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Discussion Starter #1
My vehicle has periodically started exhibiting strange and dangerous issues with the Electronic Power Steering (while stopped and at various speeds) and, of greater concern, when the computer is detecting issues it is not shutting down the EPS system as I think it should but sporadically turns on and off even while in the middle of a turn. When this issue occurs it first starts by a momentary (or sometimes longer) flash of the EPS indicator on the dash and there is a constant sound of relays clicking in the dash to the left of the instrument panel. This indicator light will randomly turn off and on with seemingly no reason and the steering becomes stiff, then light, and often will begin an assist in the middle of a turn which results in the vehicle veering deeper into the turn unless I respond quickly enough to pull it back to the correct position. These periodic issues can sometimes last 5 mins or can last an entire trip and occasionally the computer display will flash a message to check power steering but then usually immediately clear that message along with any errors. A mechanic I know was not able to reproduce the issue and was not able to locate any errors from the OBD2 computer but did not have access to the proprietary Honda protocols and my dealer wants $120 just to connect the car to the computer. Additionally I asked if there was a way to disable the power steering completely so that the vehicle didn't over or under steer on me and the dealer said that this wasn't possible which I imagine is a complete load of crap.... I read somewhere on here that one of the wires coming from the battery in the Insights could be disconnected and since we have a "fuse" on the battery for EPS I imagine that's still true but would rather check on here first as to which wire it is and if this is safe to do.

Here is a video I took tonight while the car was sitting still.... it often does this a lot more rapidly and sporadically but 75% of the time I'm driving the car it's fine.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/o4qo5a5rs6m94yx/CRZ-EPS.mkv?dl=0
 

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I personally haven't had any issues, and I've yet to see something similar. If anyone can help though, they'll definitely be on this forum. Good luck!
 

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You've a bad connection somewhere, which can be a bad $6 relay or a $300 electric brain. No one other than Honda will be able to diagnose or correct it. Cut you losses now and bite the bullet.
 

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I would start by looking for a bad or loose wire ( ground?) but the reality is this is a safety issue and you have to take it to a Honda dealer ASAP! in the end it may be covered by warranty or the dealer may cut you a break as a courtesy. If it were mine it would be off the road at a dealer on a flat bed.
 

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You can disable the power steering, but that would just result in a more Popeye like bicep. :) I forgot to plug one of the three connectors to the power steering back in after installing a front sway bar, and pulling out of the garage and turning took more muscles than I care to exert. There might be some wiring issue, but that's hard to diagnose, and I'd got to the Honda Dealership for this particular problem. Since it means you might have to leave it with them until they catch it NOT working, you'll also need to rent another car for a week or two. Not fun to have to pay for all of that, but better than being a hazard on the road--for yourself and others.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would start by looking for a bad or loose wire ( ground?) but the reality is this is a safety issue and you have to take it to a Honda dealer ASAP! in the end it may be covered by warranty or the dealer may cut you a break as a courtesy. If it were mine it would be off the road at a dealer on a flat bed.
I've been relying on my other car more frequently. My biggest confusion is why the computer isn't shutting down the power steering until the key is restarted like the manual says it should do.

I may contact another dealer and talk to them. The dealer I bought the car from isn't really wanting to work with me at all.... They basically said that it's $120 just to hook it to the computer and they couldn't give me an estimate or any idea (which is understandable) but from that point my option is to have it fixed that day and get the $120 credited to me or if I take it home that $120 goes away. The problem is that if I pay the $120 and then they come back and say it's going to cost $600 to fix and I can't afford that at this time then I've thrown away $120. I asked them specifically about using that $120 credit to have the car fixed at a later date if the cost was too high for right now and they said it's possible but they couldn't say for sure until they look at it.... Maybe $120 is something some people can gamble with but not me and certainly not around the holidays.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You can disable the power steering, but that would just result in a more Popeye like bicep. :) I forgot to plug one of the three connectors to the power steering back in after installing a front sway bar, and pulling out of the garage and turning took more muscles than I care to exert. There might be some wiring issue, but that's hard to diagnose, and I'd got to the Honda Dealership for this particular problem. Since it means you might have to leave it with them until they catch it NOT working, you'll also need to rent another car for a week or two. Not fun to have to pay for all of that, but better than being a hazard on the road--for yourself and others.
There was a short instance when this problem first started (prior to the issue clearing up for a while) that the power steering did shut down for a bit and I know what you're talking about but, while rough, it wasn't unbearable to me in parking lots and on the road I actually really liked the power steering being off -- the steering just felt better. This is actually what I would prefer for right now because of the holidays and being really short on cash right now.... I can't run the risk like I stated above on this costing a lot of money but I also don't want to be driving my less economical car a lot either. I'm just stuck in a tough spot at the worst possible time and the dealership hanging that $120 over my head just made things even more frustrating.... Disabling the power steering for a month or two until I can bite the bullet on the cost is ideal but nothing is really clear on what the best way to do that would be.
 

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.... Disabling the power steering for a month or two until I can bite the bullet on the cost is ideal but nothing is really clear on what the best way to do that would be.
I assume you might inadvertently disable the three mode drive system, if you disconnect the EPS control unit (under the dash, to the left of the dead-pedal area,) but it would probably be better to disconnect it there, rather than under the hood at the EPS motor location due to the possibility of getting the unplugged terminal(s) wet or dirty--causing more problems down the road. I only took a brief look under the dash in the area, but you might be able to see the control unit, which has two connectors coming out the bottom of a grey metal box (Download the service manual, and check out the diagram on page 17-80, to get a better idea of what I'm talking about.) I am not a certified technician, so my advice is just an educated guess--it could disable the power steering by unhooking one or both of the connectors, but no guarantee if it will get the results you want (disable the power steering assist.) You may have other issues, such as loss of the ECON, NORMAL, SPORT driving modes, and for sure, a dash light warning of EPS malfunction.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I assume you might inadvertently disable the three mode drive system, if you disconnect the EPS control unit (under the dash, to the left of the dead-pedal area,) but it would probably be better to disconnect it there, rather than under the hood at the EPS motor location due to the possibility of getting the unplugged terminal(s) wet or dirty--causing more problems down the road. I only took a brief look under the dash in the area, but you might be able to see the control unit, which has two connectors coming out the bottom of a grey metal box (Download the service manual, and check out the diagram on page 17-80, to get a better idea of what I'm talking about.) I am not a certified technician, so my advice is just an educated guess--it could disable the power steering by unhooking one or both of the connectors, but no guarantee if it will get the results you want (disable the power steering assist.) You may have other issues, such as loss of the ECON, NORMAL, SPORT driving modes, and for sure, a dash light warning of EPS malfunction.

Your thoughts crossed my mind as well.... the thing that made me want to avoid the control unit is that it seemed to me that it was located above the fuse block in the dash and seemed that it would be extremely difficult to get to... The image on page 17-21 is the basis of these thoughts.... but with you pointing out 17-80 I'm more confused as to where it actually is.... On 17-80 it says to remove the kick panel which is actually below the fuse access panel and it doesn't say much more than to remove that panel and then disconnect the connectors..... it does seem that the picture shows it in amongst other items but the picture isn't really clear. I'll have to look at the car again and compare it to both pictures and see if I can locate it because, heck, I could possibly just find that one of those connectors is loose and actually fix the whole problem (yea, very wishful thinking, I know).

My thought regarding disconnecting the wire on the battery block was I would put some electrical tape or something around it because that thought cross my mind as well.... It's kind of irritating that Honda didn't put actual fuses in that battery block... It's exceedingly stupid, in my mind, to require you to replace the entire $50 terminal block if a "fuse" blows.
 

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Yeah, I was confused about the location under the dash, but I think I got it right after scratching my head--it's really not necessary to remove the kick panel, if it's the one I'm thinking about, since the idea is not to remove/replace the controller, but just disconnect the connectors that come out of the bottom. The problem is, that it's really tight in there to be disconnecting the connectors, and it might just be, that you have to unbolt the unit from the lower/firewall, just to free up the space to remove the connectors.

Just makes me wonder too, if you are the original owner, or if you might be the unlucky fellow who got a car that had some modifications, which were later removed for the sale--leaving some pulled wires/connectors causing some issues you're now witnessing. ???
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I was confused about the location under the dash, but I think I got it right after scratching my head--it's really not necessary to remove the kick panel, if it's the one I'm thinking about, since the idea is not to remove/replace the controller, but just disconnect the connectors that come out of the bottom. The problem is, that it's really tight in there to be disconnecting the connectors, and it might just be, that you have to unbolt the unit from the lower/firewall, just to free up the space to remove the connectors.

Just makes me wonder too, if you are the original owner, or if you might be the unlucky fellow who got a car that had some modifications, which were later removed for the sale--leaving some pulled wires/connectors causing some issues you're now witnessing. ???

I'm not the orig owner.... but what I found out later after purchasing the car had me really curious about stuff. There isn't anything that would indicate any modifications of any type but I purchased the car with 30-some K on it and it had 2 owners before me and neither one of those owners kept the car for more than a year.... I've honestly never had any big time problems with the car and it's been very reliable but there has constantly been this feeling of something not quite being right about it.... that battery is one of the biggest things and after reading on here the people that had battery issues on the 2011's shortly after purchase makes me wonder if this vehicle had a similar scenario but no owner kept it long enough for that issue to pan out and I didn't own it long enough before the roll out of that Nov 2014 software update where I'm now stuck with a battery that has issues but the new firmware is covering up those issues which adds to my curiosity as to whether a hidden battery issue could cause these weird subtle gremlins that keep popping up. One interesting thing that I noticed with this power steering issue is that at one point I had the battery disconnected and after reconnecting it and making the connections tight (before I took them off I noticed the + terminal wasn't as solid as it should be) is the longest stretch I went without any EPS issue at all.... I had actually thought after hundreds of miles that the battery terminal tightening had actually solved the problem it went so long. Just a lot of these back-of-my-mind things going on that make me frustrated and confused.
 

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...One interesting thing that I noticed with this power steering issue is that at one point I had the battery disconnected and after reconnecting it and making the connections tight (before I took them off I noticed the + terminal wasn't as solid as it should be) is the longest stretch I went without any EPS issue at all.... I had actually thought after hundreds of miles that the battery terminal tightening had actually solved the problem it went so long. Just a lot of these back-of-my-mind things going on that make me frustrated and confused.
Could be that you have an issue with other connections as well--so, check all points on the car where the service manual shows a ground bolt location. Remove bolt(s) and check for corrosion and loose fit, and retighten. Same with power supplies--unhook and remove the battery, and check the positive terminal block that has other leads to it, might be just one of them that's corroded or loose.... Ahhhhh, the joys of finding a needle in the haystack! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Could be that you have an issue with other connections as well--so, check all points on the car where the service manual shows a ground bolt location. Remove bolt(s) and check for corrosion and loose fit, and retighten. Same with power supplies--unhook and remove the battery, and check the positive terminal block that has other leads to it, might be just one of them that's corroded or loose.... Ahhhhh, the joys of finding a needle in the haystack! :)
It's an interesting thought.... and probably worth doing -- as much as I'll likely put off doing for a while :)
I've seen a lot of posts on the forums here about suspected issues with the DC to DC converter design and a lot of those reference weird electrical things -- is there any truth to those posts that you are aware of? One of my theories is that any car would have weird electrical issues with poor connections but the difference with the CR-Z is that our vehicles can actually start with a poor battery connection where any other car couldn't get beyond that major hurdle to display weird behaviour.... but I'm probably drifting a little off topic now. This EPS issue seems to be a little more serious than to just be a weird electrical situation but who knows. The only thing that keeps it in my mind is that tightening that connection solved the EPS problem for a while... could be completely a coincidence but still....
 

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I haven't had any weird electrical issues, and I can safely say that the vast majority of owners have ZERO issues with anything mechanical or electrical. The only thing I've heard about weird things going on is when the 12v battery is bad or going bad--who knows--maybe your 12v battery positive post is the culprit...but not really likely, and not saying to throw money at a new 12v to find out--just check connections. Even if there's a lot of posts, as you say, about DC-DC converter issues...it's not a prevalent issue at all. Good luck on finding a simple/quick fix--you might just get lucky. :wink2:
 

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It's an interesting thought.... and probably worth doing -- as much as I'll likely put off doing for a while :).....
Yeah, no need to rush into repairing something so trivial as steering.

As the mayor of Pompeii said, "Ah, that thing smokes like that all the time, don't worry yourselves."
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah, no need to rush into repairing something so trivial as steering.

As the mayor of Pompeii said, "Ah, that thing smokes like that all the time, don't worry yourselves."

The "putting it off" comment was not referring to the steering issue.... it was referring to going over the entire car and checking all of the grounding points.
 

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I haven't had any weird electrical issues, and I can safely say that the vast majority of owners have ZERO issues with anything mechanical or electrical. The only thing I've heard about weird things going on is when the 12v battery is bad or going bad--who knows--maybe your 12v battery positive post is the culprit...but not really likely, and not saying to throw money at a new 12v to find out--just check connections. Even if there's a lot of posts, as you say, about DC-DC converter issues...it's not a prevalent issue at all. Good luck on finding a simple/quick fix--you might just get lucky. :wink2:
That's what I kind of wanted to gauge.... Seeing multiple posts doesn't always mean that it's something that majority experience and you are much more embedded in this community than I am which is why I wanted your opinion on that. With your mention of the 12V post.... when I was tightening that connection like I had mentioned before I wasn't able to get a really good bite down on the post - it was like the post was microscopically smaller than the terminal. I picked up a lead shim at Advance Auto that's, I guess, typically used for corroded posts but it served the purpose just fine.... the 12V battery is probably only a year and a half old and doesn't show any signs of issues at all, it just seemed to be a bit smaller. After putting the shim on the post it's got a solid bite and that's when I had that period where I though the steering was fixed. The only thing odd about the whole scenario is that the ground terminal has plenty of bite without a shim.

There is one other thing odd that I wanted to mention more so for "documentation" purposes. I had noticed that the car had been seemingly pulling a bit to the left -- like if I was driving straight I always seemed to be steering slightly more into the right..... This isn't very pronounced and I had run over part of a dead deer and I thought I was needing an alignment (the deer came after the first time I saw the EPS issue so not the source of that problem).... The weird thing about it is that if my hands are on the wheel I feel like it might be slightly out of alignment and wanting to pull to the left but if I were to take my hands off of the wheel the car rarely drifts to the left..... This is something that occurred even at the times I was driving and the EPS system wasn't acting up. It seems odd to me but I don't know that it's related -- just curious that a car seems like it's out of alignment when your hands are on the wheel but aligns it's self if you take your hands off.
 
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