Question about 1997 Honda Accord

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Tachometer is working erratically

The tach will start bouncing up and down. When it does the vehicle will sirge or lose some power. It is normall at higher speeds

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  • jtl5 Dec 17, 2008

    The check engine light is on. I have been told that there is a sensor on or in the transmission that could cause this as well.

  • twalsh126 Dec 27, 2008

    My 1997 Honda Accord is having the same issues with the tachometer working erratically.

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  • 57 Answers

Clean throttle body housing the air by pass ports, sound like this is clogged causing engine to surge up and down trying to maintain proper idle.  Local should not charge more than one hour labor to address.  But very doable for a handy DIYer

Posted on Dec 17, 2008

  • Scott Resnick Dec 17, 2008

    There are many sensor. Start with the basics, clean the throttle body. get a can of carb or throttle body cleaner, remove clamps on throttle body and rubber hose, spray clean in throttle body, and small ports, remove vacuum line, one at a time, and spray into the ports not to the vacuum hoses. wipe away the residue, start engine and warm, vehicle may run rough until it burns thru the cleaner.

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Is there a fuse for the tachometer?


Most vehicles power the tach from the same circuit as the other instruments. So if the speedo and fuel gauge work the tach probably has power. May not have a ground signal from the engine computer.

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I just solved this problem on my 1997 with 183K miles . First I checked all of the following:1) sensor on distributor; 2) wires from distributor to back of instrument cluster; 3) connections of wires to instrument cluster; 4) 4 screens going through the soft circuit board to tachometer; 5) the SOLUTION- I removed the tachometer from the instrument cluster and looked at the hard circuit board of the tachometer. On one side there is a plastic square housing about 1/4 x 3/8" soldered to the circuit board that has a plastic screw facing out. it was lose, so I tighten it and now my tachometer is OK. A simple test to check for this type of an error is hit your dash when the tachometer is erratic. if you see a fluctuation based on the tap on the dash you either have a lose connection of some type like this one. Fix is easy, once you have the instrument cluster out you only have to remove the four screws on the back of the cluster holding the tachometer in place. Remove the tachometer carefully and tighten the plastic screw being careful not to over tighten.

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I really cannot tell you how to do that. You need to follow the instructions that came with the tachometer.

Please note: I would be very cautious about connecting aftermarket equipment into your computer input or output circuits. These things have been known to cause all kinds of drivability problems as well as make it impossible to pass an emissions test (if it is required where you live).

I have personally seen aftermarket add-on equipment cause everything from engine cylinder misfires to transmission shifting problems to engine stalling and no-starts. I do not recommend using any at all. However, there are usually no problems created by "stand alone" accessories that are powered directly from the battery and do not require splicing into any of the computer circuits.

My professional recommendation on this is that if you think you need a tachometer to operate your vehicle, or you just like the looks of a tachometer bouncing up and down, then you would be money and headaches ahead to buy a vehicle that is equipped with a tachometer from the manufacturer - you may be opening a can of worms that you do not want.

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It don't love you any more!
You need to check and see if you're losing spark or fuel when it does not start.
Listen for the pump to buzz for about 2 seconds when you first turn the key on. No buzz could be relay, fuel pump or its circuit.
If it does not buzz, crank the engine for a few more seconds until you see the oil pressure go up. If it still does not have fuel then the pump or its wiriing may be bad.

No spark could be coil or ignition module or the wiring. Check for power to the coil. Auto Zone can test the ignition module for free. The old idea that when a module is bad its done is NOT true. The module can give intermitent problems. A vehicle can run with a bad module. If you have a tachometer and the vehicle runs smooth but the tach is bouncing, the module is bad.
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