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Discussion Starter #41
Have been able to look at all the ground clusters in the dash area as per elect manual. All look clean and bright. I did not loosen or disconnect any of them as my problem only happens every 7/8 days in morning. I now have new fuse box and have been looking at problem of getting at the old one. Some mook's advise a while back is a good heads up on sharp objects.
My question now is: after doing several important steps as per service manual, I am directed to remove all connectors on fuse side of box, then remove holding bolt and remove connectors from other side. Has anyone actually done this job? I would hope to remove holding bolt and lower fuse box down a bit to get easier access for removing all those connectors. Does anyone know if the fuse box will lower down a few precious inches so I can remove the connectors a bit more easily? I am just barely physically flexible
enough to do this project and am wimp enough to want to really lay out how it should be done over and above the brief description in the service manual.
I always love how they say to reinstall in reverse order!! Thanks for your help:)
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I finally got my fuse box and carefully installed it on april 16th. All connectors were clean and tight. I had not had an "event" for over two weeks. After changing out the fuse box, all was well until the following friday when I had an "event" in the afternoon! Subsequently, I had an "event" yesterday morning twelve days later.
The pattern has in fact changed for these two "events". The immobilizer light comes on after I unlock the driver's side door. The light comes on STEADY for several seconds and then starts blinking. When I insert key and turn ignition on, all lights are NORMAL and when I try to start engine it cranks over with no apparent fuel. I can turn off key and remove same and all is normal. Re-insert key and start car as nomal. Quite an improvement.
Changing out the fuse box was definitely the right repair. I did check all ground connections in system and all are clean and tight. The long amount of time between events is still baffeling. Yes, I may have a Ghost!
Any thoughts as to where to go now would be appreciated. I can definitely live with this condition.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Oops, spoke too soon! Experienced an immoblizer no start last night, 36 hours after last event on wed morning. Last night, the immoblizer light came on flashing right away and only dim parking brake lite and check engine light and red circle around "P" on trani indicator were illuminated. When trying to start engine, check engine lite and "P" flashed rapidly. No start due to no fuel. Returned key to off and tried again. Engine cranked and started and all lights and gages back to normal. This issue is always initiated when I unlock the drivers side door manually with my key. I have switched keys to no avail. Key is never near the ignition switch when immoblizer lite starts flashing. Looks like I am back to square one where I started six months ago. Any and all thoughts appreciated. :|
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Yesterday morning, experienced third event since changing out under dash fuse box almost a month ago. This time, got car started as per previous posts,but the gage cluster etc did not come bach "awake". This has happened four times in the last six months. This time, I was able to drive directly to the dealer and have a tech look at the situation as it was happening. I was able to explain all the problems over the last six months and what I had done in the mean time.
His report:" Performed inspection of all grounds, performed computer diagnostic for body codes, removed and inspected relays and fuses. Found some oil residue on relays for tail lights and startwer cut. Replaced affected relays and condition is gone. Customer advised further diagnostic may be necessary at additional expense if condition returns."
Oil residue was diaelectric contact cleaner I used when swapping out fuses and relays to new fuse box. Happy to pay small price extra for the two relays, 39794-SOK-ao1 power relay (4p). Even though they don't really seem to be in the mix. Tech started talking about replacing gage cluister etc.
Still no real info about initial immobilizer light flashing when I unlock driver side door............:-(
 

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Discussion Starter #46
The situation occurs every seven or eight days usually. It has sometimes been as long as twelve days between events with the immobilizer system being activated by manually unlocking the driver's side door. I have considered entering thru passenger side door, but since I never know when the problem will actually come up, I would never know if I prevented an event or not.
The Honda tech that worked on my car lost track of what the original problem has been. The immobilizer system is somehow activated with my key unlocking the driver's side door. I then put key in ignition and try to start engine. No fuel as per properly acting immobilizer system. Turn off ignition, turn back on and try to start engine again. Engine actually starts after several seconds on second try as immobilizer system shut off of fuel has dropped out. Unually all lights and gages come up at the same time as engine starting. Tuesday's event kept entire gage assembly from being activated. This has happened two other times in the last six months. I was able to take car directly to dealer tuesday, but obviously immobilizer issue had already resolved itself. Tech says no one at dealer ship has ever seen this particular problem. Apparently, no one on this forum has either. I just really love being unuique:)
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Yesterday morning, seven days after the dealer tech replaced the two relays in the under dash fuse box, my toaster did its thing again. Engine started up on second try but gage cluster stayed out of action just like a week ago. I elected not to go to dealer but went to my appointment at 7am. In the event of the gage cluster not waking up, I cannot turn off engine and remove key as CEL, hand brake lite, and red circle around shift indicator all flash rapidly and I can hear a relay clicking over by the glove box. I have to lift the negative batt cable to deal with this situation and be able to leave car.
When I returned to my car, I replaced the batt cable and found I could not get engine started as immobilizer had fuel cut off. I lifted batt cable again and almost gave up. But reconnected cable and looked in to see immobilizer lite flashing again. I didn't touch driver's side door and observed light cease flashing after about thirty seconds. I then entered car thru passenger side door and was able to start engine and get the hell on the road.
Gage cluster still not awake. Took my wife to water exercises and found the gage cluster woke up as I entered parking lot at pool thirty min later.
Dealer tech wants to replace gage cluster dispite fact that It works perfectly all the time except when SOMETHING ELSE doesn't wake up. I presume relay that is clicking over by glove box is being actuated by SOMETHING ELSE. Everything works perfectly for seven or more days and then ,usually first thing in morning, the immobilizer light turns on when I unlock driver's side door. During the seven or more days, I have started the car more than ten times a day.
Is there some kind of a timer or counter in the CPU that may be setting up this situation? Any thoughts appreciated.:|
 

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Discussion Starter #49
I agree. All the strange things that are happening seem to be REACTIONS to something else that is unhappy every seven days. The longest span between incidents in the last six months has been 12 days on two occasions. 36 hours on two occassions, and almost right on seven days on 18 occassions.
Theoretically, my next event will be next monday if the pattern holds true. In the mean time I will investigate replacement of the ECU.
I have a scan II gage and was alarmed when it said "no codes found not ready" way back when I did some other repair that required disconnecting the battery. You folks explained that the ECU or something had to see a number of various parameters being met before the computer would be "ready". This took a number of days to accomplish. Something in my system gets unhappy every seven days. Lucky me!!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Since my last post an:|d event, I have been parking in the garage and not locking e at night or at any time I can get away with not locking car. By last monday morning, I had not unlocked driver's side door for at least 48 hours. I was sitting in parking lot waiting for my wife at water exercises and studying service manuals. My plan was to figure out the wire that went from door lock to multiplex unit and disconnect same. Looked like there would be little or no real down side to doing that as event is "always" in itiated by unlocking driver's side door.
As I was listening to the radio as I was waiting for my wife, I turned key off and removed same and went to do something. I came back in two minutes and stepped in and inserted key and tried to start car. Went into immobilizer mode!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Turned off key and back to start twice with no fuel. On third try, engine started and all gages etc woke up. This is first time this set of events has ever occured in the seven months that i have been dealing with this "Ghost".
The driver's door was not unlocked to initiate the event as had ALWAYS been the case before. Looks like I can cancel any plans to disconnect the door lock wire I was thinking about.
Where should I be looking on line for the computer control unit over behind the glove box. Does any one know the actual term for this unit
as I have looked and cannot locate the proper item.
Should I just give job to dealer as unit will have to be reprogramed etc.
I am living with situation and have pleanty of time to get around to spending money on this type of repair if I do my home work first. Any thoughts gratefully accepted. :|
 

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Similar starting issues

I was excited and hopeful to find these posts, although after reading them I am still at a loss. My E is having very similar issues. We are the original ownwers with 200+ k miles on it. The Immobilizer light flashes no matter what key, it will not start and then the fuel pump relay (RC-5104) begins cycling with the check engine light, immobilizer light, and P light. I found today that attempting full start repeatedly is not necessary, I just turned the key till the fuel pump should engage and then off till the immobilizer light shut off then my E fired up. I also took video of the gauges to show my mechanic. I will post if possible. Any solution to this would be fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
Welcome! I am now in my 8th month of this situation. As you know, my event starts when I unlock driver door and actually open the door in that order. Immobilizer starts to blink. For the past several months I have realized that turning key and trying to start, then turn off key and try to start again. Immobilizer drops out and engine starts normally on second try. Up until a month ago, gage cluster lights would wake up when they felt like it. Sometimes, up to an hour or so later! Again, about a month ago, during my weekly event, I smacked my gage cluster above the speedo and the gage cluster woke up. I have been able to nicely smack the gage cluster during the last four events successfully and all is back to normal with two tries with the key and a smart smack. Lots better than changing out the cpu etc.
Clearly,the gage cluster problem is the RESULT of the immobilizer problem. As my problem occures almost like clock work every 7/8 days in the morning, I live with it and am mistified as to just how such a scenario can be possible.
I have 120k and am original owner etc. Your experience is most valuable to me. Hope mine is of some little help to you. No one seems to have ANY idea what the problem is and I certainly don't want to go the "start replacing parts" route with out a more difinitive reason to do so. The fact that I can get engine to start means that event is over and dealer can find nothing wrong. Look foreward to hearing from you as you try to deal with this problem. How long have you had problem, etc???:)
 

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I'm very happy to have found this thread. I've been having the same problems for the past 8 months or so, and have been driving myself crazy trying to find a cause.

In any of the cases you've witnessed, does your check engine light come on/stay on?
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Welcome! Please re-read my very first post of this thread. My situation has been ongoing for over nine months now. I can approach my locked element and see no flashing green light. I can insert key in door lock and no flashing green light. I can unlock the door and no flashing green light.My immobilizer light comes on when I actually open the driver's side door.Yes, CEL comes on when I turn key to start. Engine does not fire and start and I return key to off. Turn key back to start and CEL flashes rapidly and engine will actually start on second try. Smack the gage cluster and all is normal!:?
 

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Has anyone had a resolution?

This somewhat same thing has been happening to my 2003 E. I don't have specific examples of what I'm doing to cause this as it happens every time I get in my car. I get the flashing green key and the car will turn over but is obviously not getting gas. Sometimes it will crank after 2-3 tries. Other times I can drain my battery attempting to crank it. At this point I've been able to get a jump and then eventually it will crank. it runs perfect once it does start. After reading this post I'm afraid to take it to a dealer because I dont want to get hosed on multiple fixes that may not work.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Leftymike, what is the time line leading up to your green key light starting to flash? Can you see it from outside the car. What have you done and what are you doing when the green key light starts to flash? I have inspected all grounds, had dealer trouble shoot cluster problem when it was actually dead, replaced the multiplex unit, and two relays over on passenger side. All to no avail. It looks like about five '03 Element owners are experiencing similar problems with the immoblizer/dash cluster.:|
 

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I cant see it from outside (green key) only once I'm in the car turning the ignition. Basically I thought it was a battery issue and quickly found it was not. It used to crank on the third or fourth try but now the new battery is dead due to me trying to start the car. I'm afraid to take it in now due to the issues you described with no fix seeming to work. :(
 

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Hey all:

I had the exact same problem with my Element (exactly as described in the very first post on this thread) and it took me a couple of years to figure it out. If you remove the instrument cluster and look at the back side of it, there are two plugs - one in the center of the cluster and one off to the left of the cluster. There must have been cracked solder affecting the center plug because if you wiggled it you could either solve or create the problem. I shimmed the plug and that helped but as the solder became more and more damaged, the problem became worse again. I finally replaced the instrument cluster and have never experienced the same problem again. Hope this information helps you all.
 

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You're welcome for the reply! I typed that up quickly before leaving work tonight and actually didn't take much time to read the entire thread. Now that I am home and had time to read the entire thread, the problems Elementery describes are EXACTLY the problems I was having - so much so my blood nearly boiled thinking about how mad I used to get trying to figure this out!! I almost went bonkers trying to solve this problem. I have no idea what made me look at those plugs in detail but what a great feeling when I was able to wiggle that center plug and mimic all those symptoms. The only tip off I had to the cluster was that if you banged hard enough on the dash around the cluster, it would typically solve the problems, or "wake up the cluster" as Elementery stated. It would also blow those little $22.00/each light bulbs in the cluster that I replaced a bunch of! Haha! Anyway, check that out and hopefully that is the problem because, for me, a new cluster was a small price to pay to fix such an annoying problem. I hope someone will let me know if this helped out at all. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #60
A few minutes after posting#59 above, I went out and my car started normally but the gage cluster was dark except for dim hand brake light etc. I smacked the cluster above the odometer and it "woke up". later in the day, I removed plastic and screws and just left cluster sitting in place. Removed and checked connectionsd etc. Nothing to see actually. Shook and rotated and tapped cunster unit. Nothing happened! It just performed normally. Yesterday, wed, Car started normally, but cluster was dark as above. Gently lifted cluster and rotated it towards me and it "woke up' and all is good! Have tapped, shaken, etc the cluster since yesterday and nothing happens Seems to have its own schedule.
Will replace cluster from Bernardi in about two weeks as that is soonest I will have opportunity to do so. In the meantime, I will keep on keeping on!!!:)
 
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