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2003 SE 4 door sedan w/2.3L, 5sp manual
when i turn the ignition on, the trip meter resets to zero and then the word "test" appears. the odometer still shows the correct mileage. any idea as to what this means?
 

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Sounds like your odometer trip meter reset button is stuck. Push it, tap it, pull it, be nice.

Once in Test Mode (since your stuck there at the moment) each push of the reset button will result in moving thru several test modes. Have fun. On a normal & healthy car, you are stuck in test mode until turning off the car.

Edit: Holding the reset button down; then inserting the key and moving key to On, is how you get into test mode.
 

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Edit: Holding the reset button down; then inserting the key and moving key to On, is how you get into test mode.
Just for grins, why would we want to be in "test" mode. What is the car testing while in this mode??
 

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Just for grins, why would we want to be in "test" mode. What is the car testing while in this mode??
About 30(?) different test parameters/functions inside of Test Mode. Most functions have never been dis-ciphered and remain a mystery,- afaik. Only useful ones I know of/remember atm are Engine Temp & Battery/Charge voltage level. Only 2 but very useful at times. One of them is displayed as "fp" but readings are not what I hoped; fuel pressure.

Edit: Afaik, only one of these actually initiates a Test -> BULB Test. All the others are misc stuff that the PCM is constantly feeding the cluster via a digital data stream (SCP Bus -iirc).
 
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