2003 Civic ABS/Brake/Airbag Indicators & das light issues

Discussion in 'Civic' started by frischesbrot, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. frischesbrot

    frischesbrot Guest


    My 2003 Honda Civic EX is no longer under warranty- and it is having some
    dash, indicator light issues. My ABS and Brake light will occassionally
    flicker- sometimes even rapidly, and/or go in and out. THe Airbag light will
    come on when I start the car (as it should) then shut off, then turn back on
    once I start moving. Also, my dash lights went out once on me last week-
    totally shut off- all power out on a moment with no guages reading, then it
    came back on within 2 seconds. Any ideas as to what could be going on?
    frischesbrot, Mar 15, 2006
  2. The widespread electrical symptoms suggest you have something wrong in the
    main electrical system. That usually means one of three areas: alternator,
    battery, or connections (especially ground connections). Are you looking at
    a DIY approach or at what to expect when you take it to a shop?

    Michael Pardee, Mar 16, 2006
  3. Thanks for your reply. I'd like to go DIY- if possible. Let me know what
    I'd be up against.

    frischesbrot via CarKB.com, Mar 16, 2006
  4. If you have a digital voltmeter you can check a few important things.

    With the engine running (since that is when you have the problem) and the
    headlights on measure the DC voltage between the engine block - anyplace on
    the engine, actually - and the chassis. There should be negligible voltage
    between the two. If there is voltage the engine ground is not connected and
    that will certainly cause all sorts of weird symptoms.

    Also with the engine running, check the DC and AC voltages across the
    battery. The DC should be 14 volts +/- about 1/2 volt... higher when the
    alternator is cold, lower when it is hot. The AC voltage across the battery
    must be less than 0.1 volt. If it is higher - often over a volt AC - either
    the battery is seriously bad or the alternator has bad diodes. Replacing the
    battery or even connecting another one across the existing one with jumper
    cables will tell the difference.

    If that doesn't show anything obvious, you are probably going to have to
    verify grounds behind the dash and probably under the hood. That is much
    more easily done with a Helm manual (about $60 US IIRC from Helm
    http://www.helminc.com ) because of their comprehensive wiring information.
    The grounds can be checked by measuring (engine running) from one ground
    point to any other. If they are the same voltage you need to keep looking.
    Maybe the wiring diagram will even point to a ground that is common among
    the circuits that are acting up.

    Michael Pardee, Mar 17, 2006
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