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Beth Stackpole
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Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Beth Stackpole   2/29/2012 6:57:10 AM
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Was the solder bridge a result of the impact or was it a glitch that occurred unrelated to the accident? I have to applaud your detective work. I wish the larger pool of appliance repair men/women and mechanics had similar tenacity to stay on a problem!

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Ann R. Thryft   2/29/2012 1:35:05 PM
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I'm curious, too, about the origin of the solder bridge. It sounds like something that either was there to start with in the factory--but then shouldn't it have caused this problem a lot sooner?--or that it occurred at the body shop during the door's post-accident repair.


TomM
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Iron
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
TomM   2/29/2012 4:31:11 PM
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I am pretty sure the body shop installed a used door and suspect that the original owners of the door had the problem since it was new.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   2/29/2012 2:35:02 PM
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I've spent half a lifetime examining mother boards and solder joints under a microscope and have often found things that make me wonder where the QA process is at many world-class companies.  Your example of solder bridging is likely root caused as too much solder on the connector joints, and further root caused to poor stencil & pad design at the PCB layout stage.  

If you're familiar with high volume manufacturing of electronics, you know that each electrical component, (in this case, switches) comes from it's manufacture with a recommended PCB hole pattern, or a recommended solder-pad  layout if an SMD device.  Its up to the PCB designer to follow the recommendation, or the "fault" can be pointed to the switch manufacture for bad solder joint design. In the case of Honda, its surprising that solder bridging is occurring on a world class car like an Odyssey.

JimT@Future-Product-Innovations
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Blogger
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
JimT@Future-Product-Innovations   2/29/2012 2:42:02 PM

Come to think of it, your opening line was, ",,,hit in the driver-side door".  I would speculate that the body shop may have opted for a non-factory-authorized replacement module after the factory window module was destroyed.  

Like Mr. Goodwrench always used to say, "Insist on Genuine {GM} Parts".  Third –party component manufactures have no responsibility for the overall quality of an electrical system, because they have "no skin in the game", so to speak.  They are trying only to peddle after-market modules.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Larry M   3/1/2012 9:51:57 AM
JimT wrote:

Third –party component manufactures have no responsibility for the overall quality of an electrical system, because they have "no skin in the game", so to speak.  They are trying only to peddle after-market modules.


Jim, you are painting the aftermarket with too broad a brush. Virtually all of the high-mounted brakelights on 2000-2006 Suburbans, Tahoes, Yukons, Yukon XLs, and CK-1500 pickups failed within a few years. The GM list price for that part is $223.00. (The GM parts counterman said "No, we don't think it's unreasonable to replace that part every few years for $223.00.) There is no ECO on this part--they sell you the same weak-sister part that you got originally.

One very prominent manufacturer of aftermarket parts boasts that they re-engineered the part to eliminate the failure modes. Their replacement part can be had for as little as $43.00.

Which would you buy?

anatech
User Rank
Iron
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
anatech   3/1/2012 5:23:57 PM
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Hi Jim

"One very prominent manufacturer of aftermarket parts boasts that they re-engineered the part to eliminate the failure modes. Their replacement part can be had for as little as $43.00.

Which would you buy?"


In this case, a GM that I would repair the lamp in.  :)

To answer a question like this, most of us require a lot more information to go on.  After considering my experiences with well over 25 cars, the answer is easy.  BTW, look at the "Black" or "Red" book values on cars after they are 5 years old.  That is a reasonably reliable indicator on how much that model is worth.

You may have guessed our family has a lot of experience in the auto industry, and you would be right.  In this case, that door was probably taken off another vehicle and maybe repainted to match.  That is common practice and there is normally nothing wrong with that.  And yes, the vehicle the door came from had this fault from when it was brand new.  But, the used door is better than yours repaired in this case.  The original door would never have been the same, and probably have been very noisy.


Other cars to consider?  A KIA (one saved my life) or BMW.  Saab makes a really cool car too, and they are quiet at speed (not a surprise considering they make fighter planes too).

 

-Chris




Larry M
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Platinum
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Larry M   3/1/2012 5:56:31 PM
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anatech wrote:

"One very prominent manufacturer of aftermarket parts boasts that they re-engineered the part to eliminate the failure modes. Their replacement part can be had for as little as $43.00.

Which would you buy?"

In this case, a GM that I would repair the lamp in.  :)"

Uhhh, I don't think so. The assembly consists of two pieces of plastic bonded together so well that they can only be separated destructively. I am going to cut two failed assemblies open to determint the exact failure modes, but these will not be suitable for reassembly.

I've repaired a lot of "non-repairable" things, and will probably repair these, but they won't be reusable.

Anatech also wrote:

"Saab makes a really cool car too, ..."

Uhhh, yeah. Click and Clack (Tom and Ray Magliozzi) described Saab as a car put together by designers who never looked at how anyone else was doing it. Battery under the driver's seat? Clutch out in front, under the radiator? How about those 1998-2001s which all had the premature transmission failure that required a $2700 replacement unit. There was a reason why GM dumped them, and a reason why no one else would have them.

 

 

 

anatech
User Rank
Iron
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
anatech   3/1/2012 6:44:53 PM
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Hi Larry,

You wouldn't believe what I have successfully repaired.  When it comes to cars, the cost serves as effective motivator!  All the repair needs to do is work, and fit mechanically where the original did (looking nice helps too).  That being said, all cars have their problems.  The best you can do is to buy the ones that hurt you the least on average.

All companies have a "corporate personality".  That does not tend to change much over the years unless a company comes down with a fatal case of "bean counters".  Then all bets are off!

I'm going to guess that you haven't actually driven a Saab.  I have, and unless you have spent a few hours in a car driving over a large distance, you really don't know anything about it at all.  Take care when reading reports from magasine writers though.  That applies to most consumer products as well.

 

Back to the topic at hand though ...

I think Thomas did some excellent detective work and solved his problem rather than dinging Honda for it.  There will always be isolated cases where extremely odd faults are found.  Now, who's at fault here?  Does it matter if it is an isolated case?

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Larry M   3/1/2012 9:57:27 AM
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Hmm.  Wait until we start tracing these faults to tin-whiskers due to the misguided European RoHS campaign.

Ooops. I'm sorry.  We'ce already done that.  Look for the reports on tin whiskers in the Toyota throttle-by-wire unit.

By the way, has anyone else noted that the rich-text posting editor doesn't work. My last post used the indent feature, but the indent was once the post went live.

Martin.Stoehr
User Rank
Iron
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Martin.Stoehr   3/1/2012 4:52:21 PM
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Martin.Stoehr
User Rank
Iron
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Martin.Stoehr   3/1/2012 5:04:15 PM
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Now I may have to retract my last post after reading a little more on the subject.  Sorry about that--I am always the skeptic, sometimes in the wrong direction.

Larry M
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
Larry M   3/1/2012 5:58:04 PM
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Found the actual photographs, did you, Martin? Very scary, aren't they.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Faulty windows a result of the accident?
naperlou   2/29/2012 10:52:26 PM
Appliance repair men work in modules.  They will generally only replace defective FRUs.  We had a problem with one a while ago.  It was in a double oven.  The repair guy told us that the module was no longer manufactured, so he could not fix it.  He suggested replacing the oven.  Oh, by the way, the new ones were slightly different in size (same manufacturer, mind you). 

Well, I isolated the problem to a component, which would need to be replaced.  I decided to have the module repaired when we found that there were places that did that.  One of them was near by, so I took it in rather than shipping it.  It works fine now.  For about $150 I avoided a purchase of over $2,000.  It pays to fix, rather than to replace.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Thank the structural engineers
Charles Murray   2/29/2012 11:15:45 PM
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I don't know how hard the author was hit, or how he was hit, but it's interesting to note that minivans (such as the Odyssey) didn't have large sliding doors on the driver's side for many years because they couldn't provide sufficient torsional stiffness when they had big door openings on both sides (remember how minivans only had one sliding door a few years back?). Sounds like all that FEA work on the Odyssey's space frame did its job.

Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Precession soldering
Mydesign   3/1/2012 1:30:03 AM
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1 saves
It seems that the author have a good debugging knowledge and analytical skill. The entire malfunctioning happens because of the soldering problem and it implies to the accuracy in precession soldering.

RadioGuy
User Rank
Gold
Re: Precession soldering
RadioGuy   3/1/2012 12:29:25 PM
Precession soldering?

You mean they rotate the board while it is hot in the flow soldering channel?

And the board is wobbling as it rotates? Good Lord - no wonder they have quality problems!

JSRL
User Rank
Iron
HONDA WINDOW
JSRL   3/1/2012 6:11:54 PM
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I know and worked with the author of this report and can testify that he is one heck of a good engineer. 

John Lawrence

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Solder blamed for faulty window operation
William K.   3/1/2012 10:17:54 PM
Why in the world does a car need multiple PC board assemblies to control the windows operation? That is certainly a case of feature-bloat, and clearly at the cost of reliability. Power windows functioned quite well enough in the 1960s, the application of microcontrollers does not provide benefits worthy of the increase in coasts and the reduction in reliability.

IT certainly did take some determined good trouble diagnostics to figure out where to look to fix the fault and repair the system.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Solder blamed for faulty window operation
Rob Spiegel   3/2/2012 3:47:06 PM

I think you hit the important point on this, William. Questionable improvements may come with reliability problems. So the increased risk of failure due to increased complexity may not be justified. Additional cost just tips the scale that much more toward simple, reliable systems.  

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Solder blamed for faulty window operation
Ann R. Thryft   3/5/2012 2:44:11 PM

I had the same question as William: why are there so many different PCBs to control the windows? However, I'm not sure about your comment re MCUs, which have been around since the 60s and are usually referred to as "controllers," as they appear to be in this article. True, those older ones were very simple, low-end devices. Perhaps you mean they've gotten fancier than they need to be and the ones used here are unnecessarily complex and/or expensive?


William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Solder blamed, but what was the real fault
William K.   3/7/2012 5:52:19 PM
Ann, yes, it is true that my nomenclature was a bit dated. But still, the question stands as to why add some unreliable and cheaply produced electronics to provide a function that thirty years ago was handled very well by a pair of relays that usually outlasted the car? The current service part sells for a lot more than tose relays did, even after accounting for inflation. And I am certain that current automation could produce a product at least half as good for only a bit more. Besides that, those relays were probably built in the USA, and applicable to many models for a few years, reducing NRE costs a lot.

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Solder blamed, but what was the real fault
Amclaussen   3/15/2012 3:40:36 PM
Absolutely!  I have the same kind of problem with one of my two Dodges (guess which one), but I suspect this stupid vogue about (ab)using electronics for the most simple and strightforward tasks has gone too far. While my older car (1991) has perfectly operating electric door locks, those design geniuses decided to "save" some wire by multiplexing the door lock switches.  Now the switch has only two wires...

I did a little research (google), and found this (somewhat faulted) explanation, probably written by a overly enthusiastic electronics designer:

"There are 2 resistors in the switch, a 620 ohm for unlock, 2700 ohm for lock and the switch is open at rest.


The switch toggles 12 volts between the 2 resistors.

 

The return wire goes the BCM (Body Control Module) to be interpreted as to what selected position the switch is in.

 

From there the BCM will power the door lock motors in the door latches to lock or unlock the doors. So basically the switch is '2 states plus off' (power in, difference out).


By multiplexing commands on 1 wire (sic), they probably saved 20-30 feet of wire per car on power door locks alone! This saves money, electrical complexity and weight..."


Ooh yeeeaah!!!

This extremely "brilliant" person forgot to say (and understand), that now the damn car NEEDS an overly complex, heavy and very costly to repair "Module", buried deep inside the left side of the dash.  Since the damn module has reliability problems, many owners have discovered the trouble that the "magic" of electronics has created in this design, that means the affected owner now has to resort to a specialized repair center, where the module (no longer serviced by dealers) can be exchanged or repaired for around $400-500 USD not including the hassle of removing and reinstalling it. About 99% of the modules fail after 3 years and the failure is intermittent at first, so that most naive owners (like myself), just continued using the car, and then found the failure became more pronunced and permanent just after car warranty expired.  By the way, Dodge Dealers knew about this, but kept pretending (faking would be more appropriate) that it was a "programming related fault", and that a simple DRB2 manipulation would correct the condition, which was a hoax of course... (The system allows the owner to re-program the door lock action through start key signaling, but the procedure can introduce more serious faults, requiring the tech to perform a much longer keystroking sequence and to request help from factory!)

Since the power locks are interfaced with the theft alarm and remote control, it is not as easy as  simply rewiring the doors and changing the switch connections without losing functionality (at least on my car, the "open" command still works on the drivers side front door).

By contrast, my older Dodge still operates its door locks and windows after 21 years and many miles flawlessly. So much for "progress" and true quality.

As some of you, I love to repair broken things instead of replacing them, but the task of removing the Body Control Module means a heavy, extremely uncomfortable job (it is easy if you have the factory semi-robotic arm at home, which lifts the entire dash assembly and swings it into position inside an almost empty car shell, which is the way they do it at the plant!). Otherwise, you need to hire a dwarf with strong arms and some dexterity. I guess we need to teach the KISS principle to the newer generations of design geniuses, unless we want and can afford to replace the entire car at the first failure!

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Faulty electrical system faults.
William K.   3/17/2012 2:19:09 PM
The very worst thing that the idiots have done, after switching to the multiplexed system, is to remove the key unlocking function from the passenger side door. How cheap can they get? Presently the only way to unlock the passenger side door from outside also unlocks all of the other doors. In the minivan that is four extra doors unlocked for very unsavory elements to yank open and remove items. Or to jump in and cause grief of various kinds. All this to save the cost of one lock cylinder, probably about $3 in production quantities. I would have been happy to pay $ 10 or even $20 to have that second lock as an extra option, but, instead, some fool decided that there was no need for it. JUst exactly what drove the idiot monkey to think that change was OK?

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Faulty electrical system faults.
Amclaussen   3/20/2012 11:44:57 AM
"Idiots" was very kind... I would define them  using other words!  What is happening to the so called "design teams" in all the car manufacturers lately?

My wife has bought a new car (Volkswagen Jetta), that lacks the passenger side lock, so that the only way to enter the car is through the driver's side door.   Evidently, the stupid designers have never been trapped in a parking lot in a too cramped space so that you have to enter the car on the other side.

To complicate things a little more, the economy version of this car lacks a remote (even when it has electric door locks), so that you have to open the driver's side door (the only one with a key hole), and then VERY QUICKLY introduce the key into the ignition and turn it to "ON", because the very "clever" designers programmed the damn alarm to sound off BEFORE 20 seconds or so... so that if you don't want to bother your neighbors, you have to be very agile in order to be able to open the lock, open the door, jump inside the vehicle, insert the key and turn it before the all too cautious 20 second period, unless you want to blast everyone with the claxon alarm!  this is NOT a minor inconvenience, because if you are carrying a grocery bag or any other package, you must put it on the floor to be able to deactivate the damn alarm before it goes off... which compromises your own safety... how about that?

Again, what happens to these stupid "designers" ???

nash_weaver
User Rank
Iron
Re: Faulty electrical system faults.
nash_weaver   9/21/2012 5:36:42 AM
honda's really trying their best to improve their designs but this still happens to a lot of people. have been looking here on some models (http://www.drivewire.com/make/honda/) and i think they are improving slowly, too.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Faulty electrical system faults.
tekochip   9/21/2012 8:55:38 AM
What a terrible design!  What if I opened the car just to put something in or take something out?  I don't just open my car door to go driving.



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