sensor to see the changes. Get a test light, and probe the 3 wires on one of the dead gauges. You are looking for the wire color that is turned on and off by the ignition switch. To be sure, disconnect the wire from the gauge, so you will be sure it is feeding power to the gauges. Now look at the other gauges for wires that are the same colors. Next, you want to find the ground wire that is also used on all of the dead gauges. All of the ground wires, and all of the power feed wires for the gauges should have matching colors used. I think the ground wire color is dark tan, or light brown.

Now attach a wire to the easiest ground connection on one of the dead gauges. Attach another wire to an accessible location on the power feed wire. Use different colors here. Connect the new ground wire to something that you know is ground. Run it to the steering column or go directly to the battery. If the radio does not cut out, you can use the radio frame as a ground.

The other wire that you attached to the power feed, gets connected to your test light with an alligator clip. Be careful with this wire, as it can not be allowed to touch anything grounded.

Now drive the car. The test light should never go out, or flicker. If the light flickers, or goes out, you have a bad connection to the power feed to the gauges. Systematic tracing should help, but, if not, run that power feed wire to a fused connection that is switched by the key. If the light never goes out, or flickers, and the gauges continue to work, it was the ground wire. Again, thorough searching should help, but the ground wire can be left permanently if need be. Good luck.

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#5

Re: 2004 Honda Civic DX Dash Intermittent

08/28/2012 1:25 AM

check 4 a blown fuse if it's a cronic problem. the newer dash board are electronic. a voltage spike will destroy it in a heart beat. that's probably the problem. the dash ground wire runs from a metallic part of the dash to the fire wall. the fire wall then grounds to the fender. the fender ground will ground to the the chassis or the negitive post on the battery. reguardless, clean and grease all ground wires. cleaning the ground wires won't cost anything and it probably it needs to be done anyways.

swapping out the dash lites is the last resort.

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