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Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

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Old 07-29-2017
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Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Hello,

2002 Civic EX sedan

I am putting in a Glowshift voltmeter (since my battery light will not go out since having the alternator replaced).

My gauge only has three wires:

red for switched positive
black for ground
orange for dimming when the headlights are on

Glowshift recommends tapping the headlight fuse for the dimming wire, but that is all the way in the underhood fuse box.

I am thinking I can get the same effect by tapping the RED/BLACK [?] wire coming out of the stereo harness?

Correct?
TIA

Last edited by robfarr56; 07-29-2017 at 05:19 PM. Reason: change from "RED"to "RED/BLACK"
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Old 07-29-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

And, looking at this post, it should be RED/BLACK.

The RED is the dash dimmer ****.

https://www.civicforums.com/forums/2...ml#post4206667

Cavity Wire Connects to
1 YEL/GRN Antenna module
2 YEL/RED ACC (Main stereo power supply)
3 - Not used
4 - Not used
5 PNK Right rear speaker (+)
6 BLU/WHT Left rear speaker (+)
7 GRN/YEL Passenger's door speaker (+), Right tweeter (+)
8 GRN/BLK Driver's door speaker (+), Left tweeter (+)
9 RED/BLK Lights-on signal
10 WHT/RED Constant power
11 - Not used
12 - Not used
13 - Not used
14 - Not used
15 BLU/YEL Right rear speaker (-)
16 BLU/BLK Left rear speaker (-)
17 GRY/RED Passenger's door speaker (-), Right tweeter (-)
18 LT GRN Driver's door speaker (-), Left tweeter (-)
19 RED Dash lights brightness controller
20 BLK Ground (G503)

(thanks metalviper)
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Old 07-29-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

(since my battery light will not go out since having the alternator replaced).
Why wouldn't you just fix this?

red for switched positive
black for ground
orange for dimming when the headlights are on
DO NOT CONNECT TO ANY WIRING FOR ILLUMINATION YET

Got a link to install instructions and hopefully a schematic of this gauge?
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

I would LOVE to fix the indicator light, but cash is tight right now, and I am afraid a trip to the dealer is involved.
My neighborhood shop (a good guy, and I can walk to it) replaced the alternator. Then he remembered that Honda alternators are a bit unique. I don't remember what that was, but it cost an extra day getting it modified at the alternator shop.
I was out of a car for 6 days (two closed for the weekend). All he could figure is that something got hurt in one of the computers.
But the car is running as good as ever (very well), Filled up today - 41.7 MPG merican!

And too late..already installed.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

And too late..already installed.
The reason was that the car uses a variable ground to control dash light brightness instead of using a variable positive like many other cars..

If your gauge lighting is connected to ground and you hook it to the dash light circuits it can ruin the circuit board on the gauge cluster.
We see this happen after sooo many radio installs it isn't even funny, I thought it best to check out the unit further before a disaster happens..

I would LOVE to fix the indicator light, but
Start the engine. Warning light still on? good.
Unplug the 4 wire connection from the alternator.
Does the warning light go out?
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Car shut off, long shot.




Key on.




Headlights on (voltage drop, and dimmed backlight)




Engine running (14 volts).




VERY disappointed the in the Glowshift pod. It is supposedly made to fit 7th gen civics. I'll let you be the judge.
I tried heating it up and reshaping it, but it was not cooperative. I left well enough alone. This is not a show car.

The gauge, OTOH, is nice. It is the lowest price of their lineup. It does not do any of the fancy backlighting stuff. Not for me.

https://www.glowshiftdirect.com/

Last edited by robfarr56; 07-29-2017 at 08:41 PM. Reason: to add Glowshift's link
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
The reason was that the car uses a variable ground to control dash light brightness instead of using a variable positive like many other cars..

If your gauge lighting is connected to ground and you hook it to the dash light circuits it can ruin the circuit board on the gauge cluster.
We see this happen after sooo many radio installs it isn't even funny, I thought it best to check out the unit further before a disaster happens..
I installed an aftermarket radio in this car once before (using an adapter harness) - no problems. Swapped back to factory when the aftermarket crapped out.

I think the gauge is "smart", and used the inputs (+/-) for the voltmeter to determine how best to use the signal coming from the red/black wire from the radio. It works great! And the radio still works. I haven't tried the climate controls yet...

Start the engine. Warning light still on? good.
Unplug the 4 wire connection from the alternator.
Does the warning light go out?
Am I supposed to unplug the connector while the engine is running?
Is this supposed to make the warning light go out?

Need more information.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
The reason was that the car uses a variable ground to control dash light brightness instead of using a variable positive like many other cars..

If your gauge lighting is connected to ground and you hook it to the dash light circuits it can ruin the circuit board on the gauge cluster.
We see this happen after sooo many radio installs it isn't even funny, I thought it best to check out the unit further before a disaster happens..
Duh - just reread the above.

I am not using the dimming circuit (the variable ground), only the signal wire that tells the radio that the headlights are on. And that is what the gauge is looking for.
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Old 07-29-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Originally Posted by robfarr56 View Post
I think the gauge is "smart", and used the inputs (+/-) for the voltmeter to determine how best to use the signal coming from the red/black wire from the radio.
Good deal. Looks cool.
That mounting pod needs help tho LOL
Am I supposed to unplug the connector while the engine is running?
Is this supposed to make the warning light go out?

Need more information.
Yes and yes.

Engine running. Disconnect the alternator 4 wire plug.

If the warning light goes out that means the alternator is controlling it = alternator is bad. (bad or wrong voltage regulator inside it)

If the light stays on while the alternator is unplugged and engine is running, that would mean something else has control of the warning light (PCM, MICU, gauge cluster are all involved in operating the light).

Edit again: I'm assuming nobody has hacked the alternator wiring and botched it (miswired).
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Yeah, I called my dealer first, and he gave me a date 2 weeks out.
I only own one vehicle, and have a 33 mile (highway) commute.
So I took it to my local guy who could work me in.

I also had just returned from 500 miles away where I traded my 2006 Civic sedan (auto) to my ex-wife, for this 2002 5-spd that I had given her 2.5 years ago.
I originally bought it in 2011, when I registered on this forum.

So I was lucky that it waited until I got home! I Ubered twice to work, and then I borrowed my brother's GMC mighty-guzzler (with a great view for lane changes!) until my car was ready.

The mechanic really hated to let go of the car with the light on, but he guaranteed that it was charging. And it hasn't given me a lick of trouble since.

But I am still catching up from 11 months of unemployment, and don't have the money to spend on her like I used to. I really enjoy replacing old parts with new, OEM ones, and typically have factory trained do the work.

This guy quoted me $350 going in on the job, and the final tally was $359!
I'd say that was pretty good considering the hair-pulling and research involved.

As long as my transportation is solid, I can save the rest for later.

I am going the try the alternator plug tomorrow. Thank you for the explanation.

I am not new to forums or technical writing, just cars. I generally let someone better equipped do my dirty work.
When I had a BMW airhead for 35 years, you had to do it yourself or get a gas-and-go.
Electronics was my first attempt at higher education straight out of H.S., but it didn't go anywhere. But I have the background.
But I open the hood of my Civic, and I am NOT in my comfort zone.
That disappeared after the slant-6 in my grandmother's 1972 Plymouth Scamp.

Last edited by robfarr56; 07-29-2017 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

You definitely need the eyebrow that comes with their gauges. After dark there is quite a lot of glare off of the face on the windshield.

In fact, I had to extend the brow even more with some electrical tape.

1/2 of my 45 minute commute is in the dark.
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Old 08-20-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Engine running. Disconnect the alternator 4 wire plug.

If the warning light goes out that means the alternator is controlling it = alternator is bad. (bad or wrong voltage regulator inside it)

If the light stays on while the alternator is unplugged and engine is running, that would mean something else has control of the warning light (PCM, MICU, gauge cluster are all involved in operating the light).

Edit again: I'm assuming nobody has hacked the alternator wiring and botched it (miswired).
Well, FINALLY got around to the unplug test.

The light stayed on with the connector unplugged and the engine running.

At least now you have something to work with, ezone. sorry to have dragged my feet on this one. I had to poke the unlock with a screwdriver with one hand while pulling with the other!
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Old 08-20-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

The light stayed on with the connector unplugged and the engine running.
Well.... that didn't make it easy.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

But it tells me that my voltage regulator is OK, correct?
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Well, I Googled MICU, and I see that is the part that is on the back of the inside fuse box that the original mechanic was talking about.

Options?
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Old 08-20-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Originally Posted by robfarr56 View Post
But it tells me that my voltage regulator is OK, correct?
Maybe. You now know something other than the alternator is keeping the warning light on.

Originally Posted by robfarr56 View Post
Well, I Googled MICU, and I see that is the part that is on the back of the inside fuse box that the original mechanic was talking about.

Options?
I think I've got notes on what the PCM puts out to the "L" terminal vs what the alt does when it works correctly, but that's on a laptop at work. I want to say the PCM puts 5v on the L line and the alt grounds that to signify that it is not charging, opens it to say it's charging. If the PCM lost that 5v OR if that wire were somehow shorted to ground, that would keep the warning light on.
BUT if the PCM fault is not in the input side but instead somewhere between the logic and data output to the cluster, then you wouldn't see anything wrong during checks at the input (alternator plug L terminal).

Everything involved is gonna be an expensive guess.

Does the car have other odd electrical quirks? Search the forum for MICU or multiplex or fusebox (Hondas version of a body control computer)....the MICU handles a bunch of different things and when it fails there are usually several things that quit at the same time. (AC, warning beeper, courtesy lights, keyless/locks, part of the wiper controls, some warning lights, etc.)


If no electrical quirks that might come from the MICU then I'd be inclined to try a PCM swap first with a known good donor. (there's the problem of programming the immobilizer before it will run though)
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Old 08-20-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Well, due to the fact the there NO electrical quirks, other than the charge indicator, I would agree with you, PCM swap.

That is the main CPU? $800+ (new)?

If that is the case, I am liking my voltmeter more and more.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

It's not a CPU, it's a PCM. Terminology is important sometimes. Except for car manufacturers who want proprietary names and long inane acronyms for just about everything.

Well, OBD2 standards should dictate the terms here:
It's a PCM if you have automatic transmission (Powertrain Control Module)
ECM would be the term used if it has a manual trans (Engine Control Module)

But then the damn parts catalog calls it both an ECU and an Engine Control Module, regardless of transmission type...... so nobody cares about those standards.

You should see some of the crazy crap I have to deal with on a regular day just because 4 departments of the manufacturer can't all use the same terms, and none use terms common throughout the rest of the industry.

I might have to know 10 different names for a given part, along with knowing where it's located and what job it does---because sometimes that's the only way to pick the right items.
Service manual calls a part one thing,
Wiring diagrams call it another
Parts catalog calls it something entirely different
warranty claim lookup needs yet another name

and the customers and service advisors expect me to communicate through interpretive dance because the terms are too technical for them to understand.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Heck! You could have been a lawyer, or an accountant! At least you get your hands dirty, helping people get around.

Mine is a 5-speed manual.

The $644 (don't know where I got 800) "Engine Control Module" (fiche) is #4.

That is what is was referring to as "CPU".



https://www.hondapartsnow.com/parts-...nit-cabin.html
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Old 08-20-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Check junkyards too.
www.car-part.com


One of options there would be a ECM with the matching ignition lock and keys, but the drawbacks would be having to replace the column lock assembly, needing multiple keys, and no way to make a new ignition key by code of you lose it.

The other option would be ECM alone plus programming by the dealership or well equipped locksmith or indy specialty shop.

All this is just on the hunch it's the ECM.


Thinking out loud:
I'd kinda want to see if I could locate (a friend with) a nearly identical car to swap ECM with as a test. First turn the key on (but don't start the engine) and unplug his alternator to see that the warning light does indeed go out. This confirms that you won't have to do anything but swap the ECMs to test it (no programming). If swapping that ECM to your car and repeating the same test (engine not running) is a winner (light goes out when alt is unplugged), you know a good ECM will make your car work right again.
And vise-versa, moving your ECM to the other car should make the problem move to that car too.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Any problems with leaving it as is, and living with the voltmeter?

I suppose there are a myriad of causes to make the charge light come on, that I would be missing out on.

Could I pull the bulb, if so?

I was just behind my panel yesterday, replacing the odometer backlight.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Originally Posted by robfarr56 View Post
Any problems with leaving it as is, and living with the voltmeter?

I suppose there are a myriad of causes to make the charge light come on, that I would be missing out on.

Could I pull the bulb, if so?

I was just behind my panel yesterday, replacing the odometer backlight.
I don't see why not, you already can confirm the warning light is lying to you.

If you're into basic electronics maybe you could rig up a charge warning light that runs directly off the alternator instead of taking the intended routes.

Last edited by ezone; 08-20-2017 at 07:51 PM. Reason: speld rong
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Old 08-20-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
If you're into basic electronics maybe you could rig up a change warning light that runs directly off the alternator instead of taking the intended routes.
That is a possibility. Resistors, diodes, capacitors - no problem, along with reading basic schematics. The importance of good solder joints, etc.

Electronics was my first major in H.S./college. I got lost real quick when they started in on digital. This was Spring 1975 at Vincennes.

I know a lot more than a lot of people, but not as much as many others.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

The other option would be ECM alone plus programming by the dealership or well equipped locksmith or indy specialty shop.

All this is just on the hunch it's the ECM.
This is my favorite one, mostly for resale down the road.

I don't know anyone that has a similar car. Maybe a junkyard would let me do a temporary swap for $20 or something?
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Probably need to check a known good car to confirm the non-running test I suggested would actually work as planned first.

I don't have a car that old to try it out on.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Well, I guess it is the end of somewhat pristine originality on one more 7th gen. Bound to happen to non-collector "civilians", I suppose.

I'm just going to pull the bulb and use the meter.

Glowshift refunded me the cost of the ill-fitting pod as soon as they saw photos.
I am going to give them another try, and see if I can't make it fit better.

Thanks for all of your help on this. I guess we can call this and the "wingnut" thread closed.
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Hey, I should have mentioned to do a gauge cluster self test. During the test all the gauges sweep full scale and all of the microprocessor controlled lights should flash. If that battery light flashes along with the rest, you can cross the cluster off the list of suspects.
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Old 08-20-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

I am trying to figure out the procedure for the gauge cluster self test, but several searches on here came up empty.

I found one on youtube with the steps spelled out, but I still could not get it.

This is what I have:

Press and hold odometer button
Turn parking lights on
Turn ignition on
Turn parking lights OFF, ON, OFF
Press odometer button 3 times SHOULD BE 4!

I also looked in the Haynes manual I have from the library.


Last edited by robfarr56; 08-22-2017 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 08-22-2017
  #29  
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Charge light flashes, cluster good. Thank you, again!

Youtube instructions wrong. I finally found our archived instructions via Google:

https://www.civicforums.com/forums/1...ml#post2754362
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Old 08-22-2017
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Re: Glowshift Voltmeter Install Question

Oh sorry, I saw your post earlier today then forgot all about it
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