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Honda Fit Lighting and Electrical Questions



  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    "But lets say, 2 hours into your high-speed run across the desert in 110 degree heat, as you hurry home to the wife, after your visit to the Mustang Ranch at Vegas, wouldn't you feel a wee bit more relaxed with a real temp gauge?"

    It's funny that you mentioned that!

    I used to have a 2000 Tacoma that had a real temperture gauge. For about a week one early spring I watched the gauge go up every day on my way home up the Grapevine. It never got close enough to the top to panic, but I did pay attention to it. Then one weekend, the first hot weekend of the year, we drove to Vegas. When I took over the driving in Baker and started up Halloran Summit, I watched the gauge climb and reach the top just as I got to Halloran Summit. While having some warning that there might be a problem was nice, it made no difference - we were still stranded in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I thought you were going to say that you often make high-speed runs to the Mustang Ranch! :blush: (Does it sill exist?)

    You're right that, with or without a temp gauge, you may still get stranded. But the way I see it, being able to see impending doom may at least give you a chance to take self-preservative action! (Such as stop and flag down the only car that would pass you for the next 90 minutes?) :P
  • 719b719b Posts: 216
    if the temp gauge was reading warmer than usual in the early spring, it gave you an opportunity to have a mechanic look at it.
    the fact you ignored it isn't the fault of the temp gauge.
    you may have been able to prevent a unscheduled stop in the mojave desert
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Ah, that's the problem, isn't it - what is "higher than normal?" Most of the time mechanics say that if it doesn't get up to the high spot, it's normal and ignore it. I wasn't sure that what I was seeing was normal "going up steep grades at high speeds" or if it was an indication of a problem, so I waited to see if it would ever overheat (if I had taken it to a mechanic a vague "the temp gauge goes higher when I'm driving the Grapevine," they would have said there was nothing wrong). Guess it was my misfortune that the first hot day I drove it happened to be up Halloran Summit.

    I do prefer to have a real gauge - however, my other car has one of those almost-idiot-light gauges. Maybe since I know that one is not much better than a light (I've gotten used to the idea), it didn't bother me about the Fit's light.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "(if I had taken it to a mechanic a vague "the temp gauge goes higher when I'm driving the Grapevine," they would have said there was nothing wrong)."

    True, but if you had added that you've driven the Grapevine lots of time previously and the temp gauge had never gone that high, then it may have prompted him to do a bit of diagnosis.
  • Haven't been able to check-out a Fit at a dealership, but I really want to know which (if any) of the switches and steering wheel controls are illuminated. I can't stand fumbling around for controls in the dark.

    Those of you who know, please share.
  • fit_nessfit_ness Posts: 58
    I think the controls are all illuminated. I'm a couple of thousand miles from my Fit. I can't think of any controls unlit. I know the door and steering wheel controls don't dim with the gauge light dimmer, but they are not distracting.
  • The indicator is just telling you the engine is cold, and the light goes off when the engine warms up to recommended operating temperature. The amount of time will vary with how cold it is outside and how recently the car's been driven.

    It's always best to let a car warm up before you drive it, to avoid putting undue wear and stress on its components.

    I actually prefer the Honda light to a traditional temperature gauge! With a gauge, I would wonder, when is it warm enough to drive, how far should I wait for the needle to move? With the Honda, once the light goes off, I know it's fine.

    And as this post indicated, I think it may actually have educational value. Drivers may not realize that a car should be allowed to warm up. Lots of people just routinely jump into a car an go and don't give it a thought, they may never have been told otherwise. If a car has a gauge, they may not look at it, they may think it serves no purpose except to indicate overheating. The blue light forces someone who might not know to think, "hmmm, why is that light on?" And then they may learn that they should try to avoid driving a cold car when possible.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "The blue light forces someone who might not know to think, "hmmm, why is that light on?" And then they may learn that they should try to avoid driving a cold car when possible."

    Those "someone" that don't ever look at a temp gauge likely also would not pay much attention to a little blue light that comes on and off.

    Actually, I suspect most buyers of Fits, and others models in that price segment, are the "jump in the car and go" type --- the type that treats cars more as an appliance. Perhaps not most of the Fit owners that post regularly on this thread, but probably most of the general Fit customer base.
  • fitman548fitman548 Posts: 172
    I just found the adjustment wheels for my headlights. I sat in the dark garage with only the headlight lo beams on. I must have cranked that screwdriver 20 clockwise rotations, the passenger side wheel turning 5 or 6 times, and my headlights didn't move AN INCH up or down that wall. What am i doing wrong here?
  • True, but someone who may never look at a gauge may find their attention grabbed by a light. I think you're also right that many drivers--and in particular many owners of this kind of car--are car-as-appliance types, but still, they may want their appliance to be as trouble-free as possible for as long as possible, and being gentle while the engine is cold contributes to that, so if they at least _know_ that they should do that, they just might...

    Though I just checked the Honda manual, and it doesn't actually suggest any particular behavior for cold operation. Hmm!
  • ....illuminated just when the lights are on or are they the type that are on all day regardless?

    Thanx for the help...Aloha
  • fit_nessfit_ness Posts: 58
    All day. Always.
  • sgroffsgroff Posts: 3
    Yes, exactly that. I filled up on Friday, drove the car home and it sat over the weekend. Drove 15 miles to an appointment on Monday. All with no indication of problems. Came out of the appointment and turned the car on; lo & behold, "gas cap." It did go away by the end of the second day.
  • sfinstersfinster Posts: 17
    The instrument panel is always lit. I find that at night, they're too bright and I have to turn them down. If I'm driving with the headlights on during the day (if it's raining, for instance) I have to turn the instrument lighting up all the way in order to be able to read the radio display. Easy to adjust, though; you twist the trip meter stalk.
  • ilkirkilkirk Posts: 3
    I had nearly EXACTLY this same problem, even close to the same mileage.

    I think it was due to overfilling the gas tank, to be honest. I recall pushing as much fuel into the tank as I could see fit, then after that one short trip, the indicator came on. I drove it for a tank and a half before it cleared itself.

    I also called the dealer and they said the same thing. Tighten the cap, drive it a few days, then we'll clear it. I, obviously, didn't have to have them clear it, but I'll sure take the automatic cutoff's advice when I'm at the pump anymore.

    The dealer also said to make sure and get several clicks out of the cap... its designed to do it, so I shouldn't be turned away by the horrible noise.
  • justjulesjustjules Posts: 14
    I noticed a couple days ago that when I have no passenger, the airbag off indicator is not staying on after the initial startup of the car. I'm guessing that this indicates that the airbag will deploy regardless of wehther or not there's a passenger in the seat (?). Am I correct that the light is supposed to stay on the entire time there is no one in that passenger seat? Or am I remembering incorrectly?
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Posts: 364
    You are remembering incorrectly. The only time the light will stay on is if there is enough weight in the seat for the sensor to pick it up, but not enough to allow for the airbag to safely deploy.

    So, if the seat is empty, the light won't come on. If an adult/teenager is in the seat, the light won't come on, and the airbags are enabled. If you put a light purse on the seat, the light won't come on, but the airbag is disabled. If you put a bag of groceries on the seat, the light will probably come on, and the airbags will be disabled. The manual may state the minimum weight required to trigger the light, denoting that the airbag is disabled (because there's not enough weight for it to assume it's a person large enough to safely take the impact of a deploying airbag).
  • scubscub Posts: 4
    I wondered about this as with my last VW, a burned out bulb in the instrument cluster cost me nearly $100 to replace. It seems the lights in my Fit are on at 100% during daylight, and with no way to dim them. When you turn on the headlight switch, the control knob for the dimmer becomes active and you can dim to suit your tastes. I hope these are LED lights and won't burn out early due to constant on in daylight. It doesn't seem to address this in the manual, but I only pay half attention to most guys do (or don't ).

  • Okay...BUSTED. I've been hopping in and taking off. Didn't realize I needed to wait for the light to go out. I wondered about that, but not long enough to do anything about it. Checked the manual, it said it was normal...moved on.

    See I really didn't expect that jumping into a car that's been sitting on asphalt for 8 hours in 95 degree heat to REALLY need to warm up. Go figger! :blush:
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Posts: 678
    You don't actually need to have the blue light can go right ahead and drive. However, it is definitely a good idea to keep the rpms low and avoid lots of harsh driving when the engine is cold...true of any car.
  • cdnfitcdnfit Posts: 7
    Because of the forum comments about the headlights, before delivery I had the dealer adjust the headlights 2 notches above the specified setting.

    I can see quite well at night with low beam, the signs are illuminated, and no oncoming vehicle has complained about the lights being too high.

    I have tried the Silverstars (North American Sylvania model) on a previous vehicle and my particlular ones burned out extremely quickly and I didn't notice much difference in visibility. I was tempted to return them to the store because they burned out so quickly - but I didn't think the store would have too much sympathy with me.


    In conclusion, just have the dealer adjust the lights to specs and if that doesn't work then go a couple notches higher.
  • pdjacobpdjacob Posts: 7
    Regarding headlamps on lowbeam, thanks for the suggestions. I was stunned the first time I drove at night and on hilly terrain. I couldn't believe I had not seen this issue in the forums I read before purchasing the vehicle. But now that I'm looking for the issue, I see it in the forums. I just left a message with my dealer requesting they adjust the lamps. It IS dangerous, and I don't understand Honda's reasoning behind the extremely limited range of light on low beam. Any clues? Other than that issue, I am loving my one-week-old Fit.
  • fitman548fitman548 Posts: 172
    Some were complaining that you can't see far engouh ahead, or that the signs on the sign of the road are hard to read. There are washers with teeth adjacent with the blbs that you can rotate to change the angle of the light. There was a link to a diagram earlier. The passenger-side washer you can see in plain site. The driver side one is access through a hole in the black plastic, then through another hole. Also, IIRC, turn them counter clockwise to raise them. I of the sets of instructions had it backwards. Park 100 ft from a dark wall when you adjust so you can see the changes.
  • I think it all depends on whether you're standing behind the headlight, or in front of the headlight, whether or not you would call it "clockwise", or "counter-clockwise."

    Here's a diagram, that may help:

    Some have suggested that you mark your phillips-head screwdriver, and count the number of times you rotate the screwdriver. That didn't work for me, because the screwdriver would slip sometimes, and I wouldn't get a proper count. It was also hard to keep track of the screwdriver mark, while trying to keep an eye on how far up the headlight beam was working its way up my brick wall.

    I found it easiest to place a mark on the edge of the "gear", and then keep track of the number of times it spun around instead. I was running about 12 wrist twists of the screwdriver, to make one full rotation of the "gear."
  • fitman548fitman548 Posts: 172
    that diagram makes it seem like there are two adjusters of each side. Is that right? One for hi and lo beams? Also, that diagram is misleading because you go at the washer from the side, not straight down through a hole. Right? I'll have to double check later today.
  • I think the original diagram came from a non-US/Canada car, so it's probably different from ours. If you go back and take a look now, I've just replaced the diagram with an actual picture of my car, with a screwdriver sticking out of the "gear", for clarity.

    The label that you see, showing "Up (left arrow)" and "Down (right arrow)" refers to the direction that you should see the gear teeth moving, as viewed from the top of the gear. So, for the headlights to move "Up", the gear moves left.

    On the driver's side, you have to rotate the screwdriver, so that you get the same effect (gear rotating to the left, as viewed from the top, to raise the headlights):

    This is what lurks beneath the plastic shield on the driver's side. It really makes it a pain in the butt to see what's going on, underneath it. You can also see where I marked the gear, and added the left/up, right/down sticker:

    I hope I haven't confused anyone, more than they may already be! :surprise: :blush:
  • The Fit manual says that when the maintenance minder comes on (signalling time for an oil change, for instance) that "This indicator goes off when your dealer resets it after completing the required maintenance service."

    Does that mean ONLY the dealer can reset it?

    Does that mean if I change my own oil or have a non-dealer mechanic change it that the indicator will remain on?

    Or is there some way for a non-dealer to reset the indicator?

    I would be very, very annoyed if I HAD to go to a Honda dealer to turn the indicator off
  • It should allow you to do it yourself. I haven't tried, but I am wondering if you just hold the button down (like resetting the trip odometer) when the oil change section is showing.
  • On our 2001/2002 Civics, you would begin with your car shut off. Press and hold the select/reset button in the instrument panel, then turn the ignition switch ON (but don't start it!). Keep holding down the button, until it beeps, and the message goes away (about 10 seconds).

    The Fit reset may work in the same way - may not.
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