How to Change the Needles on a Civic Gauge Cluster

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The gauge cluster on your Honda Civic can get a lot of attention; you look at those gauges every time you drive. Over time, these needles may fade in color and start to look dingy, and one option is to replace the gauge needles. It's a challenging task, but you can do this with the right steps. In this case, the vehicle is a 1999 Honda Civic, but the process is the same for most other vehicles as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 1/4-inch ratchet, sockets and extension
  • Painter's masking tape
  • Pen
  • Fork
  • Replacement needles
  • Unscrew the bezel that surrounds the gauge cluster, using the Phillips screwdriver. Pull the bezel off the dashboard with your hands, releasing the clips with just a little pressure.

  • Unbolt the gauge cluster from the dashboard using the 1/4-inch ratchet, sockets and extension. Pull the cluster out of the dashboard, unclip the wiring with your hands and move the panel to a work surface.

  • Remove the clear plastic cover from the gauge panel by pushing in the tabs that hold the cover in place and pulling the cover straight off the panel.

  • Tear off 1-inch-long pieces of the painter's masking tape, and place them on the gauge cluster directly where the needles are pointing. Then use a pen to mark a line on the tape that is directly in line with the needle. This should help you align the new needles correctly.

  • Place a fork underneath the needle so that the curved end of the fork contacts the gauge face and the tines of the fork go around the needle's base. Then push down on the fork lightly, which should release the needle from the gauge cluster.

  • Point the end of the new needle toward the mark you made earlier on the tape, and lightly press the center of the needle into the gauge cluster.

  • Remove all the tape, and push the plastic cover back onto the gauge cluster.

  • Reinstall the gauge cluster in the dashboard in the reverse order of disassembly.

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