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Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

Old 10-16-2014
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Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

After many weeks of frustration, I am turning to those with similar vehicles who have a good chance at helping me solve my problem. Every so often I will be driving when my ABS light will come on, quickly followed by my SRS light. A few seconds later all of my gauges will stop working and drop to the minimum point. The warning lights stay on but the gauges and the odometer will be off. During this time my headlights will dim and my windshield wipers will slow. Sometimes I can't even turn on anything such as the hazards and the A/C. For as long as I am accelerating this problem will persist. However once I let off the gas for a couple seconds everything returns to normal, only to become problematic once I accelerate again.
I have no idea what it could it be as I have a brand new battery and have had my alternator checked out. My alternator has been diagnosed as perfectly fine. At this point it is dangerous to drive my car, especially at night. Any help is greatly appreciated.
2001 Honda Civic EX
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Old 10-16-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

Originally Posted by HondaFan2001 View Post
My alternator has been diagnosed as perfectly fine

by who? and how did they come to this conclusion?

if i was a betting man, my money would be on your alternator,

when your service lights come on, on the dash, that means there is not enough power available to operate those items, lack of power = faulty alternator

i would replace your alternator and battery at the same time, depending on how old it is, but thats just my jacka$$ 2 cents
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Old 10-16-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

I had my alternator checked out by my local auto shop. They tested it by checking the output. They told me it was charging the battery just fine, and worked normally when put under stress, such as sticking every available power drawing accessory on. However the problem still exists.
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Old 10-16-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

Originally Posted by HondaFan2001 View Post
I had my alternator checked out by my local auto shop. They tested it by checking the output. They told me it was charging the battery just fine, and worked normally when put under stress, such as sticking every available power drawing accessory on. However the problem still exists.


meh......my money is still on the alternator, wanna raise me a dime?
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Old 10-16-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

Originally Posted by mikey1 View Post
meh......my money is still on the alternator, wanna raise me a dime?
Maybe a nickel, but I suppose it would be worth having another auto shop check it out and see if they determine the alternator to be in a different condition than the other auto shop stated it to be.
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Old 10-16-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

Originally Posted by HondaFan2001 View Post
I had my alternator checked out by my local auto shop. They tested it by checking the output. They told me it was charging the battery just fine, and worked normally when put under stress, such as sticking every available power drawing accessory on. However the problem still exists.
Of course they said it's ok. It wasn't broke at that time.

Problem here is that the issue is randomly intermittent, and they tested it while everything was hunky-dory.

It will test good when it isn't acting up. Gotta test while it's acting bad.

And maybe it isn't the alternator at all. Maybe it's something entirely different, but still related to battery and charging.
Did you only tell the local shop to test the alternator, or did you ask them to figure out the mysterious power loss problem? Big difference.

First I'd check for codes in the ABS and SRS units, see what clues I can garner there. (SWAG at low voltage code in the ABS unit... and no codes in the SRS unit.)
Maybe take a drive with a voltmeter attached to the battery or even the cig lighter plug, just to see what voltage goes to when it acts up.


I might be checking stuff like the battery cable terminal ends and connections to the cables, belt tension, mounting bolts for the alternator, and the nut for the big hot wire on the alt, fasteners for the cables into the fusebox, fasteners for the large main fuses in that box, ground cables between the battery and body and trans for corrosion and good clean contacts, and maybe some other stuff based on voltage testing while it acts up, and voltage drop tests.


Is your current alternator original--- or is it a replacement from a parts store that offers lifetime guarantees and is open on Sunday?
Maybe chuck an alternator at it just for good measure.
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Old 10-17-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

I ended up bringing my car to yet another auto shop. Luckily my intermittent problem was alive and well during that time and they were able to deduce that the alternator was most likely the cause of the problem. So I am having it replaced next week in hopes that it will solve my problem. Will report back afterwards. I thank you for all the help thus far however.
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Old 11-08-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

diverting the issue a little...
I had an issue with my headlight reminder tone, aka headlight reminder warning, aka whatever you want to call it. Headlights would get left on and battery would drain.
After much searching online, I finally just checked all of the fuses and Fuse #2 under the hood was the culprit. "small light" or some mess. The owner's manual nor the inside of the fuse box gave me ANY clue that it would be linked to the buzzer. 15 amp switched out for a good one and now I am golden. But I checked ALL fuses with a tester, taking each one out one by one.

So... how this relates to the OP...
Now, my instrument panel is well lit when my headlights are NOT on, but no lit when my headlights are on. Oh yes, I adjusted the dimmer and presto, I can see the far right gauge, but not the speedometer.
This was not a problem before poking around the fuses. What was a problem before that was the heating/AC ***** not lighting up and even after checking every fuse, this remains an issue.

So... any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you
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Old 11-08-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

Originally Posted by Michael S View Post
diverting the issue a little...
I had an issue with my headlight reminder tone, aka headlight reminder warning, aka whatever you want to call it. Headlights would get left on and battery would drain.
After much searching online, I finally just checked all of the fuses and Fuse #2 under the hood was the culprit. "small light" or some mess. The owner's manual nor the inside of the fuse box gave me ANY clue that it would be linked to the buzzer. 15 amp switched out for a good one and now I am golden. But I checked ALL fuses with a tester, taking each one out one by one.

So... how this relates to the OP...
Now, my instrument panel is well lit when my headlights are NOT on, but no lit when my headlights are on. Oh yes, I adjusted the dimmer and presto, I can see the far right gauge, but not the speedometer.
This was not a problem before poking around the fuses. What was a problem before that was the heating/AC ***** not lighting up and even after checking every fuse, this remains an issue.

So... any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you

You really should have started a new thread of your own.


I'd probably pull the heater control panel out of the dash, they have a tiny pair of individual light bulbs in them and another pair inside the pushbuttons.

Then pull the gauge cluster and see what bulbs can be replaced in there too.
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Old 11-18-2014
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Re: Intermittent Instrument Panel Problem

Originally Posted by HondaFan2001 View Post
After many weeks of frustration, I am turning to those with similar vehicles who have a good chance at helping me solve my problem. Every so often I will be driving when my ABS light will come on, quickly followed by my SRS light. A few seconds later all of my gauges will stop working and drop to the minimum point. The warning lights stay on but the gauges and the odometer will be off. During this time my headlights will dim and my windshield wipers will slow. Sometimes I can't even turn on anything such as the hazards and the A/C. For as long as I am accelerating this problem will persist. However once I let off the gas for a couple seconds everything returns to normal, only to become problematic once I accelerate again.
I have no idea what it could it be as I have a brand new battery and have had my alternator checked out. My alternator has been diagnosed as perfectly fine. At this point it is dangerous to drive my car, especially at night. Any help is greatly appreciated.
2001 Honda Civic EX
I have a 2003 Honda Civic that is doing pretty much the exact same issue. My gauges go dead but every warning light comes on minus the low voltage. As well the heater fan will stop working some times. I have noted that after driving for awhile that the gauges will start working but several warning will reamian on abs parking brakeand check engine. I have been reading a few forums on this issue, all seem to say charging system or loose ground. I am going to be doing some trouble shooting as well. But if I cant find anything I am taking it to the garage. Please let me know if a new alternator worked. As well if if I find anything a will post it.

cheers
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