OEM Variable intermittent wiper switch upgrade

Civic 01-05 [EU, EP, EV, EM, ES]

  1. BB Baboonface
    Difficulty Level:
    Hi all, keep going on about this in various posts, so thought it might help to port this rough guide over to HK. It's the first and only one i have done so don't laugh too hard!

    Was rushing so i could get to bed after night shift so some of the pictures are truly awful quality but they just about serve their purpose.

    Being in the heat of the moment, there is also a lack of pictures showing the process of moving the relevant connector around the fuse relay box to gain access to the terminals.
    I have tried to compensate for this by using the text to describe the process fully.

    First thing is first, though not technically hard, this is a fiddly job, you have to lower your under dash fuse/relay/multiplex box and get pretty physical with parts of the wiring loom.

    This guide is showing you how i managed to install the switch and extra wiring etc.
    It is probably not the way a professional would do it, and maybe i got lucky, so try this at your own risk folks!

    Just to note, i cut the relevant connectors from a car in the scrap yard to get an idea of what was what, so those are what you see in some of the close up pictures.
    Please do not cut the connectors off your pride and joy, you have to do this job with them still attached to the car!!*

    Also, there are some wires added/removed from the terminals in the close up pictures, as i was messing about getting my techniques right, so ignore that!

    You can see in the pictures that the connectors are asymmetrical with release tabs on only one side etc. so finding the correct terminal slots is not difficult.

    Why do the mod?...

    This whole thing is about something we UK 7th Generation Civic owners should have got but never did, after all, the UK is pretty well known for its rainy weather.

    So how many of us have found that the one speed intermittent setting on the wipers, is too slow for the amount of rain hitting the screen, but the next setting up is too fast?
    If you never got annoyed with such things, then no need to read further, but if it has ever bugged you, there is a solution.

    The Integra DC5, (or RSX in the US) has the same wiper switch as our Civics, bar for one thing, a little collar-like switch that allows you to alter the speed of the delay on the intermittent setting.


    It has two extra pins in the connector that send signals of varied resistance to the built-in relay circuit in the multiplex unit that controls the intermittent wiper setting.
    (As a side note there are switches with variable intermittent function for cars without a rear wiper such as EM2 coupes etc. part# 35256-S5A-A51)

    The fiddly bit is, you need to run two extra wires from your wiper switch to the relevant connector on the back of the under dash Multiplex/fuse/relay box.
    Even getting a look at this connector is hard, never mind removing it, so you have to be pretty determined and keep on trying.

    Parts you will need:

    An RSX wiper switch, part # 35256-S7A-G01 (The JDM cars appear to have the switch mounted on the left side of the steering wheel)

    2 lengths of around 1 Metre of cable, i used the stuff at the top of the page (010701) here: Thin Wall Cable
    (I would order 1M of two different colours and cut it to length, that way you know what is routed where)

    2x terminal pins part number: 07JAZ-001250A for the wiper switch connector.

    2x terminal pins part number: 07JAZ-001360A for the multiplex connector.
    I would order a few extra of each, if (like me) you are not an expert at crimping terminals!

    Cable ties, or electrical tape

    Tools you will need:

    Pin crimps like these:


    Wire stripper

    Various sized screwdrivers, both types.

    A 10mm(?) socket, open ended spanner, or similar.

    A torch or other light source

    What to do:

    First thing is to familiarise with the bits you will be getting to grips with.
    You need to run your two extra cables between the vacant terminals 3 and 4 on the "X" connector on the fuse/relay box, and #'s 9 and 10 on the wiper switch connector.
    X connector:


    X connector in situ, the small green plug on the right.


    The connector looks like this close up:

    Hopefully not as fuzzy though! lol!

    On top you can see there is a release tab that must be pushed to free it from the fuse box.

    On the other side of the connector there is a little lock tab that holds the terminal pins in place, use a small flat bladed screw driver near the edges to gently remove it:


    Re-installing the terminal lock tab involves having to engage the little "teeth" and then
    clipping it back down:


    Wiper connector:


    Again there is push release tab (not shown here, but in the centre of the other side) and terminal lock tabs, 2 this time, top and bottom.

    You only need to open the one on the opposite side from the release tab for this job, they are released like so (Less fiddly than the X connector, but careful not to break them! You can see i broke one on this test subject Doh!!)



    And simply push clip back into position.

    This link provides some good information on crimping: Pinball: Molex Connectors and Terminal Pin Crimping Explained

    The crimps on the X connector terminals must be small enough to fit into the spare slots, i had a spare connector to test this out on, and ended up "pinching in" the tabs that hold the wire insulation so it would fit.

    A good rule of thumb is to try and make sure the insulation crimp is no larger than the head of the terminal.

    I crimped these prior to starting the job, and the wiper switch terminals in the car, once i had routed/cut the wires to length.

    The main reason this job is tough is the lack of space involved, an alternative option would be to remove the fuse/relay box entirely.
    This would leave more space to work, but as there are over 20 connectors attached to the box, and as access to some is restricted it was not something i felt confident enough to do.

    Most importantly, some of the connectors relate to the SRS systems, so it would be essential to disconnect the battery before unplugging them to prevent accidental airbag deployment (more on this at the end)
    As a final word of caution, the "S" connector is part of the SRS system, and is joined to the same wiring as the "X" connector, so go carefully when moving the wiring, just in case.

    My advice would be to have a look at the fuse box connector end of things first, as this is the hardest part, and if you are not happy about tackling it, there is little point in starting the rest.

    How to do it:

    1. Remove the fuse box access trim, by turning the lock tab and gently releasing the clips that hold it in place.


    2. Also remove the lower dash trim panel, this has a similar lock tab, then gently pull down on the corner of the edge nearest to you and closest to the drivers door (no pic i'm afraid but look under the dash and you will see the release tab)
    It should then lift out towards you off the "strut" nearest the firewall the rearward edge rests on.

    3. Remove the lower and upper steering column trim panels. (The picture below is not from a Civic but the process and parts involved are the same)


    Be careful not to break the clips that hold the two parts together, i used a small flat bladed screw driver to tease the two sections apart and pop the first clip open.
    It is necessary to remove the lower trim entirely, as this will leave essential space to work around the fuse box.

    With some jiggling/moving of the steering column, it can be freed from around the ignition switch, the steering column adjustment lever, and near the base where it hooks over the dash.

    4. Free the fuse box by unscrewing a single screw using suitable a spanner or socket.


    You may need to pop out the retainer for the section of adjacent wiring and wiggle it to gain access to the screw.

    The fuse box will drop slightly once the screw is out, i kept it in the "runners" it sits in, and simply moved it gently up and down as required.
    !! I would advise extreme caution with this part, you don't want to damage the wiring or connections!!

    5. The X connector, as above, i should go for this first, as it is the toughest part.
    You need to lie in the foot well, and move your head around the pedals to get a look at the little blighter!
    You can see in the pic below that Honda did not make things easy, there is a strange and annoying cover clipped over the connectors on the rear of the box.


    I prised off the two lower clips you can see, but the upper part is seemingly permanently attached to the top of the fuse box.
    Basically the only thing you can do is wiggle it from side to side/move the fuse box up and down, to gain access to the X connector.

    The next issue to overcome (it may not be the same on your car) is that the wiring to the connector has very little slack, and runs upward, preventing access to the release tab of the connector.
    This is where i nearly gave up, but from ferreting around on a car in the scrapyard, i knew there was quite a long section of sub loom routed to the X and S connectors.

    I located the " slack" section of loom, which was routed under the "buffer" for the clutch pedal. (Yes this old chestnut again!)


    I gently pushed the section of loom around this part of the clutch assembly, and with much fooling/swearing etc. managed to rearrange it so that there was some slack near the X connector.
    It was still tough to get a finger on the release tab, and i nearly gave up again here, one final push saw it free, and TBH i was surprised it had worked!

    Now i recommend climbing out of the car, make sure the fuse box is lowered an inch or so from its normal position.
    Placing a hand behind the fuse box from underneath you should be able to feel the loose connector.
    As carefully as you can, push the connector upwards and over the top of the lowered fuse box.
    This does not allow a great deal of room to work, but way more than trying to fit the terminals from behind the fuse box!

    As above very carefully release the terminal lock, and place it somewhere safe.

    You can now insert the new terminals into slot #3 and #4, make sure they "click" into place.


    Note which way up the terminals fit!


    Once done, replace the lock, and its time to fool and swear that X connector back to where it came from!

    !Remember which wire is which!

    I would feed the two new wires over the top of the fuse box and round behind it, as you don't really want them "out front", and trapped when you come to move the fuse box back up.
    Back under the dash now, and though still fiddly and annoying, replacing the X connector and the stupid cover thing is easier than removing them.

    If you got this far, then that is the hardest part done, getting the screw back in the fuse box was also rather annoying, but just keep at it and it will go.

    6.Using the ties or tape, route your new wires as you see fit, you can roughly follow the path of the loom up towards the wiper switch.

    7. Change the wiper switch over.
    The wiper switch connector was a pain to remove, so i pushed the release tab in with a flat screwdriver, and gently used another to tease it free.

    If your switch connector is stubborn, carefully lever on the side using the ridges of the terminal locks to gain purchase. Once you have it started it should come fairly easily. (not in situ here, but you get the idea!)


    Once the connector is out the switch itself can be removed.
    Remove the two screws, and you can use a small flat blade screw driver to release the lock tab:


    Gently pull the whole switch assembly towards the drivers side to remove it, fitting the new switch is pretty simple, just push it to click it into place and replace the screws.

    8. Wiring the wiper switch.
    I carefully bent the loom around so i could see the connector, and opened the terminal lock on the side that needed the new terminals.
    Not knowing how much wire i needed, this is where i cut them to length, stripped the ends, and crimped the terminals on.

    Now, remembering which wire is which, insert the wire from X connector terminal #4 into wiper switch connector terminal #9.

    Insert the wire from X connector terminal #3 into wiper switch connector terminal #10.


    Again, note the way they fit:


    Click them into place, and replace the terminal lock.
    Push the connector back in to place, breathe a sigh of relief, and try it out!

    9.Replace all the trim, and have a well earned cuppa/beer!

    As above, if you intend to remove the fuse relay box as a whole, then it is essential to disconnect the battery and wait at least 3 minutes before removing any SRS related plugs.
    These plugs are yellow, and have a spring loaded clip mechanism as a safety measure.

    On reconnecting the battery, you may need to perform an "idle re-lean" procedure. On my car (K20A3 engine with cable throttle body) it consists of starting the engine, holding it at 3K RPM until the radiator fan kicks in, and letting it idle for 5 minutes once the fan has ceased operation.
    You may want to check the specifics of the procedure (if necessary) for your model of Civic/engine in the relevant manual.

    So there we are, really turdy pictures, but it gives you an idea of what is involved, it is an intensely annoying job, so try it at your peril!

    A final note, although this mod was performed on an EV1 Type-S Civic it should work on all 7th Generation models as the relevant accessory circuitry and sub looms follow a similar pattern.

    To reinforce this, there are US owners who have done similar on EM and ES chassis cars over there, and the spare connectors and experimenting i did on the scrapyard car were in an EU8.

    (All images marked with a ** are borrowed from the guide on the Element Owners Club, we helped each other out finding part numbers etc. so hope they don't mind)
    exec, Nels and SpeedyGee like this.

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  1. legend-ary
    I am sure many people will find this very useful. And people like me can only wish they could follow through and get it done :D
    1. BB Baboonface
      Author's Response
      Hehe! Flattered by all the positive responses, mucho thanks once again.
      Rest assured, if i can do it anyone can :)
  2. Nels
    A smashing write-up. Thank you for taking the time and effort. I'm looking forward to the next one!
    1. BB Baboonface
      Author's Response
      Most kind Nels.
      If anything else like this job takes place, then will be sure to do another write up ;) Thanks again!
  3. RogerH69
    Great review !!! If I bring my car and the parts around to your place, can you do my EV1 too ? :-)
    1. BB Baboonface
      Author's Response
      Haha! Cheers man! You already have way more skill than me in this department, but don't mind assisting in any way if you wish to do the upgrade ;)
  4. SpeedyGee
    Wow, that's some involved work there just to get variable intermittent wipers working. Kudos to you for persisting with it, gathering the info together and actually doing it.
    Great detailed guide too !
    1. BB Baboonface
      Author's Response
      Very kind words, thank you.
      The quality of the pictures leaves more than a little to be desired, but hopefully they at least relay the necessary information.