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I had issues a few months back with my instrument cluster (2008 CR-V) that sounded all too familiar when I began reading forum posts from others - flickering lights, intermittent gauge 'dropouts', flickering center graphics display and/or 'confused' graphic display showing just jibberish - so forth.

As the cluster is very easy to access (carefully pull out the trim bezel, undo 3 screws, then remove the cluster to access the connector) I took it out thinking the connector had just come loose. While it didn't seem loose, I disconnected the wiring harness then reconnected it - then did it again a couple of times to insure the connectors had passed by each other enough times to loosen anything that might be preventing connection.

On restarting the car and driving it, some of the issues had resolved - but the majority of them remained.

I removed the instrument cluster again, and this time did a closer examination. What I found - and what might be an issue with others having the same issue - is clearly a manufacturing defect.

If you look at the circuit card that forms the back of the instrument cluster, all the connections to gauges and the central graphic display are made by pins from these items penetrating the circuit card, and those pins being soldered to circuit traces on the circuit board at what are called 'pads' - places where circuit board traces become a larger round pad with a hole drilled in the center of it for the instrument or display connector pins to go through the board.

I found a number of these connection points had what are called 'cold' solder joints - i.e. when they were soldered, either the pin or the circuit board pad - or both - was not heated sufficiently for the solder to make proper connectivity. In my case, all of them were 'cold' at the circuit board pad.

How one can tell is visually really easy. A proper solder joint of this type is bright, shiny, and the actual solder looks like a nice cone shape with concave sides tapering nice and smooth to meet both the circuit board pad and the pin. A 'cold' joint will usually be dull in appearance, and the solder where it meets the component that didn't get hot enough will appear to 'stand off' - looking more like a droplet with rounded sides than a cone shape.

As I've done quite a bit of electronics in my career, I was able to resolder these connections (I did all of them just to be sure) without any trouble - and the problem was fully resolved. I have had no issue with any sort of 'flickering' of either the lighting and instrumentation, or the central graphics display, since the repair.

I would caution everyone that while this repair is fairly simple for someone who has electronics experience with small circuit board elements, it's not for the average garage guy - the components are small, the pin spacings - particularly for the central graphics display - are close together and it's quite easy to accidentally get two pads connected together by a 'solder bridge' and have to de-solder those locations and start over - and one must be very diligent to not overheat things or damage to delicate components is very possible. Further, the circuit board is a two sided board, with connections on both sides - gaining access to the side of the board that faces the backs of the instruments and the graphics display is not easy and is not something discussed at all in the factory service manuals, as it is in essence tearing apart something that's delivered to Honda as a complete assembly from one of their vendors.

One could locate a good electronics repair shop and they could most likely deal with this - or if one has the experience, it's doable at the bench in about an hour. A 15 watt good grade electronics type regulating soldering iron with a point tip - not wedge - and fine wire electronics solder did the trick nicely.

With all the complaints about this issue, I'd think that Honda would have responded to this in some form and taken responsibility for fixing these??? I've got multiple friends as well with CR-v's including my ex wife in her 2015 that had precisely the same issue and the same fix took care of it.

Just my experience - hope this helps others - from what I've seen this doesn't appear until these cars are some years old and out of their initial warranty period, so most folks probably don't think the dealer should take care of it - I know my service manager just shrugged his shoulders and said 'sorry it's out of warranty' when I showed him my instrument cluster both before and after the fix - oh well.
 

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Thanks for sharing, I recently bought a CRv with the same problem, I got it for a good price because of the problem. Being from a electronics background, I knew that this was nothing major and I just had to investigate it further, you have confirmed my suspicions, the only problem is that many people don't know about this fix and tradesman are making a killing from sorting this problem out.....people should remove the cluster, take it to a an electronics repair shop and have it soldered if they don't have the expertise....thanks again
 

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I performed this repair today, based on the advice from Gary P. and it worked out great. I only had to touch a couple of the pins with my soldering iron to get the existing solder to flow and close the circuit. I was able to identify the pins because the solder at the ends had a dull, yellowish color to it. This was a very simple repair which corrected a problem I’d been having for years. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Welcome to the forum! Yup, this is a fairly common issue, and easily repaired if you can solder. Moving to Mobile Electronics.

I also always check to be sure the board screws are not loose - another robot function. Over time the car does vibrate.
 
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