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6th Generation Honda Civic (1996-2000) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 honda civic hatchback, coupe, sedan, coupe si

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Speedometer working intermittently

6th Generation Honda Civic (1996-2000)


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Old 10-25-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default Speedometer working intermittently

So as the title says, my 1996 Civic EX's speedometer only works when it wants to. I had a 1995 civic where the speedometer just didn't work at all and the VSS was the problem, but it was throwing a CEL for the VSS. Mine is not. I took the cluster out today to replace all of the lights and made sure all of the connections were plugged in all the way. No loose wires, nothing. Should I eliminate the chance of it being the VSS simply because I'm not throwing a CEL for it? The odometer and the tripometer both do not work either, EVEN WHEN THE SPEEDOMETER IS WORKING. << Don't know why but that seemed important. Also, the button to reset my miles on the tripometer doesn't work. Could this be the cluster? All other gauges work accordingly.

Any and all help is appreciated :)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #2
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Have you even taken a glance at the VSS? Just because there is no CEL doesn't mean you shouldn't at least dig around in your engine bay and see if you can find a loose/disconnected connector or ground wire. Maybe your VSS crapped out or it may need cleaning. Pull the connector loose (if it's even attached) and spray it down with contact cleaner. You've checked all your fuses too i'm guessing? I suppose it's possible your whole cluster went bad at the same time but that seems unlikely. Go get another from the junk yard and try it out after you make sure your VSS is still connected at the trans.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
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Have you even taken a glance at the VSS? Just because there is no sell doesn't mean you shouldn't at least dig around in your engine bay and see if you can find a loose/disconnected connector or ground wire. Maybe your VSS crapped out or it may need cleaning. Pull the connector loose (if it's even attached) and spray it down with contact cleaner. You've checked all your fuses too i'm guessing? I suppose it's possible your whole cluster went bad at the same time but that seems unlikely. Go get another from the junk yard and try it out after you make sure your VSS is still connected at the trans.
I haven't actually pulled it yet, but I have disconnected and reconnected the plug. I'll try pulling it and inspecting it tomorrow after work. Thanks!

Any other input is appreciated!


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Old 10-25-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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buy a vss from auto zone. change it. it works then you know it was that. keep the autozone one and call it good or buy a honda one. or but the auto zone one. doesnt work. take it back. come back to the forums for more info as you know its not the vss.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:56 PM   #5
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CHECK YOUR FUSE before u go buying that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! when mine was doing that it wasnt the vvs it was that damn fuse about to spaz n die i replaced the fuse and she was sweet fine after that also check and make sure your harness behind the intake manifold isnt rubbing and shorting
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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I had this problem and it was the plug pins had corroded .
Remove the plug and inspect it .
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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I had this problem and it was the plug pins had corroded .
Remove the plug and inspect it .
The plug as in... The harness on top of the VSS?


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Old 10-31-2012, 10:58 AM   #8
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Pulled the VSS and it looks fine. Both ends of connectors look fine as well.





It actually looks fairly new.

The fuse is fine as well.

Any other ideas?


After pulling the VSS and reinstalling it I drove around for about ten minutes, speedometer worked perfectly for about five minutes, then dropped to zero for about thirty seconds, then worked the rest of the way.

Edit: Found this online "If the CEL isn't on, and the PCM doesn't have a VSS code (P0500), then it is going to be the speedo head itself.

The circuit board on the back of the speedo itself is the culprit, not the circuit board on the back of the cluster
."

Is he right? Should I just replace the cluster anyway since the trip doesnt work?

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Old 10-31-2012, 11:40 AM   #9
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Sounds like solid knowledge to me. I'd try it. From the looks of things, you've ruled out every other option now. VSS looks good. That's what mine looked like right out of the Honda OEM box off the shelf. Must not be too old like you say.

Perhaps a solder joint is bad on the speedo like your quote says. Similar to how the main relay can go bad but some fresh solder usually clears that up. Might be worth a try and maybe you'll get a DIY out of it
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by young_ View Post
Pulled the VSS and it looks fine. Both ends of connectors look fine as well.





It actually looks fairly new.

The fuse is fine as well.

Any other ideas?


After pulling the VSS and reinstalling it I drove around for about ten minutes, speedometer worked perfectly for about five minutes, then dropped to zero for about thirty seconds, then worked the rest of the way.

Edit: Found this online "If the CEL isn't on, and the PCM doesn't have a VSS code (P0500), then it is going to be the speedo head itself.

The circuit board on the back of the speedo itself is the culprit, not the circuit board on the back of the cluster
."

Is he right? Should I just replace the cluster anyway since the trip doesnt work?

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I wouldn't go buying a new cluster unless your 100 % I've been told by a honda tech that there's part of the wiring harness on the left side strut tower that rubs on a metal bracket and makes the speedo act all weird. I would check the wiring first to rule out its nothing simple
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaB16 View Post
Sounds like solid knowledge to me. I'd try it. From the looks of things, you've ruled out every other option now. VSS looks good. That's what mine looked like right out of the Honda OEM box off the shelf. Must not be too old like you say.

Perhaps a solder joint is bad on the speedo like your quote says. Similar to how the main relay can go bad but some fresh solder usually clears that up. Might be worth a try and maybe you'll get a DIY out of it
Soldering > me.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying it, but my trip doesn't reset when you push in the little rod that sticks out of the cluster, so I think I'll probably just replace the cluster, but I'll continue to troubleshoot until I'm positive that that is the cause.

Thanks for all the suggestions! You've all been very helpful.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Soldering > me.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying it, but my trip doesn't reset when you push in the little rod that sticks out of the cluster, so I think I'll probably just replace the cluster, but I'll continue to troubleshoot until I'm positive that that is the cause.

Thanks for all the suggestions! You've all been very helpful.
Sounds to me like that cluster is shot. See if you can borrow someone else's, just to test.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:37 PM   #13
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Sounds to me like that cluster is shot. See if you can borrow someone else's, just to test.
Only other person I know with the same cluster has an auto tranny. Does that matter?

I do have a buddy with a 2000 si, five speed but I doubt he'd let me borrow his cluster.. Besides I wouldn't want to give it back. lol

But yeah I'm thinking the cluster is shot. It needs to be replaced just because of the trip alone, so worst case scenario I'm in no worse of a boat than I am now if I replace the cluster. Found one on ebay for 70 bucks, with 98k miles Probably picking that up friday.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:49 PM   #14
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Do you have a pull a part or salvage yard near by? Seems like you should be able to find one close. I know of several in my area and I've seen more bears wondering around here than Honda's so that's saying something. :)
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:01 PM   #15
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Do you have a pull a part or salvage yard near by? Seems like you should be able to find one close. I know of several in my area and I've seen more bears wondering around here than Honda's so that's saying something. :)
lol you and your alaskan problems. lol just playin. I'll definitely check around my local pull a parts.
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