Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem - Honda Civic Forum

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Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

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Old 08-13-2017
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Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Hello all,
First let me say I've checked the basics here.

Problem:
The dimmer switch seemed to be going bad. It wouldn't work at all (no back lighting), but then you could squeeze/manipulate it and it would work.
I assumed this meant the switch was bad.
I purchased a new switch.....same problem, but nothing works.
I tested the red, black, and red & black wire for power/ground.....nothing there.

I'm wondering wtf is up? lol

Disclaimer: I did try using a paper clip to "jump"/"eliminate" the switch so that it'd be on full when on. No success. (I did connect the two ends in several ways before realizing it should just be to the black, and the red, wires/terminals.)


SOOOO.....
I'm wondering if there is a fuse blown? I couldn't find anything showing a fuse linked to this item & do not have an electrical diagram. THOUGHTS???


I'm working second shift, and am getting tired of using a small flashlight to see my gauges. lol

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
-Ben
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Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

I can't help with the problem, but in the meantime when it is dark, set your smartphone for a long delay on the screen shut off, and just open a Google browser, and lay your phone in front of your instruments.

Serious troubleshooters will want to know the year of your car.
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Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Thanks. I didn't realize I forgot to add that info.

The civic is a 2000 ex.
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Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Any chance anyone has any thoughts on trouble shooting this?
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Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

All I have to offer is what I have learned in the short time I have been here.

The dimmer circuit works by increasing/decreasing resistance to the negative side of the lighting circuit.

From ezone in a thread where I was installing a voltmeter:

Originally Posted by ezone
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..
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Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

What new switch did you buy? I am not seeing one in the parts fiche (for my 2002).
I am thinking it is part of the instrument panel cluster. I could be wrong, but I am not seeing a "switch" (potentiometer).

https://www.hondapartsnow.com/Page_P...steon&Diagram=

What year/model is your car?
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Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Disclaimer: I did try using a paper clip to "jump"/"eliminate" the switch so that it'd be on full when on. No success. (I did connect the two ends in several ways before realizing it should just be to the black, and the red, wires/terminals.




SOOOO.....
I'm wondering if there is a fuse blown?
Yes what you did should have blown a fuse. Specifically #30 in the dash fusebox (7.5A), if it's ONLY the dash lights out.




Have you checked if the park/tail/license lights on the outside of the car also quit?

Is it JUST the lights in the gauge cluster affected?
Do the switches around the dash/heater panel/cruise/defog/radio still light up?

If it's all of the dash lights and only the dash lights out, use a jumper to bridge the red wire to black wire at the dimmer (unplugged) for full brightness.
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Old 08-15-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Thanks for the replies guys.

The car is a 2000 ex. The dimmer switch is right below the driver's side air vent, next to the cruise control button.

Just as an example:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/1996-2000-HO...tZi-KR&vxp=mtr

Ezone:
For this year civic, the cd player, heat controls....that whole area....are connected to the dash lights it seems. When one would go out...all would go out. All exterior lights are o.k.

I'm betting your right about the fuse, i'll check it and repost asap. *crosses fingers* OMW to work now. I just couldn't find what fuse would be linked to this. I was checking them one at a time, and thought F this. lol
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Old 08-15-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

I'm betting your right about the fuse, i'll check it and repost asap. *crosses fingers*
Ya, sounds like you need to find the blown fuse and replace it, then see if a jumper needs to be installed to bypass the dimmer. (I'd actually check wiring for one of the dimmable dash light bulbs to see if power is missing or if ground is missing, that way I can decide what is really wrong with it)
I just couldn't find what fuse would be linked to this. I was checking them one at a time, and thought F this. lol
I use a simple test light to check fuses, I can run through an entire fusebox in a minute or two and know which are good or bad without having any clue which fuses go to what system. If any fuses don't light up my test light (not powered up) then I flip the headlights on and recheck those few fuses.
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Old 08-15-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Ok, I HAD to check......lol.....FUSE #30 IS THE WINNER!!!!!! It was destroyed.

THANK YOU very much all. I'll be able to drive home and see my gauges properly now. lol

On a side note......
I broke the little metal clip that holds the interior fuse panel cover. Does anyone know where to find these little buggers? I don't think the auto parts stores have them, or the local hardware stores. I'd rather not go through Honda and pay $10 for a $0.05 part.

THANKS AGAIN!
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Old 08-15-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Is it anything serious? Got a pic?
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Old 08-15-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Originally Posted by ben76251 View Post
Ok, I HAD to check......lol.....FUSE #30 IS THE WINNER!!!!!! It was destroyed.

THANK YOU very much all. I'll be able to drive home and see my gauges properly now. lol

On a side note......
I broke the little metal clip that holds the interior fuse panel cover. Does anyone know where to find these little buggers? I don't think the auto parts stores have them, or the local hardware stores. I'd rather not go through Honda and pay $10 for a $0.05 part.

THANKS AGAIN!
junkyard, or make your own
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Old 08-17-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

Nah, it's nothing "serious." But it annoys me when things aren't as they should be. lol Hence a panel missing because I can't close it.

Yeah, I can check a junkyard I suppose. Well, i'll poke around and see what I can find. The important thing is that my gauges, and all the "center controls" are lit up again!

Thanks again!
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Old 08-17-2017
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Re: Dimmer switch/gauge lighting - not the typical problem

ezone doesn't know it, but he is my new best friend.
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