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Old 05-04-2014, 03:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Speedometer Stop Working While Driving

Just moments ago, I was approaching the off ramp from the expressway, when I'd noticed that the needles on my speedometer & tachometer started to fluctuate on my 94 Civic Vx. Shortly afterwards, they stopped working all together, along with the trip odometer and mileage counter.

Additionally, what I'd also noticed was that there wasn't any power to my radio; but where it really got interesting was when I'd gotten the car home. Just when I had shut off the ignition and attempted to restart the engine, the car behaved as though it had a dead battery.

In retrospect, I was at the drive-in tonight watching a double feature with the radio on (i.e. yes we do have one in my parts). I'm wondering if I just have drained battery....any additional thoughts on the matter, in terms of what I should try?


Last edited by Davo53209@yahoo.com; 05-04-2014 at 04:35 AM..
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Start with easy stuff first, clean all battery connections and engine grounds. Test the battery voltage and recharge if needed. Before recharging check battery fill level if you can.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Alternator should charge the battery. If not, follow what nemo said.

Otherwise, next time it does it, push in on and wiggle the key. The electrical connectors in these wear out.
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am going to try these suggestions. Question is, "Why would this affect the gauge cluster"?
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Old 05-04-2014, 01:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bad grounds can affect everything. If it acts up and you have a voltmeter, connect one lead to the positive cable and start with the other at the negative terminal. Check the engine block, body, frame (if separate) and other points on the car. When you have no ground there will be no current reading (or a very low reading) on the meter. Otherwise you should get close to a battery voltage reading.

Printed circuit boards can get bad connections too, they can usually be spotted with some decent magnification.

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Old 05-04-2014, 02:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Starting with the simplest thing first, I just followed up with Nemo's suggestion, and charged the battery. The only exception is that I'm going to have to got to Autozone to have the battery tested. For now, it would appear that the entire gauge cluster is operating normally. Thank you all for your input.
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Seems to be common on that generation of Civics for the gauge cluster to go out because of bad solder joints on the cluster circuit board, as Old Mech said. The one on my '94 Civic also went out. However, a bad ground would be a more likely explanation for all things that you'd mentioned going wrong at the same time.
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo53209@yahoo.com View Post
Starting with the simplest thing first, I just followed up with Nemo's suggestion, and charged the battery. The only exception is that I'm going to have to got to Autozone to have the battery tested. For now, it would appear that the entire gauge cluster is operating normally. Thank you all for your input.
Best low cost test for a weak battery.

Turn on the headlights, if they don't kill the battery in an hour it's barely OK. Two hours decent. 3 hours just about new condition. I know this from forgetting to turn mine off at the golf course. I've seen batteries die in less than 20 minutes after being fully charged and they passed load tests. Too many customers called the day after charging and load testing to tell me the battery was dead the next morning.

Pop (93 in 4 days) replaces his battery every 3 years. They always tell him it's fine. He tells them "use it in YOUR car".

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Old 05-04-2014, 02:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've seen them last 13 years and Frank Lee has one that is 20 years old. At 93 Pop can buy a battery without a second thought and a broken down car is the last thing he wants to have to handle at the wrong place and the wrong time, which could get him killed.

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Old 05-04-2014, 04:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davo53209@yahoo.com View Post
Starting with the simplest thing first, I just followed up with Nemo's suggestion, and charged the battery. The only exception is that I'm going to have to got to Autozone to have the battery tested. For now, it would appear that the entire gauge cluster is operating normally. Thank you all for your input.
If the battery tests good and holds a charge, and you find the same thing happening again in the future where your battery is going dead, you may have a bad alternator. Mine died last year and it took at least a week before the battery ran down.

The symptoms were that my headlights and dash lights were noticeably dimmer and the radio was dying out as I was driving. (My car has a cable drive speedometer, so that was unaffected.) A new alternator was the cure.

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