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Older Civic Maintenance and Repair



  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Since the cruise works, we know it isn't the VSS...sounds like the display. What does your odometer do?
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Correct....looking now that the display is suspect. Since the cruise control is working, you know you are getting an adequate signal from the speed sensor.

    Pilot....But.....make sure your base voltage is good. That corrosion on the battery terminals can cause some flaky problems. I'd get that cleaned and the battery checked before you start tearing into the display. You might also want to have your battery checked at any autoparts chain, to make sure it's holding the correct voltage (should have about 13.0 volts).
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Okay, what should I do - step by step - to clean the battery? (Battery Cleaning for Dummies, please).

    Should I buy some gloves? Safety goggles? (makes me think of the old Simpsons episode with Radioactive Man... "the goggles, they do nothing!")

    As for the odometer: When the speedometer is frozen at 20, the odometer and trip odometer also freeze. When the speedometer returns to normal usage, the odometer doesn't "jump" to make up for lost mileage when it was pegged at 20.

    I'm curious as to why you think this is a voltage issue because it was my understanding that my analog odometer doesn't really pull any electricity... But, I don't understand cars that well (as I'm sure you can see now) so I'm welcome to suggestions.

    I found a used display for a 2000 Civic LX Automatic Trans on eBay for 69.00, but I have not bid/purchased it yet. If you suggest this as my next step, I'd really need some detailed instructions on this or I'd have to buy it and have a local shop like Meineke do it and just charge me the labor.

    Thanks again,
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Pull back the red plastic cover so you can get at the terminals. Get a wire brush (wood handle, metal brush), and scrape off the corrosion. Get something to pour some water on the terminal, and then pour some baking soda (standard arm & hammer grocery store orange box) on the terminal. It'll hiss and fizz as the soda neutralizes the acid. Let it sit for a while till done fizzling, pour more water to rinse off. Scrape again if you need to, put more soda on if need to, etc. You get it to the point that it's all clean.

    Let it dry

    Next day after dry, take a little dab of petroleum jelly on your finger and cover the terminal and connector with it. That will help keep the corrosion from coming back. Don't 'double dip'....don't put your finger back into the jelly after you've rubbed in on the battery terminal (don't want the grease of acid/soda in the jelly and put whereever on the body). I just have a small jar I keep out in the garage.

    You can take your vehicle to an autoparts chain, and they do free load tests on the battery to make sure the battery is good. I'd do that after I cleaned w/soda, and before the jelly application.

    Personally, I wouldn't be buying a replacement cluster until I proved the cluster was defective. I'd unplug it and replug to make sure the connections were good on the wiring, and hang a voltage test wire on it to make sure it wasn't loosing voltage at the same time that it stopped working. Something else but related could be causing the problem.

    Just don't put a wrench on the positive terminal (thereby making a really solid connection with the + terminal), and wrench it over to touch anything metal on the frame (the frame is connected to the negative terminal of the battery)....that'll create an arc welder out of your wrench.
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Thanks. Okay, tomorrow I will do as you've suggested, then after drying I will run to the Advanced Auto down the street and ask them to test the battery (should be free, right?)

    Reference your quote: Personally, I wouldn't be buying a replacement cluster until I proved the cluster was defective. I'd unplug it and replug to make sure the connections were good on the wiring, and hang a voltage test wire on it to make sure it wasn't loosing voltage at the same time that it stopped working. Something else but related could be causing the problem.

    What would you unplug and replug? Will I have to open up the dashboard in order to do this?
  • pilot1226pilot1226 Posts: 165
    Alright. Returned from Advance Auto and they told me the battery was in good condition but I can expect to replace it in about 12 months depending how hard of a winter we have this year.

    I was able to duplicate the problem and the tech at AA mentioned that it could possibly be something getting stuck with the odometer because I can "fix" the stuck speedometer by pushing and holding the trip reset lever in, counting to 3, and letting go while the car is in motion. The speedometer then seems to recover and the odometer starts moving again as well.

    He did admit he wasn't familiar with the interior of my Honda, so what do you think, is there something amiss between the odometer, tripometer, and the speedometer pointer thingie on the dash?

  • :sick: hi i just bougt a 1994 civic but it has a heating problem i noticed that the radiator fan wasnt turning on so i just connected the fan directly into the audio battery so its running when ever i flip the switch and the heating problem was still there so i replaced the thermostat it was all damaged but the problem doesnt dissapear i notticed that the water pump is working properly and i havent notticed any bursted hoses , canthe intake filter be the problem ? and one other thing i forgot to mention it doesnt show any white smoke.... i would appreciate any suggestions or help u can provide...thanks
  • marylongmarylong Posts: 10
    Ok, I may have the answer. Try replacing the radiator fan sensor switch. My 99 civic was over heating because the fan was not coming on. We determined that the motor was working by directly connecting it to the battery. Then, we replaced the fan sensor switch and the fan started working again. Problem solved. However, a warning: It took lots of torque to get it out, but, not even approaching that same number, the new part snapped off leaving the threads in place and the top half in the wrench. So, don't over tighten it or you will have a bigger problem on your hands. You can easily check if the sensor is the problem by pulling the plug from it first. Then, create a short by taking a wire and put one end in one hole and the other end of the wire in the other hole. Then switch the ignition to ACC (you don't have to actually start the car), if the fan turns on, then you need to replace the sensor.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    If I remember correctly, there might be an air-block procedure you need to do to get trapped air out of the engine. Something like jacking up the front right (or running up on a hill), and running the engine with the cap off.

    I think it was the civic that you had to do this for, do a search in the forums.
  • poysn1poysn1 Posts: 4
    i was told i had to remove the timing belt casing in order to get to the CPS but wen i tried doing so i noticed i had to remove the head of the block, can i just take the head of and put it back on with no problem or is there a chance i might knock something out of place?
  • poysn1poysn1 Posts: 4
    can anyone please help me i been going crazy for a week trying to figure it out.. i took it to get ran through a code reader and they said it might be my Powertrain Control Module. can that be the problem? if so do i need to replace the whole ECU? Or can a bad O2 sensor be causing this?? please help.
  • poysn1poysn1 Posts: 4
    please help..
  • Okay, to start I purchased this car from my brothers friend. In all his laziness he jumped the relay on the coolant fan to where the fan turned on when the car turned on. Couple months later the fan just stopped working. So, I assumed it was the relay so I bought a relay for it, did not fix problem apparently. Car overheats when sitting still not while driving. The coolant fan still works I checked both motors by attaching them to battery fan turns. I am not sure what the problem is guy at autozone said the fuse wiring system might have burnt out or something like that. I am not very car savvy so any advice would be great.
  • mdawg25mdawg25 Posts: 23
    Hi everyone
    I am going to look at a used 2000 Civic EX manual with 59,000 miles on Tuesday. I was just wondering what to look for on it as what tends to go out first. I've seen multiple instances of this generation of Civics just stalling randomly at highway speeds. Anything else to try to replicate? It looks pretty solid from the pictures i've seen
    Thanks for all your help
    And good luck wit your gauges, pilot
  • rakesh1rakesh1 Posts: 4
    I own a 2000 Civic LX model, i am facing a problem with the blower switch. when i switch on the A/C the blower does not run on 1&2, but runs perfectly on 3 & 4.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    This is very typical of a defective blower motor resistor bank. The resistor bank drops the voltage of a dc motor, making it run slower. The resistor bank would be in the air plenum, right near the output of the blower motor, where it is cooled by the air flow.

    In most cars, the blower is under the dash, passenger side.
  • eddiemeddiem Posts: 6
    I have a 1998 Honda Civic, 2 Door EX. The forward end of the Rear Trailing Arm is connected a Rear Compensator Arm, and the toe adjustment is accomplished by a loosening and sliding a 10mm bolt. The head of the bolt and the slot are visible, but the balance of the hardware is enclosed in a sheet metal “shield”. The hardware on my car is frozen / rusted. The shop where I took the car to be aligned does not know what is behind the shield, as there is no access.

    I am thinking of drilling an access hole in the lower part of the shield, but do not know if what lies behind it will allow me to replace the rusted hardware. (I was thinking of grinding the head of the bolt off and pushing it thru once the head is gone.) Can anyone tell me if this is possible, or do I need to have a new shield welded onto the car body? Of course, my local Honda dealer wants $100.00 to look and advise me as to what needs to be done. Any help would be appreciated.
  • Hello,

    We just purchased a used civic (see above for year/trim) with 91k miles on it. We had it checked out and everything seems pretty solid. We plan on doing a timing belt/water pump replacement within the next few weeks as it's needing to be done and we are not sure if the previous owner did it (we bought it used from a dealer trade in). The only issue we seem to have is that when we turn on the air, there seems to be a slight coolant smell in the air. A/C and heater work great. The car does not heat up when driving with the A/C on.

    My husband and I hope that it might be the water pump which will be changed out with the timing belt in two weeks. Could there be any reason why this 10 year old car might slightly smell like coolant when even the vent is on? Is it a sign that we bought a car with a heater core issue? We checked all the fluids and they seem to be good. When we stepped on the gas no smoke came out of the exhaust (not even steam). What are signs that we have an issue with a heater core?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    Mark & Rebecca
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    You are correct to suspect a leaking heating core, if you smell radiator fluid when turning on the air. Other symptoms would be a wet/damp carpet on passenger side underneath the air plenum.....or in the winter if the windows fog up due to excessive humidity in the cabin.

    I guess if you had a large radiator leak in the engine compartment, that smell could be drawn into the cabin as well....mimicking a leaking heater core. However since you aren't missing large amounts of fluid, I wouldn't suspect this is your problem.
  • heart2heart2 Posts: 38
    Daughter called and asked me why all of a sudden her temp guage needle indicator is reading much cooler than usual. Needle still goes up over the "C" but not by very much even after driving car a long time. She checked fluids and all is normal. I have heard of overheating but never this problem esp. after driving a long time. Any ideas?
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