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Discussion Starter #1
I have a rebuilt 2011 Pilot. The accident it was in damaged the rear hatch, so it has a replacement rear hatch from another Pilot. I purchased it after the crash and rebuild, so I don't have a lot of details about what happened.

Several features of the rear hatch do not work properly (or at all), and I'm trying to figure out how to fix them.

works:
  • license plate lights
  • button on hatch handle to open the hatch
  • far rear interior dome light
does not work:
  • the button near license plate light to open the glass
  • key fob button to open glass/hatch
  • button on the driver's door to open rear hatch
  • rear window wiper (moves 40% across, then back when you first activate it, then does nothing else.)
Here is what I have tried:
  • Checked all fuses in the engine compartment, in both fuse boxes. (I did not check the rear fuses, because as far as I can tell in the manual, none affect the rear hatch)
  • Checked all wiring in the hatch - it all looks OK to me. The main wire bundle plugs where the hatch attaches have matching wire colors on both sides of each plug. Nothing appears hand-wired, it all appears to be factory to me.
  • If I disconnect either of the two main wire bundles to the rear hatch, the "open" button no longer works, so it seems like both of these are necessary for the function that works... so it seems likely they are attached at the other side and that the connection is OK that this one function works.
What I have considered could be wrong:
  • My guesses fall into two categories, either one root issue causes all of these symptoms (like a bad shared ground), or individual causes for each problem
  • The wiper problem could be a bad wiper motor (do these have internal position sensors that could malfunction and make it only move 40% then stop?), or a bad relay that sometimes works, but not reliably.
  • Perhaps there are wiring issues further down the line from where I'm looking
  • Perhaps the crash shorted something, which fried electronics further down the line from where I'm looking... e.g., bad controller under the dash or something (I don't know how the rear wiper works well enough to know if there is a controller somewhere.)
Thanks for any thoughts, conjectures, or wiring insights!
 

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Have you looked into the rubber boot between the tailgate and chassis that the wire harness goes through? That would be my first guess where a portion of the wiring got damaged. I’m assuming that the wiring harness from the Pilot to the tailgate remained with the original Pilot chassis during the repairs.
 

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If you want to test your ground wire theory disconnect the tailgate wire harnesses. Ohm our between the ground wires from the harness connectors (non-tailgate side) and the Pilot’s chassis. You should get continuity if the wire connection is intact.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions -- I did check the wires inside the rubber boot (and slid the boot back and forth to inspect the entire length of wire inside them) and they looked OK.

I eventually figured out most of the problems. I'll post what I found in a separate response...
 

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I figured out almost everything today (after spending all day on it). Each thing had a separate cause, it was semi-coincidence that there were so many problems in the rear hatch. I say semi-coincidence, because it's clear whoever assembled it just did a bit of a hack-job, so the one "cause" was poor assembly.

Here were the solutions:
  • rear window wiper (moves 40% across, then back when you first activate it, then does nothing else.)
    • The arm was mounted in the wrong position on the rotary shaft. I removed the arm, activated the wipers then turned them off to let it come to a rest at it's natural "stop" position, then re-mounted the arm. It started working perfectly.
  • rear hatch ajar warning light does not work (I didn't previously mention this... I discovered that it too was not working when I spent more time diagnosing today.)
    • They put it back together with a latch from a different model car, which must have a microswitch elsewhere (e.g., not integrated in the latch). The latch has no microswitch, so the wire for the microswitch is just dangling. I'll order a new latch assembly, and I'm confident this will fix it. (If I short together the pins on the dangling wire, the warning light does illuminate.)
  • the button near license plate light to open the glass
  • key fob button to open glass
  • button on the driver's door to open rear glass
    • These three all had the same cause, but I'm not actually 100% sure what it was. I disassembled everything, checked it all, and re-assembled it, and it suddenly started working. It's clear that it was the solenoid that pops the latch that wasn't working, not the interior button, key fob, and exterior button near the license plate lights. I suspect it had a poor ground connection to the body, and just removing the bolts and re-assembling everything grounded it better and fixed the issues.
 
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