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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I am desperate to see if any other owners have had this issue! Our 04 Element is at 105,000 miles. I was driving it last Thursday when out of no where the immobilizer activated and cut off fuel to the car and killed it! We had it towed into the dealer thinking it was just the key needing reprogramming - however, that didn't work. The ONLY feed back we did get was. Every time they turn the key to "on position" the fuze pops and the car is dead again. We were told it could be related to the dealer-installed after market alarm, so we told them to rip the dang thing out and try again. Now the shop foreman is working on it with STILL NO ANSWERS!

Has anyone else had an issue like this or similar? My Husband is a master tech for VW and is FURIOUS that they are all lost of fixing our car. He suggested the ignition coil or switch and they dismissed him. He even suggested pinning out the wires leading to the fuze and is getting ignored.

HELP!
 

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It's not the mechanics fault that it isn't a simple problem to diagnose or repair. Your husband ought to know better than to bypass the fuse to a computer controlled subsystem, or to get angry with at a mechanic while he is working on an unusual problem with your vehicle.

If you aren't satisfied with the Honda mechanics, you can always have it towed to another Honda dealership or a Volkswagen shop, yell at their mechanics and see how they respond to a furious service customer.
 

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It's not the mechanics fault that it isn't a simple problem to diagnose or repair. Your husband ought to know better than to bypass the fuse to a computer controlled subsystem, or to get angry with at a mechanic while he is working on an unusual problem with your vehicle.

If you aren't satisfied with the Honda mechanics, you can always have it towed to another Honda dealership or a Volkswagen shop, yell at their mechanics and see how they respond to a furious service customer.
Nowhere in that post did it say he suggested to "bypass the fuse to a computer controlled subsystem". I believe what they mean by "pinning out the wire leading to the fuse" is to trace it from it's origin to it's destination. Or in some cases bypassing the factory wiring with known good wiring. I may be wrong, but I really doubt a master tech would suggest bypassing a fuse. :|
 

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Nowhere in that post did it say he suggested to "bypass the fuse to a computer controlled subsystem". I believe what they mean by "pinning out the wire leading to the fuse" is to trace it from it's origin to it's destination. Or in some cases bypassing the factory wiring with known good wiring. I may be wrong, but I really doubt a master tech would suggest bypassing a fuse. :|
You may be right, but I'm an electrical engineer, worked with all types of electricians for many years and never heard circuit tracing called "pinning out".

I'm surprised that an active master automotive tech, after being told that the problem was beyond their shop's ability to diagnose, had his wife turn to an internet forum for advice as he fumed, instead of taking the vehicle to a different shop with a solid reputation for troubleshooting electrical problems. :x
 

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Welcome, TheBlounts. Sorry to hear of your problem. Which fuse is blowing? Presumably the techs are trying to trace the short in that circuit.

You can tell you husband, just FWIW (it's probably not related to your problem), that the Element has four ignition coils, one at each spark plug.

Please let us know what it turns out to be.
 

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You may be right, but I'm an electrical engineer, worked with all types of electricians for many years and never heard circuit tracing called "pinning out".

I'm surprised that an active master automotive tech, after being told that the problem was beyond their shop's ability to diagnose, had his wife turn to an internet forum for advice as he fumed, instead of taking the vehicle to a different shop with a solid reputation for troubleshooting electrical problems. :x
I have my E.E. degree also, and although I am not a practicing engineer, I have been a professional car audio and security installer for 15+ years along with being what I feel as very capable mechanically. I would have never assumed that meant bypassing a fuse. I can only assume it's just a difference in "wording". I will agree though that at that point, I would most likely be moving on to another dealership or my own abilities.

To the OP, as Ramblerdan stated, it would help to know what fuse is blowing. I am inclined to think it is possibly ignition switch related, but with the little info that has been provided, it's really hard to say. Also, when the dealer "ripped out the alarm" did they actually take the time to remove the wiring at the connection points, or did they just unplug the control unit.

More info please!!
 

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"Pinning out" is the process of using a continuity meter and going from a pin on one end of a cable to the pins on the other end of the cable to ensure that there is no break in the cable from end to end.

Additionally, if you have a schematic for the cable, you can tell if pin 1 on connector A actually goes to pin 9 on connector B as intended, or did it get messed up in the manufacturing process.

IT uses the pin out method all the time for legacy equipment connectors when trying to upgrade/interface with new equipment.
 

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After market alarms can be a real PITA when they go bad. Similar happened to my Daughter's car sometime back. We took it to a reputable Alarm/Stereo installer, who "properlY' removed the alarm system. Some of these systems are installed by total hacks who cut and patch wiring and make a real mess. It can take an expert to reverse what they did. Not something I'd expect my Honda Dealer to have the knowledge to do, and not something I'd want to pay them $90 bucks an hour to try and troubleshoot, when an expert installer could take the car back to "factory" in 20 minutes. :?

There might be more here than the alarm, but I'd tackle that first - with an expert installer - then let Honda do what they do best, work with what's going on with factory components - AFTER the alarm is removed properly.
 

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"Pinning out" is the process of using a continuity meter and going from a pin on one end of a cable to the pins on the other end of the cable to ensure that there is no break in the cable from end to end.

Additionally, if you have a schematic for the cable, you can tell if pin 1 on connector A actually goes to pin 9 on connector B as intended, or did it get messed up in the manufacturing process.

IT uses the pin out method all the time for legacy equipment connectors when trying to upgrade/interface with new equipment.
In addition to checking for continuity, you can also check for voltage or grounds where they are suppose to be (or where they aren't suppose to be). The term "Pinning Out" is very common in aviation and avionics. Some people also use this term when using "T" pins, like a seamstress would use, to push through the insulation on wires to check for voltage / grounds without disconnecting components. FWIW
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
WOW - I come on this forum for some "help" and I get FLAMED and PICKED ON! Real nice! Not that I need to explain myself or my Husband to and of you judge trolls - but here I go.

1. We live in a coastal community so our options for reputable shops are VERY limited. Why WOULDN'T we choose our local dealer?

2. Our service advisor (our only link in communication to our car) was being SUPER vague in what was going on with our car. So my Husband being a Master Tech himself (in a unrelated brand) was getting frustrated fast because they had our car for 12+ (at the time I posted) hours and had no clue what was going on. That is WHY I turned to the net to see if anyone had similar issues with their Honda. All the scan tools my Husband has access to were no help due to the fact they were not loaded with Honda programming! However, by the vague description my Husband did receive he made recommendations as to what avenue he would like the tech to go and was getting dismissed. Long story short, they put the foreman on it 3 days after having it.

3. Sorry if I used incorrect terminology in "pinning out" wires. I was simply referring to using a meter to trace the source of the short, since the computers were getting no active fault and the car was blowing a fuse (we were not told which one) every time it was turned on.

4. Furthermore - We got the car back today (after being in the shop 6 days) and in the history of the Honda Master Tech working for Honda (30 yrs) he had NEVER encountered the issue he found wrong with our car...yeah we got to be that lucky person!

5. The end result was a blowed Idol Air Valve. However, the reason WHY it was not simply discovered is due to the fact that the [email protected]$$ Honda tech who installed the alarm when we purchased it - hooked the alarm to the fuel circuitry wires....so when the IAV Blew, it short circuited the wire that lead to the fuel relay wire and since the alarm was hooked to it - it caused the immobilizer to activate and shut the car down while in drive. HOW DO YOU LIKE THOSE APPLES!

So I thank you to those who actually posted helpful advice. It seems our issue was a little bit in every direction that was brought up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After market alarms can be a real PITA when they go bad. Similar happened to my Daughter's car sometime back. We took it to a reputable Alarm/Stereo installer, who "properlY' removed the alarm system. Some of these systems are installed by total hacks who cut and patch wiring and make a real mess. It can take an expert to reverse what they did. Not something I'd expect my Honda Dealer to have the knowledge to do, and not something I'd want to pay them $90 bucks an hour to try and troubleshoot, when an expert installer could take the car back to "factory" in 20 minutes. :?

There might be more here than the alarm, but I'd tackle that first - with an expert installer - then let Honda do what they do best, work with what's going on with factory components - AFTER the alarm is removed properly.
AS I said, it was the alarm that was installed on the wrong curcuit. The dealer, removed the alarm completely, fixed the IAV and then reinstalled the alarm correctly. Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Got it. Under-hood Fuse #6 (15A): CKP sensor, CMP sensor A/B, ECM/PCM, IAC valve, injectors, PGM-FI main relays 1 and 2. Not a circuit that aftermarket accessories should ever be tapped into.
EXACTLY! This is why this dealer ate all of the diagnosis time except for 2hours! Or Honda Corp would have had one ANGRY customer on their hands! Thanks for stay atuned to our drama!
 

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WOW, I have seen/fixed many problems with IACV on Honda's, but never seen/heard of anything of this nature. I have also installed hundreds of security/remote start systems and for the life of me can't figure out why the installer would have tapped into this circuit. Glad to see it all worked out, but......"trolls" :-(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
WOW, I have seen/fixed many problems with IACV on Honda's, but never seen/heard of anything of this nature. I have also installed hundreds of security/remote start systems and for the life of me can't figure out why the installer would have tapped into this circuit. Glad to see it all worked out, but......"trolls" :-(
Tell me about it! I am still pondering sending a letter and the bill to Honda. Since the alarm was purchased through them and installed by them! If it had not been for the alarming being tapped into the wrong circuit it would be have a easy find. But due to the incorrect install, it took 1 tech and 1 Foreman/Master tech 6 days to find and trace the issue. The Master tech had to completely deconstruct the alarm and wiring in order to trace the cause....a total nightmare! I am THRILLED it is over
 

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Tell me about it! I am still pondering sending a letter and the bill to Honda. Since the alarm was purchased through them and installed by them! If it had not been for the alarming being tapped into the wrong circuit it would be have a easy find. But due to the incorrect install, it took 1 tech and 1 Foreman/Master tech 6 days to find and trace the issue. The Master tech had to completely deconstruct the alarm and wiring in order to trace the cause....a total nightmare! I am THRILLED it is over
Based on the instructions found here: http://www.handa-accessories.com/elementelect.html

Assuming you bought the OEM security system, there is no way that the security system should be wired wrong. There are no instructions to tap any wire, the wiring is pretty much a matter of plugging things in and it should work. There is only one wire that can be done wrong (the one added to the 22 pin connector). Any careful technician should be able to wire that up properly the first time.

I would defiantly take this issue to Honda USA.
 

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Based on the instructions found here: http://www.handa-accessories.com/elementelect.html

Assuming you bought the OEM security system, there is no way that the security system should be wired wrong. There are no instructions to tap any wire, the wiring is pretty much a matter of plugging things in and it should work. There is only one wire that can be done wrong (the one added to the 22 pin connector). Any careful technician should be able to wire that up properly the first time.

I would defiantly take this issue to Honda USA.

We were told it could be related to the dealer-installed after market alarm, so we told them to rip the dang thing out and try again

See Above.
 
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