2006 Honda CRV Main Engine Wire Harness

Tiny
PHROZENBLUR
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 HONDA CRV
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 60,000 MILES
My CRV was visited by a squirrel (I saw when it happen) that bit clean through one wire and exposed the second wire of the 2 wires coolant temperature sensor connector. Honda (Honda dealership's technician anyway) says the only proper way to repair this is by replacing the entire engine harness. The technician says that if he only repairs the 2 damaged wires that the voltage information sent back to the computer could be slightly squewed and would effect emissions and engine performance. Honda wants 8 hours to replace the harness and another $500+ for the part totaling $1,800+ for everything. To add to this problem, the dashboard lights, along with the check engine light, are showing that the VSA is disabled and that there is a problem with the VSA system. This indicates that there is possibly something wrong with the ECU computer or there are more wires that have been compromised.

While my insurance does cover the repair it does so with a $1,000 deductible.

So, the question is this, is there any reason I shouldn't just have the temerature sensor wires repaired instead of replaced? Since I won't even know if the computer is bad until that time?
I work with computers and I used to work with cars and I think it's bunk that a properly repaired wire connection would cause any problems with anything.

Of course, if the ecu and or vsa components are bad I will likely have to spend the $1,000 deductible to get those components fixed since that will not be a cheap repair.

Stupid squirrel.
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Monday, June 28th, 2010 AT 3:18 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi PhrozenBlur. Welcome to the forum. The engineers are doing a lot of really unnecessarily insane things to cost customers a lot of money, but unless there is something I'm not aware of, you are correct that the wires can be repaired. To add to the story, there is a huge selection of replacement connectors with a few inches of wire available at the parts stores to replace damaged connectors. The wires for those new connectors are spliced to the original harness without causing any problems.

Your mechanic may have had a bad experience after soldering a wiring repair in the past. A poor solder job can cause problems, especially in a high-current circuit. The coolant temperature sensor circuit is an extremely low-current circuit. The sensor already has a very high resistance. Adding a little more resistance from a less than perfect splice will not have an appreciable affect on the sensor's reading.

There is one thing to be aware of though. The only proper way to repair the wires is to solder them together, then slide heat-shrink tubing over the splices. No mechanical connectors are acceptable under the hood or where water can spray onto them. Those squeeze-type repair connectors are for people who are too lazy to do the job right. Outside of the passenger compartment, you are guaranteed they will allow corrosion to take place and you'll have intermittent problems in the future. Also, heat-shrink tubing with sealant inside is available for a water-tight joint.

As for the sensor's reading being "skewed", no two sensors will read exactly the same resistance at a given temperature and the engineers know that. So does the Engine Computer. He knows that after the engine has been off for a certain period of time and has cooled down, the coolant temperature sensor had better be reporting the same temperature as an ambient air temperature sensor or battery temperature sensor, or the sensing resistor inside a mass air flow sensor. The computer reconciles those readings and learns when one of those sensors has been replaced. Adding a little resistance to the circuit by repairing the wires will have a lot less affect on the readings than simply replacing the sensor.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 AT 12:01 AM
Tiny
PHROZENBLUR
  • MEMBER
Hello Caradiodoc,

Thank you for the quick reply, the advice, and the explanation all of which helps out a lot. Now all I have to figure out is if I still trust getting my vehicle repaired by this place.
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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 AT 11:38 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You're welcome. But remember, the most important part of my reply is "unless there's something I'm not aware of".

You might inquire at a Honda dealership to see if they ever heard of having to replace the entire harness. Another possibility is to look for an Automotive program at a nearby community college. I was always looking for cars for my students to practice on and performing quality electrical repairs was one of the most important things they needed to learn. There's nothing saying you can't make the repairs yourself. It doesn't take much to learn how to solder. Just be sure to slide a piece of heat-shrink tubing onto one of the wires before you splice them together. This is no place to be using electrical tape if you want to prevent future problems.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 AT 3:14 PM
Tiny
PHROZENBLUR
  • MEMBER
Hello Again Caradiodoc,

I just wanted to note that the CRV is at a Honda dealership and it is one of their technicians that is making this claim. The Honda technician is saying that Honda recommends the replacement of the entire harness. Even if I had the money to throw around or the repair was cheaper, I hesitate to have anyone do the inevitable dashboard removal and wire rerouting because I have never had anyone put everything back the way it was originally installed. But in this case it seems to be an especially unnecessary repair. On top of that the technician said that there wouldn't be any warranty for the repair because it should be replaced and not repaired.
(To reiterate, I have seen the wires/connector and there is NOTHING special about any of it.)

I voiced my concerns to the Service Writer about the repair and the troublesome explanation I received from the technician. I explained that I was willing to have them repair the wire if it was done correctly but I wanted to let him know where I stood. He said he would speak with Service Manager and get back to me that day or the next morning. Unfortunately, I spoke with him on Wednesday, it is now Friday night and I haven't heard bupkus.

Thank you again for your experience and insight.
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Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 AT 1:53 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Time to seek out a community college or an independent repair shop that has someone good with electrical repairs. Your current mechanic could be biased due to a past negative experience but that doesn't mean all of his future customers should should pay for his skittishness.

Caradiodoc
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Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 AT 1:33 PM

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