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Power steering & dash instruments suddenly quit


DrHemlock

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Both the power steering and dash instrumentation on my 2003 Civic Hybrid quit simultaneously while driving last night. All other systems appear to operate properly: A/C, radio, headlights, etc.

 

First thought was "Must be a blown fuse controlling both," but the fuse info in the owner's manual wasn't helpful. Anyone here know if those two functions are controlled by the same fuse? And if not, any speculation as to the nature of the problem?

 

Thanks in advance. I couldn't find anything similar to this using the Search function.

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I don't know anything about hybrids, but on a normal car, you wouldn't lose power steering due to a fuse. It's a hydraulic pump that runs off a belt from the engine. That could be loose or broken.

 

On some cars, the dash lights run through the same circuit as the brake lights, so if you have a brake light bulb out, the dash lights go out too. Check that, and the fuse.

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Thanks, Blizzard.

 

The only belt I can find is on the left side of the engine as viewed from the front of the car. It looks fine and feels tight. So, if your assessment is correct and that belt is powering the hydraulic pump for power steering, it may be the pump itself that has failed. It remains a mystery why that would coincide with failure of the dash instrumentation. Brake lights are working fine, so that isn't the connection. Also, it isn't just the dash lights that are dead; it's all the instrumentation including the speedometer and rpm needles which are lying lifeless on their pegs.

 

I'll wrestle the car down to the mechanic's shop tomorrow morning. (You'd be surprised how stiff the steering is on that little ol' Civic when the power pump goes kerflooey.)

 

Thanks again! If anyone else has an idea or opinion, please feel free to respond.

Edited by DrHemlock
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Hi Kastigir --

 

Thanks for the insight (no Honda pun intended). I went back to the owner's manual and noted that one of the under-hood fuses was a 60-amp labeled EPS with no explanation anywhere in the manual as to the meaning of those three letters. A Google search, however, revealed exactly what you would expect: Electronic Power Steering.

 

Okay, so now we have a suspect. However, this 60-amp fuse is housed within the fuse box inside a tiny yellow box of its own with a transparent lid. I'm unable to figure out how to remove the lid to gain access to the fuse, and the yellow box won't budge, either. Through the transparent lid, I can see a strip of silver metal that looks just like the fuses on old houses in which I lived as a child. The metal strip appears unbroken, possibly meaning the fuse is still okay IF the criterion for car fuses is the same as for house fuses.

 

Would you (or anyone reading) speculate that the fuse might be inoperative despite its unbroken appearance? If so, can you tell me how to get into that yellow housing in order to pull the fuse and look at it? Most all of the lower-amperage fuses are readily accessible, but not this honker.

 

Again, thanks in advance for everyone's help.

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no tab they pull right out. and yes the whole little box is a fuse. pull it out and test for contunuity to be sure , but if you look through the window and the thin strip on top isnt burnt and seperated , its still good. from alot of experience and just a much research , ive learned the wiring and in and outs of most of hondas. unfortunately , not hybrids , lol. but im sure much of it is the same as any other. now , multiple things get power through sharing of fuses. much of it not marked on the fuse box itself. so even though the fusebox says one thing , 6 could use it.

 

youve checked the EPS fuse , how about the instrument lights fuse? is it just the lights? or the gauges and whole cluster dont work?

Edited by cranny
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