electrical buzzing/clicking when turning key to on position [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: electrical buzzing/clicking when turning key to on position


shaunbehr
09-08-2004, 06:23 PM
hey guys. new member hoping your wisdom can help me save a trip to the dealer.

on cold starts (not outside temp, but when car has been off for several hours) i get a stalling sort of buzzing or clicking sound from some sort of electrical device under my dash. it sounds like it's near the left underside of the dash, close to the subwoofer. i removed the panel underneath the dash, but it's not a part that i have direct access to or can see. i can listen to the noise as it happens (usually anywhere from 3-30 seconds in duration) and tell that it's in that general vicinity. it begins when the key is turned to the engine on position, sometimes if i turn the key all the way it will get caught in the starting sequence and last throughout and then stop a few seconds after the car is running. one early morning on the way to the airport it lasted for almost a minute. it hasn't seemed to cause any apparent problems. i don't notice anything wrong. maybe the electrical device is working but in the process of dying. i don't know. any suggestions?

drphun
09-09-2004, 07:28 AM
I am not sure if this is what you are talking about, because it is not that loud; you really have to listen to hear it. Most people never notice it.

The fuel pump on fuel injected cars will come on when the key is turned on and then go off after a few seconds. Fuel injuection works by the fuel pump pressurizing the rail (fuel line), and then the injectors are tiny valves that open momentarily and spray the fuel into the cylinders. As the pressure will leak down while the car is turned off, it is not uncommon for the fuel pump to come for a few second when the key is turned on.

shaunbehr
09-09-2004, 03:39 PM
is that the location of the fuel pump? it is definitely not the normal sound. i have 45,000 miles on my 2003 automatic ex and the sound began this month. it's quite loud actually. i've turned the radio and a/c off before turning the key and no change. are there any sort of tests that can be done for the fuel pump?

last week my check engine light came on. autozone told us the code indicated a fuel pressure or ratio or something problem. i think it's the same code you get if the gas cap is loose. we let the gas run down to empty, put some fuel injector cleaner in and filled it back up. the light stayed on for a few more starts/days and then turned off. i'm not sure if that was related or not. during that time the car seemed to shift and accelerate more hesitantly and a little rougher. that problem seems to have disappeared now as well.

the mystery sound remains...

nyokie
09-09-2004, 04:09 PM
is it possible maybe the cap was loose the whole time you heard the noise maybe causing lower than normal fuel pressure causing the pump to run too much causing you to notice it? just speculating :idea:

shaunbehr
09-09-2004, 04:29 PM
while anything is possible, i can say with almost 99% certainty the gas cap was not a problem. the check engine light, if related, i presume could have been caused by this electrical problem. but it began several weeks after the noise and has come and gone, yet still the sound remains.

brendan
09-09-2004, 05:51 PM
Shaun - assuming you don't have more than 36000 miles on the E, I'd suggest taking it to the dealership service to have that looked at for free. They might be better able to diagnose it.

-brendan

shaunbehr
09-09-2004, 06:26 PM
just trying these forums as a prelim since i am over my warranty mileage... :(

Genom
09-09-2004, 07:21 PM
I too have heard this sound in my E...I used to own an Isuzu pickup that did the same thing. It turned out ( in my Isuzu ) that if I turned the key just right between the ignition and start positions in the lock, I would get a buzz as if two contacts were coming together but not enough for full contact. I found myself doing that with my Element where I didn't turn the key entirely to 'start' to turn the engine over. I did it constantly to scare my friends in the Isuzu ( 13 years straight ) and it never caused any problems. I just don't recommend getting it down to a science like I did for the sake of entertainment. All in all I don't believe its an issue, just a chance occurance.

shaunbehr
09-09-2004, 09:02 PM
i was reading through my original posting and noticed i kept typing dash when i meant to say glove box. that's where the sound originates, on the passenger side underneath the glove box. it happens every time i start the car now. i'll try to record the sound and turn it into a wav file for you guys soon. i'll be away for the weekend, but maybe i can get it done monday. thanks for all your input so far. i really appreciate it.

Genom
09-09-2004, 09:28 PM
Hmmm...the noise I've created several times definitely comes from the steering column...you may actually have an issue if it happens every time you start the engine.

LEGO MY E
09-09-2004, 10:05 PM
I get the EXACT same sound whenever I plug my chicken into the 110V socket! Oh wait... that's "Buzzin' and ClUckin"!

box-E
09-09-2004, 10:08 PM
Have you noticed when this happens, is the dome light going dim then off? We get a noise like that up in the dash with our Doge caravan, its the relay that causes the domw light to go dim. If so the relay might be in the area of the dash you discribe. drew

brendan
09-10-2004, 12:12 AM
[quote:0d06eebf6a=" "]i was reading through my original posting and noticed i kept typing dash when i meant to say glove box. that's where the sound originates, on the passenger side underneath the glove box. it happens every time i start the car now. i'll try to record the sound and turn it into a wav file for you guys soon. i'll be away for the weekend, but maybe i can get it done monday. thanks for all your input so far. i really appreciate it.[/quote:0d06eebf6a]

There's a bunch of relays behind the glove box towards the shifter side. Sounds like one of them might be having problems?

-brendan

lizzurd
09-10-2004, 11:50 AM
I get the same noise and its become annoying ....but we cant track it down at work because it only happens intermitantly and never happens when i ask some one to look at it.....till some thing goes wrong im not going to worry about it.





[quote:a3f40ed99d=" "]hey guys. new member hoping your wisdom can help me save a trip to the dealer.

on cold starts (not outside temp, but when car has been off for several hours) i get a stalling sort of buzzing or clicking sound from some sort of electrical device under my dash. it sounds like it's near the left underside of the dash, close to the subwoofer. i removed the panel underneath the dash, but it's not a part that i have direct access to or can see. i can listen to the noise as it happens (usually anywhere from 3-30 seconds in duration) and tell that it's in that general vicinity. it begins when the key is turned to the engine on position, sometimes if i turn the key all the way it will get caught in the starting sequence and last throughout and then stop a few seconds after the car is running. one early morning on the way to the airport it lasted for almost a minute. it hasn't seemed to cause any apparent problems. i don't notice anything wrong. maybe the electrical device is working but in the process of dying. i don't know. any suggestions?[/quote:a3f40ed99d]

Pecoskid66
09-12-2004, 03:14 PM
My E is 1.5 years old and I hear a clicking like the old celluloid thingy in the ignition. It happens when I start my car but only once in awhile so can't pinpoint when it will happen. I always turn the ignition off immediately then try it again and the car starts without the noise. Don't know what it is but I am taking my car in soon for it's 20,000 mile checkup and will bring that up.

I still absolutely love my Element!!

shaunbehr
09-15-2004, 03:59 PM
okay, i went high tech, well, low tech high tech and stuck my pda under the dash. crank your speakers and listen to the buzz right before the ignition beep. it's actually a lot louder than the recording, but you'll get the picture - or the sound i guess. whatever..

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/shaunbehr/Recording3.wma

Pecoskid66
09-15-2004, 05:17 PM
Hey, that's it!! That's the sound I get! So what is it?

Edison
09-16-2004, 06:11 AM
How odd! Don't you think it kinda sounds like baby velociraptor??? :? I can't wait to find out what this is!
http://www.amonline.net.au/chinese_dinosaurs/factsheets/12.htm

8)

shaunbehr
09-17-2004, 08:28 PM
[quote:beca1a8c50=" "]Hey, that's it!! That's the sound I get! So what is it?[/quote:beca1a8c50]

not sure yet. since my e has 47k, maybe i can benefit from your leftover warranty. if you do happen to go in to get it checked out, please share the wealth. thanks dude.

OrangeOne
04-13-2006, 12:52 PM
What we found out is that there is some kind of problem with metal next to the ignition, so we were told to remove extraneous keys and a fob that may be contributing to the problem. After taking this action, the problem has not recurred (it has been about 1 year now). -OO

bloomcounty
04-17-2006, 12:36 PM
i was reading through my original posting and noticed i kept typing dash when i meant to say glove box. that's where the sound originates, on the passenger side underneath the glove box. it happens every time i start the car now.

I haven't listened to the sound file, but I posted about the same problem on this thread:

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19108&page=3

...it's the second key position when I hear the one second electronic hum (first position, no sound -- thrid position is starting the car). And it's actually that one second electronic sound followed by a very audible click. It comes from the glove box area. I was told on the boards that it might be a relay issue. I have a new '06 Element and it's done this since I've had it -- so I had been assuming it was "normal". When I go in for my oil change at 5K and give them my list of issues/problems, this will be included (but this is another 4K+ miles away).

jurneez
02-02-2007, 12:09 PM
hey guys. new member hoping your wisdom can help me save a trip to the dealer.

on cold starts (not outside temp, but when car has been off for several hours) i get a stalling sort of buzzing or clicking sound from some sort of electrical device under my dash. it sounds like it's near the left underside of the dash, close to the subwoofer. i removed the panel underneath the dash, but it's not a part that i have direct access to or can see. i can listen to the noise as it happens (usually anywhere from 3-30 seconds in duration) and tell that it's in that general vicinity. it begins when the key is turned to the engine on position, sometimes if i turn the key all the way it will get caught in the starting sequence and last throughout and then stop a few seconds after the car is running. one early morning on the way to the airport it lasted for almost a minute. it hasn't seemed to cause any apparent problems. i don't notice anything wrong. maybe the electrical device is working but in the process of dying. i don't know. any suggestions?

I know this is an old post but has this been resolved or does anyone know what this is, since someone else drove my E on Wednesday and pushed the button below the botton on the auto shifter, Ive had this clicking noise since then...arghh!!!

Thanks,
Yes, RamblerDan I searched......

jurn

ramblerdan
02-02-2007, 02:05 PM
Post 9 of this thread:
i was reading through my original posting and noticed i kept typing dash when i meant to say glove box. that's where the sound originates, on the passenger side underneath the glove box.
There are five relays (four on MT cars) behind the glovebox. The weird sound Shaunbehr recorded might not be a relay, but a clicking sound very much suggests a relay. Jurn, you didn't say exactly where the sound was coming from. Why don't you release the glovebox door and remove the fuse box cover (there are four relays in the under-dash fuse box). That should help locate the source.

Relays are pretty inexpensive and easy to replace.
http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/catimgs/14scv01_b1310.gif (http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/prddisplay.jsp?inputstate=5&catcgry1=Element&catcgry2=2004&catcgry3=5DR+EX+4WD+SIDE+SRS&catcgry4=KA5MT&catcgry5=CONTROL+UNIT+%28CABIN%29)

jurneez
02-02-2007, 03:02 PM
Post 9 of this thread:

There are five relays (four on MT cars) behind the glovebox. The weird sound Shaunbehr recorded might not be a relay, but a clicking sound very much suggests a relay. Jurn, you didn't say exactly where the sound was coming from. Why don't you release the glovebox door and remove the fuse box cover (there are four relays in the under-dash fuse box). That should help determine where the sound is coming from.

Relays are pretty inexpensive and easy to replace.
http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/catimgs/14scv01_b1310.gif (http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/auto/jsp/mws/prddisplay.jsp?inputstate=5&catcgry1=Element&catcgry2=2004&catcgry3=5DR+EX+4WD+SIDE+SRS&catcgry4=KA5MT&catcgry5=CONTROL+UNIT+%28CABIN%29)



Thanks Paul,
sound seems to be very near subwoofer.......or in between sub and glove box, it's hard to say. I'll take a look as you suggest.....
I printed out your note and picture...

Thanks,
jurn

RyanB-E
02-02-2007, 09:21 PM
I too get an occasional buzz or zap type sound but I've localized mine to the steering column. My old Civic made the exact same noise. Just a quick buzz between key positions. I eventually had the ignition switch replaced due to fire recall on the old one and had the exact same sound on the new switch so its probably not that. Never caused me any problems though.

jurneez
02-03-2007, 07:36 AM
I too get an occasional buzz or zap type sound but I've localized mine to the steering column. My old Civic made the exact same noise. Just a quick buzz between key positions. I eventually had the ignition switch replaced due to fire recall on the old one and had the exact same sound on the new switch so its probably not that. Never caused me any problems though.

I have a distinct difference bewteen the buzz and the click....
The buzz is higher, steering column........that's intermitent, but the click is obviously not the buzz sound and located in a different place. The buzz hasn't happened in about 2-4 months now but the clicking just starting. I shall check the relays soon as RamblerDan suggested. Then we'll see.

Paul, you are such a wealth of information and can always steer any of us in the right direction. Thank You.

jurn

jurneez
02-03-2007, 06:32 PM
I had the same problem . It was very infrequent when I first bought the E, so I thought it was just the way I was turning the key. After 6 months it was getting worse so I took it in on 3 different occasions,the dealer checked all the relays fuel pump, clutch switch, battery, starter etc. he couldn't find any thing wrong with any of them. But, by turning the key slowly between positions we were able to make that noise. Now here is the funny part months ago 6 I swapped keys with my wife (she doesn't drive the E) and I have not heard that noise since. Is it a defective key? maybe, there is a description in this of thread of possible metal contact points in the ignition(steering column),I am leaning towards that explanation. I think these points may have actually wore down and no longer produce that noise. :-?


VERY INTERESTING, I will also switch keys tomorrow and check relays as well.

thanks,jurn

amemac
03-06-2007, 07:55 PM
i also get the same noise and it is indeed in my steering column. my veh. manual has indicated that a similar sound is usually the result of three possibilities:
1...the brakes have some kind of equalizer check/reset mechanism which it will complete infrequently at interval engine start-ups, and
2...the electronic key is sync'g with the engine's anti-theft, or
3...the electronic key has gotten a brake in it, usually from being dropped.

i asked my dealership service techys, and i usually get a "yah, probably...", "never heard of such a thing..." and "i'm not sure we would have to reproduce it and check it out..." Sorry, they were no help!

i'm still hoping for the truth of the matter?

Maximo Park
03-07-2007, 01:13 AM
I took mine in for an oil change on Monday and mentioned the buzzing sound coming from the ignition...I was told it was "normal" and nothing to worry about.