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Old 04/02/2013, 10:59 AM   #1
onebad636
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Default HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

I have had this issue since I got the car up and running last year, and its to the point where its just pissing me off. I need someone with some electrical experience to either trace this or give me some input on what I need to do.... and I will say that I did a tuck on this car.

So, here are the issues I have noticed.
1. With the ignition off or in position (I), when I turn on the headlights, the main relay and dash lights go BONKERS!

2. When I start the car, the reverse lights are constantly on when my lights are NOT on, but go away when I turn the lights to either position.

3. Because of the reverse lights, I have to turn on my lights (either position). If I shut the car off with the lights on (once again, either position) the motor continues to run and sounds FUCKING AWFUL! Seriously, to the point where it seems like the ignition is being cut and/or creating knocking. This is the part that really concerns me, but I'm nearly positive these issues are linked.....

4. The last thing, and not sure if this is linked to my other issues or if it's a bunk ECU. I am running an S300 in a P28, and when the ecu gets hot, the motor cuts out super fast then will kick back in (almost bucking at times). It is almost if the battery cable is being shorted out (its not, just the feeling). King Motorsports had this issue, and tried a new ECU and they said they didn't have the issue again.... so what should I look for in the ECU that causes this issue?

I appreciate the help in advance, hopefully someone will be able to give me a little info on this! Cheers

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Old 04/02/2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

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Originally Posted by onebad636 View Post
I have had this issue since I got the car up and running last year, and its to the point where its just pissing me off. I need someone with some electrical experience to either trace this or give me some input on what I need to do.... and I will say that I did a tuck on this car.

So, here are the issues I have noticed.
1. With the ignition off or in position (I), when I turn on the headlights, the main relay and dash lights go BONKERS!

2. When I start the car, the reverse lights are constantly on when my lights are NOT on, but go away when I turn the lights to either position.

3. Because of the reverse lights, I have to turn on my lights (either position). If I shut the car off with the lights on (once again, either position) the motor continues to run and sounds FUCKING AWFUL! Seriously, to the point where it seems like the ignition is being cut and/or creating knocking. This is the part that really concerns me, but I'm nearly positive these issues are linked.....

4. The last thing, and not sure if this is linked to my other issues or if it's a bunk ECU. I am running an S300 in a P28, and when the ecu gets hot, the motor cuts out super fast then will kick back in (almost bucking at times). It is almost if the battery cable is being shorted out (its not, just the feeling). King Motorsports had this issue, and tried a new ECU and they said they didn't have the issue again.... so what should I look for in the ECU that causes this issue?

I appreciate the help in advance, hopefully someone will be able to give me a little info on this! Cheers
I'd start by cleaning all the ground wires, making sure they are fastened. when did these symptoms start? any issues present before you did the tuck? I very well could be the ECU but then again, what caused the ECU to fry? Seems fishy to me


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Old 04/03/2013, 12:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

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I'd start by cleaning all the ground wires, making sure they are fastened. when did these symptoms start? any issues present before you did the tuck? I very well could be the ECU but then again, what caused the ECU to fry? Seems fishy to me
Every ground has been cleaned with a file, sandpaper, wire brush.... everything and anything. I thought it was my grounds as well, but it is not.

The symptoms started as soon as the car was put back together (to my knowledge), as I didn't notice the issues until the car was on the dyno at King. When I bought the car, the motor was hydrolocked, and everything was functioning normally to my knowledge. The car spent the next 3 years being redone, and the tuck was done during this time. Also, the ECU is not fried, it only acts up when when its gets hot.

What I noticed is that when I unplug the reverse light switch on the harness OR remove the FI fuse, the issue with the lights and main relay no longer occur. I think I need to get my hands on an obd2b harness and figure out where the issue is, either the engine harness or dash harness(which I believe it is).

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Old 04/03/2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

damn, sounds like it may be a bitch to fix. good luck either way


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Old 04/03/2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

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damn, sounds like it may be a bitch to fix. good luck either way
you sir are correct! thanks

anyone else wanna give this a shot?

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Old 04/04/2013, 09:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

Ok, so I know this will sound SUPER CRAZY but you said give it a shot and i am.......do this for me and let me know what you find out:

I want you to go through ALL the bulbs on the rear tail lights. Take one out at a time and make sure 100% that the bulb that goes into place is the correct one. I had a similar issue with a customer car a long time ago where the dash lights would do the same...then if you hit the brakes the lights dimed and the dash lights would turn on....when the brake pedal was let go all the lights would act as if the brake pedal was pressed in....some weird shit. After changing and looking around I went to check the bulbs on tail lights and found someone shoved an 1156 (single filament) bulb into location where an 1157 was supposed to be in. Once I switched it the car went back to normal.

Again I know it is a huge long shot and it sounds like it could never happen but it is worth a try (happened to me)......just check to make sure if it is single or double filament.....on both trunk and outer......do the same for up front.

As for the ecu I would (if there isn't any manufacturer's warranty) crack it open and check for any parts of the board that look potentially damaged, burnt or have sings of corrosion. If you see any capacitors triple check that they aren't leaking or have sings of swelling (some tend to expand under heat and what not and explode....which then could leak onto board.and cause all sorts of hell.) Something else to look at are solder points on each aspect of that board....depending on how old the ecu is, these solder points can potentially have stress fractures which can sometimes cause the components to not properly function....specially when heat is applied in any form (whether it be from within the board or outside source). Main relays are notorious for having stress marks like that and can be triggered by heat.....which I can normally solder back up and re-install in vehicle.

Let me know if any of it helps in any way at all........otherwise issue could likely be inside vehicle or and issue within the wires that were tucked.

Last edited by importsusa; 04/04/2013 at 10:05 PM.

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Old 04/08/2013, 01:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

Quote:
Originally Posted by importsusa View Post
Ok, so I know this will sound SUPER CRAZY but you said give it a shot and i am.......do this for me and let me know what you find out:

I want you to go through ALL the bulbs on the rear tail lights. Take one out at a time and make sure 100% that the bulb that goes into place is the correct one. I had a similar issue with a customer car a long time ago where the dash lights would do the same...then if you hit the brakes the lights dimed and the dash lights would turn on....when the brake pedal was let go all the lights would act as if the brake pedal was pressed in....some weird shit. After changing and looking around I went to check the bulbs on tail lights and found someone shoved an 1156 (single filament) bulb into location where an 1157 was supposed to be in. Once I switched it the car went back to normal.

Again I know it is a huge long shot and it sounds like it could never happen but it is worth a try (happened to me)......just check to make sure if it is single or double filament.....on both trunk and outer......do the same for up front.

As for the ecu I would (if there isn't any manufacturer's warranty) crack it open and check for any parts of the board that look potentially damaged, burnt or have sings of corrosion. If you see any capacitors triple check that they aren't leaking or have sings of swelling (some tend to expand under heat and what not and explode....which then could leak onto board.and cause all sorts of hell.) Something else to look at are solder points on each aspect of that board....depending on how old the ecu is, these solder points can potentially have stress fractures which can sometimes cause the components to not properly function....specially when heat is applied in any form (whether it be from within the board or outside source). Main relays are notorious for having stress marks like that and can be triggered by heat.....which I can normally solder back up and re-install in vehicle.

Let me know if any of it helps in any way at all........otherwise issue could likely be inside vehicle or and issue within the wires that were tucked.
Wish I would have checked this thread when I was home this weekend working on the car! It's kinda funny you say the taillights, as I thought that at one point in time it may have been the wiring (had some ebay tails in it before and the wires were not OEM, but I went and got some stock pigtails....didn't solve it). However, I have not replaced any bulbs, so that it a very good idea to check those out! Its almost hard to believe that Hondas are that sensitive to something like bulbs.....?

As far as the ECU goes, I will do some more looking. I took it apart not too long ago to make sure the S300 was seated properly, but I didn't really look for anything else. I will do this stuff this weekend and I will give you an update. Thank you for the help, I greatly appreciate it!

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Old 04/10/2013, 07:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

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Its almost hard to believe that Hondas are that sensitive to something like bulbs.....?
It isn't so much sensitivity....it is the fact that if the socket is meant to have an 1157 dual filament and a one filament 1156 is put into place and locked in, the bottom of that single will touch both positions and cause it to bridge. What was EXTREMELY weird to me was the fact that with it doing that it never popped any of the fuses.
Worth trying, never hurts to try.

Good luck though man......those electrical issues can truly be a huge pain in the ass.


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Old 04/15/2013, 06:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

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It isn't so much sensitivity....it is the fact that if the socket is meant to have an 1157 dual filament and a one filament 1156 is put into place and locked in, the bottom of that single will touch both positions and cause it to bridge. What was EXTREMELY weird to me was the fact that with it doing that it never popped any of the fuses.
Worth trying, never hurts to try.

Good luck though man......those electrical issues can truly be a huge pain in the ass.
Alright, so I did a little troubleshooting this weekend..... and I'm stumped, STILL!

After thinking I had the wrong bulbs in the reverse light sockets, I pulled them. There was an 1157 in there... which had me a little confused. There is NO WAY IN HELL that an 1156 can fit in the socket without modifying the socket or bulb itself. The other thing that has me confused is the reasoning behind using a dual filament bulb in a light that doesn't see two inputs like in the brake/running lights..... I'm terrible at electrical stuff, so maybe I'm not thinking about this correctly.

Here is the bulb I pulled


Here is an 1156 for reference


Now, the car did have aftermarket tails when I got it.... I'm a little curious to know if I have the stock taillight harnesses or not. They are marked Stanley, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're OEM Honda. Here is a diagram I whipped up super fast, pardon the terrible artwork. Can anyone confirm if this is correct or not?



I also noticed that when I removed the reverse light from the bulbs that the main relay clicking stopped. So now I'm thinking I have a pinch/short in the engine harness.... which I'm not happy about

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Old 04/15/2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

Your reverse light trigger is on the transmission. It should have 12v on one wire when not in reverse and key on, and 12v on both wires when in reverse with key on. Check for continuity between it and the back up lights fuse socket. Then check that your reverse light socket is properly seeing ground on one pin. Should be the black wire.

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Old 04/19/2013, 10:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

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Your reverse light trigger is on the transmission. It should have 12v on one wire when not in reverse and key on, and 12v on both wires when in reverse with key on. Check for continuity between it and the back up lights fuse socket. Then check that your reverse light socket is properly seeing ground on one pin. Should be the black wire.
I'll give that a shot, thanks Mike

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Old 04/22/2013, 12:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

so, over the weekend I did a bit of work on the old girl. Nothing major, I just wanted to test the reverse switch. I pulled the plug and jumped the harness. So, when I pulled the plug the reverse lights went off. Then, when I jumped the harness the reverse lights came on......

I am under the impression that the switch is bad from the research I have done. I tried to get voltage readings, but my voltmeter somehow is totally F'd! I am going to get a new switch and see whether or not that will fix the crazy main relay issue I'm having.

I will keep you updated. I greatly appreciate the help you guys have given this far!

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Old 04/22/2013, 03:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

Well, if your switch is stuck, that would definitely cause one issue, the lights remaining on at all times, but I don't believe that would cause an issue like what you are having with the interior lights, dash lights, and main relay. Get a good, working DMM, and troubleshoot the wiring. When you unplugged that harness, it just eliminated a ground connection or a +12v connection, depending on where the switch was resting.

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Old 04/22/2013, 05:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

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Well, if your switch is stuck, that would definitely cause one issue, the lights remaining on at all times, but I don't believe that would cause an issue like what you are having with the interior lights, dash lights, and main relay. Get a good, working DMM, and troubleshoot the wiring. When you unplugged that harness, it just eliminated a ground connection or a +12v connection, depending on where the switch was resting.
That was my thought exactly.... HOWEVER, when I pull the plug the lights go out and the relay clicking goes away. So I tested it with the plug pulled and jumped, and there was NO relay clicking.

I never removed the sensor, but this leads me to believe that the sensor is creating the issue with the main relay..... I ordered a new switch, and I'll be working on it Friday and update my findings. I'm just hoping that the sensor will be it, but I fear that one of the harnesses is shorting out somewhere along the way

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Old 05/06/2013, 12:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: HELP! Electrical Gremlins EM1

So here's a little update. Last week I picked up a back-light switch (reverse light switch) from Honda. As soon as I put it in, the crazy relay and dash lights stopped. I now have functioning reverse lights thankfully! However, I decided to dig a bit deeper, and threw the car in reverse with the ignition OFF. Here is where I noticed the clicking and flashing returned when the lights were turned on. So, there has to be a short or something which is only triggered by the reverse lights being on?..... now I'm plain confused. I'm saying screw it since I have reverse lights and the relay is no longer funky, so thank you to everyone who helped a brother out!

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