How to Paint Civic Cluster Needles

Written by brenton shields
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How to Paint Civic Cluster Needles
Painting those ugly old cluster needles takes a little bit of patience. (Speedometer image by Sirena Designs from

Cluster needles are found on your car's gauges -- the ones that move back and forth and point to your current speed, remaining fuel, and rpms. In most Honda Civics, particularly older ones, the cluster needles are white. Some tuners may want a colour with a little more flair, and with about a half hour of free time and the right tools you can paint your cluster needles any colour you wish.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Spray paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Paper sheet
  • Flathead screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Remove the two underneath the arch of the gauge bezel with a Phillips screwdriver and set them aside. The gauge bezel is what holds the gauge cluster and is located right in front of your steering wheel.

  2. 2

    Pop out the gauge bezel by pressing down on the front portion until you feel two clips pop out. Push up on the top part of the bezel and pull it out. The entire bezel should come out, exposing the bare gauge cluster.

  3. 3

    Remove the four screws found at each corner of the gauge cluster and set them aside.

  4. 4

    Pull the gauge cluster forward, tilting the face toward your lap. Remove the plugs from the back of the gauge cluster by pressing down on the clip they're attached to first, then gently pulling them out. The plugs will be colour-coded so that you can put them back later.

  5. 5

    Unclip the six clips holding the glass to the gauge cluster. They simply pop out with your fingertips. There will be three on the top and three on the bottom. With the glass removed, you will have access to the needles.

  1. 1

    Surround the area around one of needles with painter's tape to keep overspray off the dials.

  2. 2

    Poke a hole in a sheet of paper and place the needle through it, then lay the sheet flat against the gauge. This will further help prevent overspray from getting on the gauges.

  3. 3

    Spray the cluster needle with your spray paint according to that particular's paint's instructions. Most spray paints require you to hold the can's nozzle about ten inches from the needle and spray until it's completely coloured.

  4. 4

    Allow the needle to air dry for at least 24 hours. Three to five hours may be sufficient, but you must take into account that the needle will be constantly moving.

  5. 5

    Repeat Steps 1-4 with any other cluster needles you wish to paint. Reassemble the cluster gauge by reversing the steps in Section 1.

Tips and warnings

  • Civics may be different according to model, though this guide works for most made before 2000. Newer models may have more complicated setups and require professional servicing from an experienced mechanic.

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