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Transmission Indicator Light (on A.T. Shifter) : Intermittent Failure

2006 4WD E with 80K miles. Indicator on dashboard works fine. Transmission works fine. But, the transmission (gear) indicator light incorporated in the shifter handle panel fails intermittently.

Has anyone else had this problem? Know the fix?

I do not have the shop manual or the electrical manual. Does anyone know what activates the lights on the shifter panel?

Does the shifter indicator light work off the same sensor down in the transmission that the dash indicator uses OR is there something different about what controls the shifter's indicator lights?

If both the dash and the shifter indicator lights are activated by the same sensors in the transmission, what should I check before I start suspecting a short in the wiring?
 

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That panel doesn't light up to indicate which gear you're in, it only comes on when the parking lights/head lights are on. I'm guessing the filament in that bulb is broken just enough to occasionally make contact and light up. Replacing the bulb should cure your problem.
 

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Eww - an E :

Thanks for the tip. I believe your guess is probably correct. Driving home last night, I crossed a busy and the crown of the road was smooth but caused a very slight vibration which was just enough to restore the shifter indicator light.

I wasted a ton of time researching this issue as Honda "transmission" or "gear indicator". Tried "shifter" indicator light and the first page of the SERPs is one result for each Honda model E, CRV, Odessey, etc. The most useful info came from a Civic owner's thread where someone thought their problem might be a loose ground wire.

If possible, I will try the bulb before I remove the sub-woofer to access the rear ground wire connection to avoid the hassle of removing the sub-woofer, etc. ERHH!

Again, THX
 

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Threads merged. DEP, see above.

If you remove the subwoofer cover, note that the two expansion clips on the lower sides are a bit peculiar. To remove, press the center pin in, then remove the clip. To reinstall, push the center pin out (as pictured below); put the clip back; and press the pin flush to lock it again. Any other method will break the clip.

 

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Threads merged. DEP, see above.

If you remove the subwoofer cover, note that the two expansion clips on the lower sides are a bit peculiar. To remove, press the center pin in, then remove the clip. To reinstall, push the center pin out (as pictured below); put the clip back; and press the pin flush to lock it again. Any other method will break the clip.

I hate those clips.

I personally found it easier to lift the whole center trim to get in there. GearShift to Neutral. RadioTrim>Center Trim>ShifterTrim>Bulb
 

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Posts 64, 66, 57 and 22 were very helpful - thank you. I listed them in that order because that's the order in which the light is changed.

1. Removed subwoofer cover by removing two black plastic clips and mentioned in Posts 64 and 66.
2. Removed subwoofer via 4 bolts, unhooked subwoofer electrical connection.
3. Reached in and pushed up with hammer handle (as shown in Post 57) until the cover containing the hazard light popped up. Unhooked that electrical connector to hazard light.
4. Then I had to fiddle a bit to remove the circular cover containing the shift indicator. There are two sets of black clips to remove this piece - one set on top, one lower. I used a screwdriver to push in the black clip until the gray plastic of the circular cover was free. Then had to squeeze pretty good to pop out the cover once clips were released.
5. Then reached behind that circular cover you just removed and there is the black connector for the little light bulb. Turn the little black plastic holder clockwise to access the tiny bulb. Part 2721 (Sylvania or equivalent at auto parts store.)
 

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Funny you mentioned a grounding problem. My 06 element shifter light would come on after I tapped on the plastic surrounding the shifter. I will try this before I go to replace the bulb
 

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Replace with a # 74 bulb IT WILL FIT!!

I just tried this with a #74 bulb. It fit in the slot, but it didn't light up. The only time it lit up was when I tried to put it in at a perpendicular angle. Then, it would light up temporarily, but since it wasn't fitting into the slot, it would just fall out after I released it.

I've also hear the 2721 light will fit. But after my experience with the #74 bulb, I think I'll just get one from Honda. The part cost shouldn't be much compared to the install cost, which I'll be handling myself.
 

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Posts 64, 66, 57 and 22 were very helpful - thank you. I listed them in that order because that's the order in which the light is changed.

1. Removed subwoofer cover by removing two black plastic clips and mentioned in Posts 64 and 66.
2. Removed subwoofer via 4 bolts, unhooked subwoofer electrical connection.
3. Reached in and pushed up with hammer handle (as shown in Post 57) until the cover containing the hazard light popped up. Unhooked that electrical connector to hazard light.
4.

Just did this. I found it fairly easy to remove the entire front trim (surrounding the radio and shifter) with a small crowbar. Didn't scratch anything, although wrapping it in cloth might help. Unplugged it in two places and set aside, as I need to change a light in the HVAC dial also.

Removing the cover to the shifter light was tricky, as noted, but I ultimately swung it.

Not sure why they even tell you to remove the subwoofer, which is a lot more work. I started to remove the subwoofer cover, and then realized it would be a lot more work, and just did the above approach. If you're careful, you shouldn't damage the trim any.

Now, I just need to get the bulbs from the local Honda dealer.
 

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So.. know one knows of an LED for this light yet?
1 bulb lights up all the gear positions, by shining sideways, and at a different radius to each character. It's not easy to find 1 LED that will light up all gear positions uniformly. On top of that, each position is a different opacity and some a different color. You likely won't be happy with a single LED replacement.
 

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complete LED instrument,HVAC & shift indicator change over

I was able to change every incandescent lamp/bulb in my 2006 E. Ordered all the bulbs on Amazon just by putting in the year & model etc. Total cost was about $30.00 & maybe 2.5 hrs total time of labor. here are links for the bulbs I used:
12 Volt LEDs - 12VDC White LED 5mm Thru-Hole (Pack of 10), 3,000 mcd with Internal Resistor

12 Volt LEDs - 12V 3mm White LED (Pack of 10), 5000 mcd with Internal Resistor
Sold by: LC LED
cciyu 20 Pack Xenon White Car T5 Wedge 17 37 70 5050 1SMD LED Instrument Panel Cluster Plug Lamp Dash Light Bulb Bulbs w/Twist Sockets
I did have to re-use all of the twist in plugs for all the lamp change over.

The only lamp I'm not completely happy with is the Shift indicator @ the shifter, The upper half or so( Park & Reverse) do not illuminate very well. Besides that I really like all the other bulbs. AND I hopefully will never have to change them in my lifetime again.
Let me know if you have any specific questions.
 

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Leave your subwoofer alone. Here is a really good youtube video on how to easily change all your dash bulbs and shifter bulb next to the AT shifter.
 
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