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Old 22nd November 2010, 14:04   #1
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Default Honda Civic V-AT Electric Problems

Hi All,

I searched the forum and could not find a solution and hence starting a new topic here.
I have a 2008 Civic V-AT done about 28,000 kms. Recently I had a long drive around Bangalore (Around 200 kms) in a single day. The started off nicely without any hitches. After about 100-120 kms, the audio system started tripping. This happens while driving at all speeds. I thought engine is over heated or some extra load on the battery and switched off the AC. The same thing repeated. I stopped for a few minutes for it to settle down and started off again. Same thing repeats. The audio system still trips.
I then turned off the audio system too and noticed that it is not just the audio system but the entire electrical system is tripping... the console lights, dash lights, everything blinks and comes back!!! This happens for like less than a second and then everything works normally. The engine doesn't seem to be affected. This got me to think that the electric system is busted. I had to drop a friend at the Bangalore airport and after dropping off and on my way back the 'CEL' came on and stayed on. I stopped and called the Magnum Honda road side assistance number. The guy said rats have probably chewed off the wiring!!! I am pretty sure that cannot be the case, we don't have any rats around our apartment not have I seen any in the car. He also said if the car is running fine, just go home and get it to the service station the next day. I returned home and parked and the CEL was still on.
The next day, before going to the service station, I started the car and the CEL is gone and I decided to go to work and leave the car at the service station on my way back. But to my surprise, everything was working perfectly normally. No tripping nothing. I thought it must have been some loose cable somewhere and left it at that.
A week later went on a 20km drive and the problem resurfaces. This got me to believe that as the engine heats up, something is happening. This is when I decided to take it to the service station but the closest service station is Magnum Honda and I just don't trust them (had a terrible service experience the first time I tried Magnum and lost trust in their honesty and abilities, that's a different story.). The other 2 in Bangalore Whitefield Honda and Dakshin are quite a distance for me (35 kms and 40 kms respectively).

Questions:

1. What could be the reason for the tripping problem?
2. Battery seems to be working fine, should I replace the battery?
3. Do I go to A.S.S for diagnosis or any other electrical place where a better solution can be got?
4. If it is A.S.S, which is better?

PS: When the CEL is on, the mileage drops to around 6kmpl whereas normally I get around 8.5-9.5.

Thanks in advance for reading through the long mail.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 14:24   #2
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Start with the simplest = Get your battery completed checked up. Next, and my primary suspect, is that your alternator is acting up. The Civic has a complex electrical system (ELD et al), hence I'd only stick to an authorised service station for a 2 year old example. Also, the 35 - 40 kms drive to Whitefield / Dakshin will warm your engine up sufficiently for the problem to resurface in front of them?

BTW isn't your car in warranty?
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Old 22nd November 2010, 14:52   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
the 35 - 40 kms drive to Whitefield / Dakshin will warm your engine up sufficiently for the problem to resurface in front of them?

BTW isn't your car in warranty?
I guess you are right, the problem will resurface for sure with the 30-40 kms drive.
About the warranty, isn't the Civic warranty only for 2 years? This is July, 2008 model so I guess I am out of warranty.

Also, do you think if it is an alternator problem, can it be repaired or has to be replaced?

Thanks.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 15:39   #4
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Can be a faulty alternator regulator that is acting up after running/getting heated up.

I suggest same as GTO replicate the issue, get that light ON and then drive into a service station. And if tell tale lights are ON, its just matter of connecting the scanner and checking the error being thrown, then you will have better clarity.
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Old 22nd November 2010, 16:05   #5
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Thanks guys. Will check and will give the results.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 09:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patron View Post
About the warranty, isn't the Civic warranty only for 2 years? This is July, 2008 model so I guess I am out of warranty.
Check your paperwork. Honda had made the 2+2 warranty standard sometime around then. And if not, this is precisely why I highly recommend extended warranties (ARTICLE: Extended Warranties. Yes or No?). Even the best of 'em can have failures. And the parts of modern cars ain't exactly cheap.

Do update us once your dealer completes the diagnosis.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 09:26   #7
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The regulator/rectifier unit of the alternator could have failed. A loose connection in the fuse box, electrical area could also lead to the similar problems!
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Old 23rd November 2010, 22:59   #8
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Its a serious issue, you should keep it as priority as it may burn few other things.
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Old 23rd November 2010, 23:13   #9
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patron, do you have any mods in your car or is it completely stock? If former, please provide details. Battery dying in just 2 years is ridiculous.
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Old 25th November 2010, 18:54   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkc15 View Post
patron, do you have any mods in your car or is it completely stock? If former, please provide details. Battery dying in just 2 years is ridiculous.
It is completely stock, except for parking sensors that were added AFTER the problem started. Apart from this completely stock. Anyway, I am not using the car for now, booked a service appointment for Saturday.
Also, the battery has not died for sure (I think!!). My horn, audio and lights work perfectly even when the engine is not running. Car starts up perfectly too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Check your paperwork. Honda had made the 2+2 warranty standard sometime around then. And if not, this is precisely why I highly recommend extended warranties (ARTICLE: Extended Warranties. Yes or No?). Even the best of 'em can have failures. And the parts of modern cars ain't exactly cheap.

Do update us once your dealer completes the diagnosis.
I do intend to go for an extended warranty. But mine is a pre-owned car, (I should add, Inspired by your pre-worshipped car, I went for it) got a very good deal. Hope I didn't jinx it.
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Old 25th November 2010, 20:35   #11
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How many fuse box Civic has? Normally its one under hood and one under dash near driver side door. In each fuse box carefully examine each fuse one by one by pulling them out and look for sign of melted plastic in both fuse itself and fuse slot.

If wires were chewed, it won't work at all or loose contacts will act up on every bump right from beginning and does not wait for car to get hot.

Lastly you can check all relays, if you are DIY guy its easy for you
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Old 25th November 2010, 20:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hashim View Post
How many fuse box Civic has? Normally its one under hood and one under dash near driver side door. In each fuse box carefully examine each fuse one by one by pulling them out and look for sign of melted plastic in both fuse itself and fuse slot.

If wires were chewed, it won't work at all or loose contacts will act up on every bump right from beginning and does not wait for car to get hot.

Lastly you can check all relays, if you are DIY guy its easy for you
I did check the fuse box. Nothing wrong there, about the relay, I guess I will let the service guys take care of that. Not much of a DIY guy, lazy me.
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Old 30th November 2010, 14:37   #13
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Smile Solved: Honda Civic V-AT Electric Problems

Got the car back from service today. Apparently, it is a grounded cable that was causing the problem. SA said it has been fixed. I Did not see any problem so far. It was part of the general checkup so nothing extra was charged. Battery also checked and no problems found. Phew!! What a relief.

Another thing is that in the invoice it says 'YES' under the column 'EXTENDED WARRANTY'. Does that mean my car is covered under Ext. Warranty? I could not check with the SA regarding this.
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Old 30th November 2010, 15:02   #14
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That depends actually. Y'see, mine's a 2008 September car and it has 2+2 warranty standard. However, on my service sheets, it always has Extended Warranty unticked. That and the car is listed as an S AT, so it might just be how the A.S.S registered your car into the database when it was originally sold.

Either way, you're covered.

You should find a HondaCare extended warranty booklet along with your user manual.
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Old 30th November 2010, 15:19   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
That depends actually. Y'see, mine's a 2008 September car and it has 2+2 warranty standard. However, on my service sheets, it always has Extended Warranty unticked. That and the car is listed as an S AT, so it might just be how the A.S.S registered your car into the database when it was originally sold.

Either way, you're covered.

You should find a HondaCare extended warranty booklet along with your user manual.
Thanks, I just checked with the A.S.S and they confirmed that my car is indeed covered by Extended Warranty.
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