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Honda Civic Speedometer Not Working

Your speedometer is one of the unsung heroes in your Honda. You never realize how much you need it until you drive without it and you risk getting a speeding ticket. But what if your speedometer is not working?

A Honda Civic’s speedometer not working is often due to a malfunctioning vehicle speed sensor (VSS). The VSS sends data to the speedometer; if it fails, the speedometer won’t display the correct speed. Replacing the vehicle speed sensor usually solves this problem and restores speedometer functionality.

Another cause could be a faulty speedometer gauge. Over time, the internal components of the gauge can wear out or malfunction, leading to an unresponsive speedometer. In this case, repairing or replacing the speedometer gauge is necessary to fix the issue.

Car speedometer dashboard

In the article, we shall discuss some of the reasons why your speedometer is not working. You will also learn how to fix these issues and get the speedometer working again. Dive in for this information.

Honda Civic Speedometer/Digital Speedometer Not Working

Illuminated car speedometer

There are several reasons why your speedometer is not working. Not working could mean that it remains idle even when the car is moving or stuck to the same speed even when the vehicle stops.

Additionally, the speedometer could give the incorrect speed or start rising even when the car is idle. Other problems that your speedometer could have are rapidly jumping between readings or having the red readings needle below the white pin. Some of the causes of the speedometer failure include:

Loose Wires

Loose wires are the reason for most car problems, and the speedometer is of no exemption. If the cables that plug into the speedometer are loose, the speedometer will most likely stop working. You are likely to have loose wires if you often drive along rough terrains. If the cables were not properly placed during manufacture, they are also likely to have a problem.

Honda Civic Speed Sensor Problems

The variable speed sensor (VSS) is a necessary part of the speed sensor’s proper functioning. Unfortunately, if something is wrong with the VSS, it reflects on the speedometer and causes the speedometer to remain idle. The main problem that you can have with the VSS is having the VSS corrode. To repair this problem, you either clean the VSS, fix it, or replace it to get the speedometer working.

Short Circuit

When the plastic clips that hold wires away from the engine break, they can result in a short circuit, which will cause your Honda Civic speedometer to malfunction. This is because the wire will rub against the engine and eventually become bare.

A Blown Fuse

Your Honda civic has a fuse box connected to the speedometer in the dashboard. A black blemish in the plastic will indicate a blown fuse, which will cause the speedometer to get stuck or stop working completely.

Exhaust Gas Recirculation System (EGR)

The EGR is an opening on the engine where exhaust passes through. A problem with the EGR may make it fail to close when it is supposed to. This affects both the engine and speedometer, whereby the engine runs roughly, and the speedometer bobs up and down.

Issues With the Engine Control Unit (ECU)

The ECU is the computer system that controls all your car operations. In case there is an issue with the ECU, some operations in the car, like the speedometer, may fail. This is because it will fail to communicate the speed telemetry, which is later displayed on the speedometer.

A Speedometer Problem

Though the odds of the speedometer having a problem all on its own are minimal, it is possible in some cases. There may be a problem with the overall gauge cluster. Additionally, there could be a problem with the car’s wiring system. You can also try resetting the speedometer as this, more likely than not, will solve the problem with the speedometer. If your speedometer has a physical cable, it will fail to work if the cable is broken.

Honda Civic Digital Speedometer Flickering

Car speedometer

A flickering speedometer is a sign of several things that could have gone wrong in your Honda. For instance, there may be a blown fuse. If the blown fuse is related to the speedometer, you will likely have problems with the speedometer, such as flickering. If there is no blown fuse, you can check the alternator belt. If it is loose or slipping, it is likely to cause the speedometer to flicker.

The wiring system, especially the harness wires, could also cause flickering. It would be better to ask a professional to check the wiring system in your Honda instead of doing it yourself.

Honda Civic Speedometer Not Accurate

Car speedometer

The inaccuracy of your speedometer may lead you to make mistakes on the road, giving you a speed higher or lower than the speed you are driving at. When this happens, the Honda alternator may be failing, which is why there is inaccurate communication with the speed sensor. If the alternator is okay, false readings may be a result of a failing speedometer.

Additionally, if there have been many adjustments done on many parts of the car, it may affect the readings’ accuracy. For instance, you may have changed the wheels, and you are now using wheels that have a bigger or smaller radius than those you used initially.

This will make the speed sensor and speedometer give inaccurate readings based on how the system was initially set. On the other hand, tires may wear out and become smaller than they were before. As a result, the speed displayed on the speedometer becomes inaccurate.

Honda Civic Speedometer Stuck

Car steering wheel and speedometer

The Honda civic speedometer being stuck is another problem that you may have with your speedometer. Being stuck means that the speedometer stays at the same readings even if you accelerate or stop. After some time, the speedometer may move for a while and then get stuck at another reading.

When this happens, there is usually a problem with the gauge cluster, leading to issues with other parts, such as the fuel gauge or odometer. Other signs of a failing gauge cluster include:

  • Turn signal indicators are defective.
  • Wrong reading of fuel gauge; that is, the fuel gauge says that the tank is half full, but you run out of gas.
  • There are blinking lights.
  • The warning signal does not go off even if you close an open door.
  • Lights are turning up now and then.

What Could Cause the Gauge Cluster to Fail?

If all parts of the gauge cluster are not working, it means that something that they all share has a problem. Your first suspect should be the fuse connected to the gauge cluster. Look for the fuse labeled cluster, gauges, or something else related to the gauge cluster. With the ignition on, check whether the fuse has power on both sides. If both sides have power, then the fuse is okay.

The other place that you should check is the instrument cluster, where you check whether it has power. If the instrument cluster is fine, confirm whether there is a bad ground connection. If each of these areas is fine, it means that the gauge cluster itself has failed, and you will have to replace it.

In case only the speedometer has a problem, and there is no issue with other parts of the gauge cluster, the chances are that it is not responsible for the stuck readings. There may be a problem with the wiring system, especially the wires from the speed sensor to the harness. Ask an expert to check these wires. Otherwise, the speedometer will be stuck.

How Do You Reset the Speedometer on a Honda Civic?

Car steering wheel and speedometer

Resetting your speedometer is the solution when the speedometer is not working. Initially, cars did not have the reset options, especially those that were manufactured before 2000. Luckily, since your Honda was most likely manufactured after 2000, you can reset it even without visiting a mechanic.

On the speedometer, the red needle should be above the pin. Therefore, if the red needle is below the pin, resetting the speedometer is the way to take the needle back where it should be. The process includes the following:

Step 1: Ensure that it is displaying an odometer because the resetting procedure will not work if it is showing trip mileage.

Step 2: After it displays the odometer, turn the key off, hold the button in, and turn the key back.

Step 3: When the key is turned back on, it will display some code like CHECK 1, and then the speedometer will start resetting.

Step 4: You may observe other displays, such as CHEC 2, CHEC 3, or CHEC 4, based on your system while also checking all the lights since they will be displaying.

Step 5: This will continue for a while, and it will eventually say END, which is when you will turn the key off.

After going through this procedure, you will see that the red needle will be above the white pin, meaning that the speedometer has reset.

Honda Civic Speedometer Color Change

Illuminated car speedometer

More often than not, a change of color of the speedometer is not an indication of any problem. In some of the latest versions, a color change is a communication of something going on in the car. For instance, the speedometer will show green if the fuel tank is full and you are driving at a recommendable speed. Nonetheless, if the gas level is too low, the speedometer will most likely show the color red.

Honda Civic Speedometer Going Crazy

Blurry image of car speedometer

A Honda civic speedometer that is going crazy gives speed readings that can be termed as such. For instance, the speedometer may be reading 70 mph (112.654 kph), and the next minute it is at 120 mph (193.121 kph) even if you have not accelerated.

When the speedometer is behaving this way, there may be a problem either with the speed sensor or the engine control unit (ECU). If the problem is with the speed sensor, you can correct this by replacing the speed sensor.

Otherwise, you will need an expert to confirm whether the engine control unit is okay. You can tell there is a problem with the engine control unit if there is a problem with any other part controlled by the ECU.

A problem with the car fuses will also make the speedometer go crazy. This is especially if the fuse is connected to the alternator. The blown fuse will mean that there is inadequate power to the speedometer, making it go crazy. Replacing the fuse will help solve this problem.

Honda Civic Speedometer Jumping

Car speedometer

One of the characteristics of a Honda Civic speedometer is that it changes the speed gradually when you accelerate or decelerate. This means that it is abnormal for the Civic speedometer to jump from 40 mph to 70 mph (64.374 kph to 112.654 kph) instantly. When this happens, there may be a problem with the speedometer cable or the speed sensor.

Before you call a mechanic, try cleaning the sensor or cable leading to the speedometer and see whether the problem persists. If it does, the sensor or cable may be damaged, and they need to be replaced.

Other reasons that could cause the jumping of the Honda Civic speedometer are corrosion or damage to the Variable Speed Sensor. Additionally, high electromagnetic fields around the speedometer, such as phones, will blow a fuse connected to the speedometer. In this case, replace the blown fuse.

Honda Civic Speedometer Calibration

Car speedometer

The wrong calibration on the Honda civic speedometer will give you inaccurate readings of the speedometer. The calibrations on the speedometer give accurate results when the car is using its original stock parts. If you happen to replace the stock parts, such as the wheels, you will need to recalibrate the speedometer.

This is because if the tires are larger than the original ones, the speedometer will read slower than the actual speed. Likewise, if the tires are smaller than the original, the speed on the speedometer will be higher than the actual speed. You should recalibrate your speedometer so that you can get accurate readings.

Materials Needed

  • Honda Civic manual
  • Hydraulic jack with jack stands
  • Speedometer scanner
  • Wheel chocks
  • Procedure

How To Recalibrate Your Speedometer

Step 1: Prepare your car for operation by getting a leveled workspace to park your vehicle and use the hydraulic jack to ensure it is stable.

Step 2: Use the screwdriver to remove the gauge cluster from the dash.

Step 3: Calibrate the speedometer scan tool.

Step 4: Hook the speedometer scan tool on the on-board diagnostic port, located under the driver’s side dash, and turn it on.

Step 5: Rev the car several times until you are sure that the scanner is picking up your acceleration.

Step 6: Take off the speedometer needle on the gauge cluster.

Start 7: Start accelerating the car and hold it at 20 mph (32.187 kph) and reattach the speedometer after about ten seconds.

Step 8: Rev the car again to confirm whether it had recalibrated and whether you are getting accurate readings from the speedometer.

Use another car to calibrate. You can ask a friend to help you. This will help confirm whether or not the calibrations that you have done are accurate.

Drive your vehicles at the same speed and confirm whether both your speedometers have similar readings. If the readings are similar, then the calibration is right. Otherwise, you may have to redo the process. It is advisable that you have your car’s manual for consultation when recalibrating the speedometer in case of any issues.

What Do You Do When Your Speedometer Is Not Working?

Car speedometer

It is risky to be on the road with a speedometer that is not working. It constantly stays at zero or has other speedometer functional problems like jumping or flickering, among others. How do you fix these problems?

The Speed Sensors Have Failed

Locate the speed sensors and examine the wires connected to them to see whether they are working. In case you come across an issue, replace the speed sensor. If you suspect a problem with the wires, ask an expert to fix it for you.

There Is a Problem With the ECU

It is risky to attempt to repair the ECU on your own, so in case you suspect a problem with it, consult a mechanic. If the mechanic is not around, you can reset the ECU, though this is only a temporary solution. Once a new ECU is installed, remember to take back the ignition key to the auxiliary position to help the ECU adjust to other engine operations.

Faulty Fuse and Wiring Problems

When the wires are exposed to water, they get wet, leading to a short circuit. This could later result in a blown fuse. If the wire or fuse is connected to the speedometer, the speedometer fails. You will need to replace the blown fuse and repair the wires.

Broken Speedometer Physical Cables

If you can locate this cable, it is easy to diagnose and rectify the problem. After you locate it, use your fingers to turn the end of the cable that inserts into transmission and see whether the speedometer moves. If this does not work, disconnect the cable, turn it, and reconnect it. If the speedometer is still not working, there may be a problem with the cable inside, and you will have to replace it.

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Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on Mar 18, 2021. .

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