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My honda civic 96ex

One day as I was driving I heard a pop noise in the center dashboard a lot of smoke came out and now my dashboard lights stay on even wen key is out and the lights are off as well my a/c works fine at level 1-3 but when I put it a level 4 it turns off I took it to get scaned but the scanner won’t connect with the car. Any ideas on what might be the issue? Thank you.

A module under the dash has malfunctioned. I don’t know if it can be removed without the dashboard being disassembled. But, it should be easy to spot with a burn mark or scorch marks on it.

One idea is to find which circuit is causing the dash lights to stay on. With the key out, pull the fuses one by one, eventually one of them should make the dash lights go out. Write the fuse number down, as it will be helpful to the mechanic when you take the car to the shop. You could post the fuse number here too, maybe somebody w/Honda experience might have worked on that circuit before and could offer up a guess.

Re the scanner not connecting. Has that shop ever had a scanner connected to this car? Has any shop? It may be something about this year and model makes doing that difficult. 1996 is near the transition point from OBD I to OBD II, so there might be some incompatibilities. In other words, not being able to connect to the diagnostic port may be unrelated. That’s a good thing, b/c that could indicate ECM problems, which are often difficult to diagnose and expensive to fix. To connect to the diagnostic port you may need to find a shop with a Honda-specific scan tool.