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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HVAC controls (fan for the interior), stereo, and cigarette lighter

i assume all three of these things are on the same circuit, and i have a problem with them.

sometimes when i start my car, none of the above mentioned electronics work.

sometimes, they work fine, but after a while of driving, the power fades away to nothing, and doesnt come back.

when this originally happened i figured it was a fuse, but since it is intemittent failure, and it FADES away instead of just shutting off immediately, i dont think it could be a fuse. its weird because when it starts to fade, the fan power goes dull, as if my battery is low. sometimes it comes back a bit stronger, but usually just fades until no power at all.

anyone know what the heck this could be? loose wiring somewhere? im hoping i dont have to rip my dash apart to find out what the eff is going on. none of my other electronics are having any problems, my headlights work, wiper motor works, getting good power to my spark plugs, and the rear defroster is working strong.

i NEED fan control because its snowing like stink around here, and my windows fog up at the drop of a hat. i dont like driving around with my windows down, cold air making my ears get frostbite. frostbite is still better than a wrecked car and insurance hassle cuz i couldnt see, but warm and toasty hands and ears AND the ability to see would be super keen.

any input is very appreciated.
 

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It could be a bad ground. I have an electrical troubleshooting manual that you can take a look at if you want. That should help you isolate the problem.
 

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If it's just the fan and not the mode/recirc controls that die, I'm going say it's a failing ignition switch. The radio and lighter outlet just click off at some point instead of fading the way the fan does, right?
The blower fan, cigarette lighter and radio's switched power are all dependant on a single power supply contact inside the ignition switch... The mode controls are on the other supply contact.
My theory goes like this: The contacts are worn down to the point that there's barely anything left for power to flow through. Forcing power through a conductor that's too small produces heat. The electrical resistance of most (maybe all¿) materials goes up when they are heated. Resistance limits the flow of electrical current, which is something the blower needs a fair amount of. The radio and lighter just plain shut off because they aren't getting power directly from the failing switch contact... They get power through a relay that is only activated by the ignition switch. There's more electrical resistance through the relay's coil than there is through the blower motor, so when the supply of electrical current gets choked off, the power takes the easiest route and the relay switches off.
To recap, a section of your ignition switch is worn out, overheating and consequently cutting off power to the devices down stream.
The solution? If you're short on cash, you can try cleaning the switch contacts and maybe smoothing out the contacts with a small file. Unfortunately, that's only a temporary solution... You will need a new switch at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i just talked to my dad and he sugested the ignition switch too.

ill assume this will cost me hundreds of dollars to fix (exaggeration, or is it :p)... right before christmas too :(

as far as the radio and cig lighter, i dont THINK they fade out... i dont know how i could tell if my cig lighter fades, and i cant really remember for certain, but i think my radio just turns off.

i think ill try and take apart the ignition switch first, since it is the easier of the two disassemblies (i dont WANT to take my dash apart) and clean the contacts. if that doesnt work, at least my ignition switch contacts are clean. ill have to take a look at that electrical manual just to familiarize myself with what im getting into.

thanks bobski and stickershop. you guys are awesome
 

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I would also tend to suspect a ground concern.
Theres a main ground at the drivers side kick panel to the left of the clutch(behind the plastic panel).
I'd start there.
 

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Stavros said:
ill assume this will cost me hundreds of dollars to fix
Link.
The switch is number 7.
- Remove the steering wheel (pry out the Honda emblem, remove the 17mm nut and wiggle the wheel untill it pulls free). Remove the the screws from the lower column cover and the metal ring holding the two cover halves together (the ring would have been just under the lip of the steering wheel). Separate and remove the column cover halves. Remove the two screws holding the ignition switch to the back of the lock body and pull the switch free. Follow the wires down to their connectors and unplug them.
 

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I forgot to mention... I have a spare brand new ignition switch. If you need to swap it out to test for that possibility, let me know. You're free to borrow it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks again to all for added info and instructions.

it is unfortunately too cold outside to work on anything. i dont have gloves and my hands will freeze. its snowing like mad

call me a wuss if you want, but im sitting in my house with the heaters on and a big blanket wrapped around myself. i HATE being cold
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
for whatever reason, my electrical problem has disappeared. i have no idea why, or how... i didnt kick anything or even take anything apart and my heater, stereo and cig lighter are all working just fine.

i wish all my car's problems would fix themselves. but then it wouldnt be as much fun to own and operate it.
 
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