January 15

1996 Honda Civic – Power Window Wiring Repairs

Auto Repair, Honda


Wednesday’s featured service is Power Window Wiring Repairs on a 1996 Honda Civic, brought to us from a client from Marpole, Vancouver.


Honda Civic
1996 Honda Civic. An extremely reliable and well built car

Power windows are relatively trouble free but eventually troubles occur. For this Honda Civic failure came suddenly when all power windows failed to work simultaneously. Fortunately for the owner, all windows were stuck closed.

As with any electrical concern we must first diagnose to find the cause of the concern. Tests led us to finding several broken wires in the driver’s door wiring harness. Broken door wiring is a common problem with power windows. The constant opening and closing of doors, especially the driver’s door eventually causes the wires to break.

On this Honda Civic repairs involved removing the door to properly access and repair the wiring.

Honda Civic
Driver’s door wiring harness. Note the multitude of wires. The broken wires are indicated with the red arrows.

As you can see from the picture there are about 20 wires in this door harness. This is the old style of door wiring with multiple wires running to each window motor and power door lock component. With the advent of computers things have changed drastically. Now every door has a computer module which interacts with the body control computer. For example, when you push the driver’s side window switch down to open the right rear window, a signal is sent from the driver’s door module to the body control computer which signals the right rear door module to activate the right rear window motor. While this might seem more complex it is much simpler from a wiring perspective. Gone is the massive wiring harness that we just repaired. In its place is a 4 wire harness with a power wire, ground wire and two very small wires to carry computer data. Testing can also be done by plugging in a diagnostic scan tool to the body computer.

While this Honda is old school and getting on in years it is still one of the most reliable vehicles that we work on. I highly recommend any Honda Civic from this generation forward. They are all tremendous cars for economy and reliability.

For more on the iconic Honda Civic, now in its 9th generation click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Civic

For more on how power windows work click here http://auto.howstuffworks.com/power-window.htm

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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