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Discussion Starter #1
I use the "hold the dashboard brightness to cancel the dimmer" function on the Insight fairly often (I turn the headlights on in a lot of situations where it is still bright enough outside that I want the dashboard display to be at full brightness), and lately it's been getting extremely difficult to activate (often I have to try holding it in five or more times to activate it). Is this a switch that's easy to replace by myself? Should I take it to the dealer? I don't really like the idea of dismantling the entire dashboard to get at this part, but I will if necessary.

Thanks!
 

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Yes, it is a pesky design oversight!!!

The good news:

It looks like their is a relatively easy modification to allow an "override" switch to be installed. This would open the 12v signal to the gauge assembly when headlights or taillights are on, preventing the dim step down. The backlights for Hazard, Climate Control, FCD switch and the Power Window Master switch will also be disabled, but hey it daytime, right?

The concept is to simply turn off the 12v that is sent to the gauge when the headlights are turned on. Thankfully there is a connector that is (relatively) easy to get to.

Without advanced electrical knowledge and the Factory ETM its going to be a bit difficult. Pg. 10-7 shows C404 in just the right spot both electrically and physically. Under the left side of the dash, in the immediate vicinity of the brake light switch. Light blue, 24 pin, 2 row. Pin 17 is in the middle near the locking tab. Pin 16 is Yel/Red. Pin 18 is Grn/Red. Pinout #17 Red/Blk and add a switch to open this branch.

With headlights on and this new switch off (open) the gauge should "believe" that headlights are off and maintain full daytime brightness.


The BAD news:

Your symptoms indicate a worn gauge switch. The factory service manual does not indicate that this switch is serviceable (although it might be). Also, removing the gauge assembly requires removing the dash face first. Increasing the difficulty of the task.

My best recommendation would be to install the modification. After all that's the feature we want. Then the need for a reliable switch in the gauge assembly will be moot. And you can wait 'til you have no choice in needing it to work. Then if something breaks along the way while trying to fix it you probably would have had to replace it anyway. :/

FYI: If you choose the gauge removal option be advised the Factory service manual states that the battery gauge may take up to 30 min of _driving_ to begin functioning again when its power is removed.

HTH! :)

And thanks for saving my gauge switch all the additional wear and tear. :)
 

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Ok,

I located the above wire and snipped it today. The gauge light peskiness is gone. A switch in series will allow a choice in how the gauge lights respond to the headlights being on.

However, the headlight on warning (lights on key off) is integrated into the gauge CPU which now can't see if the headlights are on or not. So this mod so far will also disable the headlights on warning _if_ the added switch is also set to enable the desired new function. Which will likely be at the most desirable times for the headlight warning to operate (daytime, when you will least notice if you've accidentally left your headlights on.)

Sooo to maintain headlight on warning a relay will have to be added to the circuit that opens and closes in response to key on. Wiring a parallel branch such that key off reestablishes the circuit we may have switched open (and left there) will allow normal headlight warning function.

HTH! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got Honda Carland (Alpharetta, GA) to replace the gauge assembly circuit board for me, covered under the HondaCare warranty. The switch works again, but I'm fairly certain it will become worn again for whatever reason it originally did.

The cost listed on the invoice was around $750; if it happens again I don't think I will care to foot that cost myself. If anyone else is thinking of taking this problem to the dealer on their own dime, be forewarned.
 

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For follow-ups to this topic go to Modifications And Technical issues and see the thread:

Gauge lights peskyness mod
11/7/04

The link is:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... b9adc69025
The link listed above is bad - gives a 404 now - and my 2000 Insight is showing this same problem so badly that my wife cannot get the "increase brightness" button on the dash to work at all anymore. I can, but only after minutes of trying, and only if it's warm.

Can anyone point me at a more detailed description of this fix? I need to make my wife happy with the car again.

Thanks a million!
 

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The link listed above is bad - gives a 404 now - and my 2000 Insight is showing this same problem so badly that my wife cannot get the "increase brightness" button on the dash to work at all anymore. I can, but only after minutes of trying, and only if it's warm.

Can anyone point me at a more detailed description of this fix? I need to make my wife happy with the car again.

Thanks a million!
I don't know about that fix, but those button switches are not very hard to clean. They are made with a carbon pad on a rubber diaphragm. Pushing on them causes the pad to bridge two contact strips. The button switches are on a small circuit board that plugs into the main board. The same board is used on each side of the cluster. Cleaning is easy with contact cleaner and an eraser, but re-assembling the switch after the diaphragm is pulled off takes a little careful work. The switches are not intended to be disassembled.

When pulling the cluster bezel, do not follow the factory method of removing the steering wheel. Instead, lower the whole steering column,
 

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I don't know about that fix, but those button switches are not very hard to clean. They are made with a carbon pad on a rubber diaphragm. Pushing on them causes the pad to bridge two contact strips. The button switches are on a small circuit board that plugs into the main board. The same board is used on each side of the cluster. Cleaning is easy with contact cleaner and an eraser, but re-assembling the switch after the diaphragm is pulled off takes a little careful work. The switches are not intended to be disassembled.

When pulling the cluster bezel, do not follow the factory method of removing the steering wheel. Instead, lower the whole steering column,
Thanks, Makes me wonder if I can just use some sort of spay electronics cleaner in there without disassembling the switches.

As I currently have no documentation on anything, getting up into that part of the dash isn't on my list of tasks to do, but I may have to revise that. Any advice on where to go for that info?

Sorry, despite owning the car since 2000, I am pretty much a newbie at this. I don't generally do this sort of work on my own to any car. That said I am an engineer and have some mechanical skill, so I may be able to figure it out.
 

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Thanks, Makes me wonder if I can just use some sort of spay electronics cleaner in there without disassembling the switches.

As I currently have no documentation on anything, getting up into that part of the dash isn't on my list of tasks to do, but I may have to revise that. Any advice on where to go for that info?

Sorry, despite owning the car since 2000, I am pretty much a newbie at this. I don't generally do this sort of work on my own to any car. That said I am an engineer and have some mechanical skill, so I may be able to figure it out.
Shop manuals can be downloaded from links on this site. If you have the skills, then use them. If you work on cars, you will become a better engineer.

Remove the lower cover to see the steering column bolts. The bezel pulls off after 3 screws are removed. The rightmost screw is under a ribbed cover. The cluster comes out with 4 screws. The rest is following your nose.
 

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The link listed above is bad - gives a 404 now - and my 2000 Insight is showing this same problem so badly that my wife cannot get the "increase brightness" button on the dash to work at all anymore. I can, but only after minutes of trying, and only if it's warm.

Can anyone point me at a more detailed description of this fix? I need to make my wife happy with the car again.

Thanks a million!
I don't have any further details, but this is the corrected link.

Gauge lights peskiness mod - Insight Central: Honda Insight Forum
 
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