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Repairs Complete, Back to Operational - 2016 Honda Pilot Long-Term Road Test Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,130
edited March 2016 in Honda
Repairs Complete, Back to Operational - 2016 Honda Pilot Long-Term Road Test

A new windshield for our 2016 Honda Pilot arrived to the dealer intact, so it was time to install. We also got the steering wheel heater fixed. The Pilot is fully operational!

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  • harvestman9harvestman9 Member Posts: 3
    Sad that Honda and the dealer spent god knows how much on those replacement modules for your steering wheel when some basic troubleshooting was all that was needed. This is a great example of why direct manufacturer to consumer auto sales would be much more efficient.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    Yeah, LOL a fuse. Would loose wires really had caused it to blow the fuse though?

    In terms of the windshield, that's still crazy money. As mentioned, it was $277 out the door with Pilkington for our 2013 Pilot w/ the auto-dimming function and they came out to our house.
  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433
    My insurance has a $100 deductible for windshield replacement. If the car is new enough (I forgot the threshold) they use OEM glass.
  • tom_in_mntom_in_mn Member Posts: 61

    Yeah, LOL a fuse. Would loose wires really had caused it to blow the fuse though?

    Yes, heaters have large inrush (cold) currents. It's why they start fires so easily.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,426
    edited March 2016

    Yeah, LOL a fuse. Would loose wires really had caused it to blow the fuse though?

    No, a loose connection won't cause a fuse to blow. A loose connection causes a high resistance in a circuit, if not a complete open and either of those reduce the current flowing in the circuit. Fuses blow when the circuit resistance drops too low and that results in the circuit flowing too much current.

    Another response mentioned the inrush current. On the style and operating range of a steering wheel heater, the inrush current when the circuit is first turned on is only slightly higher than the normal operating current and it isn't high enough to cause the fuse to fail. If someone insists on speculating, the most likely reason it ended up needing a fuse would be that the fuse either failed during testing, possibly by the circuit being accidently grounded, or when a substitute load was placed in the circuit that exceeded the fuse rating to test for poor connections. Allow me to explain just what that means.

    Take a ten amp fuse. It takes a certain amount of current and time to cause it to fail, or looking at it another way to do its job. A ten amp fuse should go open with as little as 12 amps of current if the circuit stays at that load for a long enough period of time. (ten to twenty seconds) But it should NOT open at 25 amps of current if the load is there for only a very small period of time, such as only a couple thousandths of a second. To do a substitute load test, which would allow any voltage drops to show up easier, a circuit can be loaded to the maximum rating of the fuse and it should be able to provide power to the circuit. Then the circuit can be tested live and at a demand greater than just what the steering wheel itself would have placed on the circuit. If the fuse was weak, but otherwise intact, that could have allowed normal tests and checks to not find anything wrong with it and that could explain why they struggled to locate the issue. Stressing the circuit might not have even blown the fuse, but may have generated a significant voltage drop which revealed resistance in the circuit that was preventing enough current flow to heat the wheel under normal operation.

    The secret to diagnosing any vehicle electrical issue efficiently, is to include measuring the circuit current live. If that isn't a normal step in your diagnostic routine, then this issue might have easily evaded you as well. Meanwhile, just wait until service information is available for this and you get to see the trouble tree (flow chart) to guide you through the diagnostics. Don't be surprised if it doesn't have that listed as one of the steps, nor what the expected circuit current flow specification is. (at least that can be calculated for the maximum)
  • longtimelurkerlongtimelurker Member Posts: 455
    I agree and would add to that...they replaced the switch after an inconclusive testing regimen and missing a bad or weak fuse, but did not make sure it was making connection...that is why they had to "tighten up" the connection. So they missed the bad fuse or actually blew it themselves, replaced a switch that probably had nothing wrong with it, but did not make sure the replacement switch was installed right, thereby creating a NEW issue, and this required a third whack at it to fix the original issue, that they may or may not have caused (the fuse) and the issue they created (the switch connection).
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,426
    It's easy to dump all the blame on the techs, but that isn't where it really belongs. There has been so much pressure to raise profits, and cut costs for the last few decades that the shortage of qualified technicians in the automotive repair trade is a problem that will continue to get worse and there isn't much in the way of hope that things are going to start heading the other direction anytime soon. I outlined how a problem like this should be routinely approached. That routine included the full factory scan tool and service information. Plus, it included not just a DVOM (digital volt ohm meter), it requires the usage of a multi-trace digital oscilloscope with the low amps inductive pick-up. It then takes a technician with at least an associates degree in electronics, on top of being "a seasoned mechanic" who has the experience (ten years or more) to use critical thinking skills and apply them towards problem solving.

    Take a look at your own tools, training, education, experience and re-read the steps that I posted. Be honest, how would you really stand up against what should be the minimum standard for auto technicians?

    Oh, forgot to mention. The techs that have reached this level have had to buy their own scopes, scan tools, and they have had to get the additional education that is required on their own. The shops haven't been making that investment in their people, in fact automotive technician's wages have been dropping 2-5 percent per year for more than a decade. Meanwhile there is no shortage of indignities that they have to shoulder while getting to live as second class citizens. So don't blame the ones that are trying to learn how to do the job, which takes decades to accomplish with today's cars. Put the blame on the management that has no idea themselves what the career really demands, especially since few (if any) would be able to meet what is the minimum standard that I just showed you. Continuing to put the blame on the techs only accomplishes one thing, it helps to drive people out of the career long before they have enough time in it to get good at it perpetuating the problem.

    BTW if you are really sure you can be, or are better that what this minimal level should be, then why don't you become a technician? Diagnosing this Honda would have paid you .2 hours. (12 minutes) The repairs? Less than the person next to you who is doing a brake job. But if you are good enough, surely you would be rolling in dough, right?
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