All the power Windows stopped working, all at the same time

Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 HONDA PASSPORT
  • 3.2L
  • V6
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 140,000 MILES
I went to a Pick and pull and found three 95 Honda Passports. I removed 3 master window switches (driver side) and tried all three, nut no luck. Then I got three 30 amp fuses from the same passports. These fuses don't look like normal fuses, they are black with a small red button that you can push in but does not stay in, they have 2 prongs like normal fuses. So I tried each fuse with no luck. I bought a door panel removal kit and one of those testing tools with a light bulb and a pointer type end on it, and a clamp for ground. Now I need to know what to try next. Can you help me? Thank you.
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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 AT 6:52 PM

17 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Normally we start with some diagnostic tests, but in this case a good bet is to start with a visual inspection of the wires between the driver's door hinges. Given the age and mileage, you're due for broken and frayed wires. If that's what you find, I'll share a few tricks.
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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 AT 7:13 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
  • MEMBER
Ok, I 'll try that but how do I get the wires out of the rubber accordion type casing?
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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 AT 7:39 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
"Snap snap" of the rubber gloves! It's time to operate. Actually, those boots usually can be pulled off at each end. There should be a lip that you have to poke back in to seat it when you're done.
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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 AT 7:49 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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Thank you so much! I will try that in the morning and let you know what I find.
Thanks for your help?Marie
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Thursday, January 15th, 2015 AT 8:30 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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There doesn't seem to be any room to do anything after popping out the ends.
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Friday, January 16th, 2015 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
  • MEMBER
Is there any way to get to the wiring if I take the door panel off? Because it seems impossible to do anything between the door and the body, where the hinge is located. There is no room.
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Friday, January 16th, 2015 AT 4:50 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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Can you help me or should I start over from the beginning?
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Friday, January 16th, 2015 AT 6:12 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Nope. Don't start over. Due to a major house fire, I have to drive into town to sit in the library parking lot to use their wireless internet. I only do that once a day.

Typically when we know the cause of the problem has been identified as a wiring problem, most mechanics will remove the trim panel, disconnect all the plugs, pull the harness out of the front of the door, then remove the door and set it to the side. I've never had to resort to that yet. Leaving the door on saves time in that respect but repairing the harness can take longer simply due to the cramped working conditions.

In your case we haven't reached the conclusion yet that the wires are broken so lets start with some electrical tests first. I don't have a service manual handy for your vehicle, but we should be able to start with some basic tests. You do not need to remove the trim panel for the door at this point if you were able to unplug the window switch already.

You can use a digital voltmeter, but for this type of problem, a simple test light can be more accurate. Ground the clip lead for the light to a paint-free point on the body, (not on the door), or a bolt head under the dash, then probe each terminal in the power window switch connector. With the ignition switch on, one of those wires should make the test light light up. If it does not, a broken wire is a good suspect. If the light does light up, that just proves the 12 volt supply wire is okay. There still could be a broken ground wire. At that point I'll want to find a wiring diagram to tell you where to go next.

If it comes to pulling that harness out, you can remove the trim panel from the door, unplug everything, then pull the harness out the front. As an alternative, you might first try pushing that rubber boot into the door to slide it out of the way. I don't know if the hole in the door is big enough, but it would be easier than unplugging everything.
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Friday, January 16th, 2015 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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I am sorry to hear about the house fire :(
Thank you for all the info on what to try next. I will start on this tomorrow as I will need daylight. Will let you know what I find. Hopefully I will find the problem. Do you have any idea of how much a garage would charge to do this?
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Friday, January 16th, 2015 AT 8:09 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I can give you two examples from when I worked for a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership all through the '90s. I did this repair on a few late '80s Grand Caravans. In fact, I'm sitting in an '88 right now freezing my toes off! If the vehicle was out-of-warranty, meaning the owner didn't have an aftermarket service contract, the repair took about two and a half to three hours if it had the maximum of 22 wires for power windows, locks, mirrors, and courtesy light and speaker. I never removed the door, but one other fellow did. Back then we were one of the lowest per hour shops in town, and as I recall, it was around $70.00 per hour. Today most shops have to charge more than $100.00 per hour, and with all the government regulations and taxes, I don't know how they can stay in business charging so little.

If the owner had an aftermarket service contract, first of all, over half of them resulted in "what you need isn't covered". I heard that much too often. When the contract DID cover the repair, the only way the insurance company would cover it was if we replaced the wiring harness with the problem, then sent them the old one to inspect. That harness started inside the driver's door, ran through the "A" pillar into the body where a two-inch square plug had to fished through a one-inch square hole to the fuse box, then it went under the bottom of the windshield to the other side, so that meant removing the steering column and dash, into another connector hidden there, then on to the passenger door, and under the passenger's sill plate and up the "B" pillar to the power lock contacts for the sliding door, and under the carpet to light inside the sliding storage door under the seat. THAT repair took about eight hours, and the new harness was real expensive, as they always are. Then, the company would only pay six hours labor. That means I worked two hours for free, the owner had already paid over $800.00 for the contract, and there was a deductible that he still had to pay. There was also the risk of ending up with a squeak or rattle in the dash.

Connectors are always a sore point in cars because salt and moisture can get in there and corrode the terminals. That's why the engineers made one huge harness instead of multiple smaller ones. It added to the reliability, and they never expected it to have to be replaced. With an extended warranty through Chrysler, they allowed us to repair the harness, and paid the full amount of time it took us.

As you can see, as is usually the case, service contracts are not a good value, at least back then. Today cars have so many unnecessary, unreliable, and complicated computers to do things we never needed them for before, but you have to be careful if you buy one of those over-priced contracts. Most exclude computers and other electrical repairs. Also, with the aftermarket ones, repair shops have such a hard time getting paid, so now they make the owners pay the repair bill, then they let them try to get reimbursed. The contract companies usually respond to the owners faster.
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Friday, January 16th, 2015 AT 10:37 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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I tested each wire in the plug and only one turned on the light on tester. I removed door panel, tried to get the wiring in door hinge but could not pull through hole in door.
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Saturday, January 17th, 2015 AT 5:22 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Next I would look inside the "A" pillar to see if that harness has a plug that can be disconnected. You have to look at how a vehicle goes together quickly on the assembly line. It's likely one person guided the door into place while another pulled the harness in and connected it. The most anyone gets on any assembly line is up to about 20 seconds to do their task, so installing that harness isn't going to involve stringing a long, complicated assembly into place.

If you do find a plug inside the body, my suspicion is they intended for the door to be removed if there is insufficient clearance to work on it.

Since you found 12 volts on one of the switch wires, and since the trim panel is off, plug the switch back in, then test for 12 volts on the two wires at the window motor. You can unplug the connector to test each wire individually, but if you DO find voltage on one wire, reconnect the plug, then test on both wires by back-probing through the connector.

Testing at the motor must be done for this part when you press the window switch. You should have 12 volts on one wire when you press the switch one way, and the other wire when you press it the other way. With the connector still plugged in, if you find 12 volts on both wires regardless of which way you press the switch, the ground wire is broken, or there's a bad contact inside the switch. The bad contact is unlikely since you already tried multiple switches.
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Sunday, January 18th, 2015 AT 12:48 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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Thank you, I have read your latest instructions three times already. Trying to understand. I don't know what the "A pillar" is. I will try to follow your instructions as best I can, it's a little confusing for someone who's never done this, wish me luck? Will wait till morning to start on it. Thanks for your time and expertise. Will let you know what I find.
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Sunday, January 18th, 2015 AT 7:19 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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The pillars are what supports the roof, and they're lettered from front to rear. The front door hinges are attached to the "A" pillar. The latch for the front doors is on the "B" pillar, etc.

I forgot to mention too to look if there are plugs on each end of the wiring harness between the hinges. They use those on Jeeps so the harness can be quickly unbolted and repaired on the work bench.
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Monday, January 19th, 2015 AT 4:20 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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I was not able to get any further today, I will have more time tomorrow. Hopefully I will have something to tell you about my progress. Thank you for your help.
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Monday, January 19th, 2015 AT 7:59 PM
Tiny
IMPOSSIBLE12
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I am having a tough time with this. There are so many wires and plugs and I don't know what those black boxes are behind the kick panel on the drivers side. This is behind the fuse box.I removed the panel that's on the inside, bottom left. This is where the black boxes are, and then lots of wires wi th plugs that are plugged together. Not sure what to do.
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Saturday, January 31st, 2015 AT 9:47 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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There has to be a way that harness got installed at the factory. If nothing unplugs easily from inside the car, each connector will have to be unplugged in the door, then the harness gets pulled out that way. That would seem to be the most time-consuming way to do it on the assembly line.

They don't normally provide instructions for things like this in the manufacturer's service manuals either. You might try asking a mechanic at the dealership. For sure someone will have done this already.

Since you found 12 volts at one wire at the driver's switch, check for voltage at the two wires at the motor when you press the switch. If you press the switch either way, then find voltage on both motor wires at the same time, the ground wire is broken.
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Monday, February 2nd, 2015 AT 11:22 AM

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