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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wife just bought a used 2017 pilot. Dealer says after detailing it now shows charging system problem and the emergency brake indictor light is flashing. Dealer replaced a part today, didn't fix the problem. They are ordering another part which will come in a week. I have no idea what either part is. Dealer is vague. Says the fuse box is fried. Yea right!!!

Anyway, I think water may have made it's way into the ECU (I guess it's also called a PCM) connector. Three connectors on the ECU and two with covers. Can anyone verify if this is correct? Or are they all suppose to have covers.
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Honda dealer or a used car dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Scouring the internet for "Honda ECU connector" the best I could find is a 2008-2011 odyssey ecu picture. Looks like all three connectors have covers. I will also get them to confirm at the dealer. I will also keep this thread updated with the solution to this problem. I have a feeling it's the PCM/ECU itself or a short or loose connection under that one connector without a cover.
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I would guess that the Dealer had never heard of this guy:
 

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All of my cars get the motor at least rinsed when I wash them and then as needed with simple green if I see grimy dirt.

Knock wood only issue I ever had was a bad seal on a sideways Corolla distributor for cap and it would get moisture in there. I replaced the seal and it was better but would also happen in extreme temperature changes and really rainy drives. Of course some common sense and not force spraying into electrical parts might help.

If you think it's those connectors, disconnect battery, pull them off and use an air nozzle, Duster can, quick dry electrical contact cleaner. Give the ends a light coat of dielectric grease and reassemble. You can also do that with some grease on the wire side using a q-tip or similar.

Consider while battery is disconnected cleaning up the body ground contact point. Discussed in other threads, paint insulates and then some water/corrosion on the bolt make for a poor connection. I use Kopr-Shield on all my ground contact points when I clean them up and on the bolt threads when I reassemble.

For cleaning I think Eric the car guy showed the video of a parasitic drain caused by dirt on the battery. I believe the Pilot has an electronic load detector which any odd connection can make it read strange. They do go bad also and can be replaced but dealer I think changes the whole fuse box for that not just the sensor. Others have documented how to replace it.
 

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The Pilot is covered with plastic inside the engine bay, so I don't think water would get into the important things. Your dealer probably sprayed way too much water for there to be some issues. If your dealer is dumb enough to do something like that, they're probably too dumb to repair your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All of my cars get the motor at least rinsed when I wash them and then as needed with simple green if I see grimy dirt.

Knock wood only issue I ever had was a bad seal on a sideways Corolla distributor for cap and it would get moisture in there. I replaced the seal and it was better but would also happen in extreme temperature changes and really rainy drives. Of course some common sense and not force spraying into electrical parts might help.

If you think it's those connectors, disconnect battery, pull them off and use an air nozzle, Duster can, quick dry electrical contact cleaner. Give the ends a light coat of dielectric grease and reassemble. You can also do that with some grease on the wire side using a q-tip or similar.

Consider while battery is disconnected cleaning up the body ground contact point. Discussed in other threads, paint insulates and then some water/corrosion on the bolt make for a poor connection. I use Kopr-Shield on all my ground contact points when I clean them up and on the bolt threads when I reassemble.

For cleaning I think Eric the car guy showed the video of a parasitic drain caused by dirt on the battery. I believe the Pilot has an electronic load detector which any odd connection can make it read strange. They do go bad also and can be replaced but dealer I think changes the whole fuse box for that not just the sensor. Others have documented how to replace it.
Thanks sequoiasoon, I did not know about the electronic load detector and having to replace the whole fuse box makes me think the dealer might be right about "fried fuse box" comment. I recently picked up some electrical contact cleaner spray. I have not used it on anything yet. This may be the first.
 

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I washed the engine of one of my cars years or decades ago....It didn't like it. So now I just let the grime build up.....
 

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I washed the engine of one of my cars years or decades ago....It didn't like it. So now I just let the grime build up.....
Personally I believe that it the reason auto makers installed internal hood releases. There were people going around sneaking a look at dirty engines so they decided to put a stop to it with the internal hood release. 😉
 

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I forgot to mention they sprayed the engine compartment to clean it. I'm assuming with a pressure washer.
Well, if they didn't have an idea about where NOT to spray under the hood, this is your problem I suspect.
 

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This is also why, IMHO, only Squids wash their motorcycles with a water hose, or a pressure washer!

Promotes rust/galvanized corrosion, etc.

Personally, I never use water on my GSXR- and it's really a clean bike!! It stays that way by wiping all the nooks and crannies and surfaces with a rag- with or w/o a solvent like Kerosene on the rag.
I do use generic 'Pledge or Endust' spray on the body work! Excellent results.



I never lift the seat and spray water at the ECU!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update on the condition of our pilot. The charging system error message has gone away on it's own. The emergency brake indicator light is still flickering. I've also sent the dealer the picture of the ECU(PCM) connectors. I asked him to confirm they should all have covers on the cables, no response. They are suppose to pick it up and install a new part this week.

Can any of you confirm all three cables are suppose to have covers on the pilot?
IMG_3713.jpg
 

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I'm guessing the detailer used a pressure washer to spray the engine bay, and forced water into the connectors. As you mentioned, the problem may resolve on its own once it has a chance to dry.

I've cleaned the engine bays on at least 10 different cars with no issues, but used a regular hose on a low pressure spray setting. Using a pressure washer WILL cause problems like this one.

The other possibility is that this is a long-term problem and you've found the reason the car was traded in by the last owner. Any chance you can get the service history on the vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update on this. The "charging system problem" message went away on its own (moisture?). The flashing emergency brake indicator was fixed by the dealer replacing the fuse box closest to the firewall.
 
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