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Honda question

This is a discussion on Honda question within the Domestics and Foreigns forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I'm going to be working on a number of things on my brother's 94 civic but one of his issues ...

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    Member 00 formula's Avatar
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    Honda question

    I'm going to be working on a number of things on my brother's 94 civic but one of his issues is kind of puzzling to me. The gauges on his dash all went out at one time (including the speedometer and tach), as did his blinkers but the backlight and sensor lights still work.

    I thought it might be a fuse but can't find one that would be appropriate. I'm guessing a wiring problem or a bad ground?

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    I know this is a Honda question but I'm not about to go join a honda board, so any one have any ideas?

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    Member jperkins812's Avatar
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    Has he done anything to mess around with the wiring, maybe in the engine bay or even installing a new radio? Sometimes people try to install radios by tapping into the wires instead of buying a install harness and they it shorts out the wiring. You could also have the a problem in the gauge cluster itself, because you can lose parts of it and still have some operation in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jperkins812 View Post
    Has he done anything to mess around with the wiring, maybe in the engine bay or even installing a new radio? Sometimes people try to install radios by tapping into the wires instead of buying a install harness and they it shorts out the wiring. You could also have the a problem in the gauge cluster itself, because you can lose parts of it and still have some operation in it.
    I just had to show the kid how to do an oil change and check the brake pads, so no, other then smacking in to a few things at lower speeds he hasn't touched anything on his car.

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    I hate these kinds of problems. I would check ALL those fuses first and hope like hell it's just a fuse. I'm not familiar with honda's at all but you might see if there's a relay box under the dash that might have a bad relay in it or a multi-function switch or something. You'll probably just have to get a schematic and trace it down. If he's not paying you extremely well to do it I would look at it for 30 minutes and tell him you can't fix it. Electrical problems can be major pains in the ass and be very time consuming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    I hate these kinds of problems. I would check ALL those fuses first and hope like hell it's just a fuse. I'm not familiar with honda's at all but you might see if there's a relay box under the dash that might have a bad relay in it or a multi-function switch or something. You'll probably just have to get a schematic and trace it down. If he's not paying you extremely well to do it I would look at it for 30 minutes and tell him you can't fix it. Electrical problems can be major pains in the ass and be very time consuming.
    The last bit is very good advise, and will save you alot of trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    I hate these kinds of problems. I would check ALL those fuses first and hope like hell it's just a fuse. I'm not familiar with honda's at all but you might see if there's a relay box under the dash that might have a bad relay in it or a multi-function switch or something. You'll probably just have to get a schematic and trace it down. If he's not paying you extremely well to do it I would look at it for 30 minutes and tell him you can't fix it. Electrical problems can be major pains in the ass and be very time consuming.
    Checked all the fuses, I wish that was all it was. I did look at it for about 30 and then said I can't fix it today (didn't have the time, the clothes or my tools to do it).

    Since it's 18 yo brother I can't really tell him I just can't fix it, he wanted to get a POS Honda because it's more reliable then the american made stuff I told him to get. Well now I have to fix his oil leak, electrical, exhaust and the front end body work that he f-ed up (I'll be spending more time on his POS then working on my own car this year). End Rant

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    Oh and since it's my 18 yo brother, the only pay I'm getting is listening to him lip off,

    ok now end rant.

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    2 words for you.......tough love. Hell, he's 18. At 18 I was fixing a 75 cutlass so I could get back and forth to work. I would at most "supervise" while he learned automotive electrical systems 101.

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    do you have a manual to the car? If so look at the schematics to it and see if you can find a common link between all the gauges that are out. That might help you a little bit. Look for a common ground maybe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    do you have a manual to the car? If so look at the schematics to it and see if you can find a common link between all the gauges that are out. That might help you a little bit. Look for a common ground maybe.
    That's great advice and yea I do have a manual so I'll have to check.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    2 words for you.......tough love. Hell, he's 18. At 18 I was fixing a 75 cutlass so I could get back and forth to work. I would at most "supervise" while he learned automotive electrical systems 101.
    Yea, I'll have him play gopher but he's not overly useful

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    The only way to learn alot of the times is to learn from experience, I would had him the manual and show him the wiring section and tell him to start tracing. Then sit back with a beer and enjoy the show, at least you can say that you were there for him if someone asks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jperkins812 View Post
    The only way to learn alot of the times is to learn from experience, I would had him the manual and show him the wiring section and tell him to start tracing. Then sit back with a beer and enjoy the show, at least you can say that you were there for him if someone asks.


    I would generally agree and I'll have him do some stuff but trust me, cars and anything mechanical are a lost cause on this one. I have been trying to teach him though as we go along on some of his stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 00 formula View Post


    I would generally agree and I'll have him do some stuff but trust me, cars and anything mechanical are a lost cause on this one. I have been trying to teach him though as we go along on some of his stuff.
    all 18 year olds are useless though, he'll catch on just like everyone else. Better for him to start learning it now so he gets the experience.
    I remember my cutlass smoked on one side of the dual exhaust and I was clueless as to what to do. My dad came out with a toolbox and sat it down, pointed to the bolts and said "those need to come off, come get me when you get 'em off" and went back inside. The entire job went like that. I would go get him and he would come out long enough to point to the bolts that needed removing and then go back inside. It taught me a lot because I was actually the one doing the work. He would just tell me what to do but I did it all. Would've took 10 times longer to learn it any other way.

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    Might try that but not all 18 year olds are like that, my brothers in law are the same age as him (17 and 18) and they want to learn and will listen to instruction. However as much as I might love my brother I have almost nothing incommon with him, but wife's brothers are too similar to me, it's almost scarry.

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    he'd probably want to learn it after a month or two of no gauges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    he'd probably want to learn it after a month or two of no gauges.
    Lets hope but hard to teach him when I have no idea what's wrong with it but I will be putting him a lot more to work with his body work (since that's purely cosmetic)

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