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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 Honda CRV and left rear door will not lock or unlock with master switch of key fob. I have had the car to dealer who tested actuator and it works along with switch and all fuses are good. I have taken door panel off and checked that there is source voltage at the connector that plugs into actuator. I have also put source voltage on connector of the actuator and the actuator functions properly. So what can it be if there is voltage to the actuator and the actuator also works with power to it. Fuses are all good. I look at wiring at door and can't find anything that looks defective.
 

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So neither the master switch for the door on the driver armrest, nor the actual switch on the door will trigger the actuator?

If I recall correctly, like many things in a Honda, the actuation event is probably by pulling the cold side connection to ground, not applying power to the hot side. In other words, Honda leaves power connected all the time and switches the ground side connection closed or open. Not sure if this is true with door lock actuators, but I bet it is.

So do be sure to check all the ground connections closely, and with instruments just to be sure.

Pretty simple implementation, so I am surprised the dealer cannot isolate and correct the cause. We have members though that are familiar with these and will see this post and step in and offer some more specific guidance.
 

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It is often mentioned on older gen CRVs to look in the wiring that goes to the door, inside the sleeve. These often get shorted or broken. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So neither the master switch for the door on the driver armrest, nor the actual switch on the door will trigger the actuator?

If I recall correctly, like many things in a Honda, the actuation event is probably by pulling the cold side connection to ground, not applying power to the hot side. In other words, Honda leaves power connected all the time and switches the ground side connection closed or open. Not sure if this is true with door lock actuators, but I bet it is.

So do be sure to check all the ground connections closely, and with instruments just to be sure.

Pretty simple implementation, so I am surprised the dealer cannot isolate and correct the cause. We have members though that are familiar with these and will see this post and step in and offer some more specific guidance.
No, door master switch, door switch nor key fobs will unlock or lock left rear passenger door. After removing door panel I looked at wiring harness from actuator to inside the car and saw no signs of a broken wire. The auto tech instructor at the local community college and i put a voltmeter on the wiring harness connection at the left rear door connector that plugs into the actuator and there was source voltage. I hooked a battery up and connected it directly to the actuator and it would open and close the door knob. I have checked fuses. I am at a loss why if there is power to the actuator which it won’t function. I believe there is a ground under the drivers seat and I will try to check that. Thanks for your suggestion.
 

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"I have had the car to dealer who tested actuator and it works along with switch and all fuses are good."

So what is the dealer saying, that this is normal? If it is not working, something is wrong and the dealer should be able to tell you what the problem is. If they can't, go to another Honda dealer.
 

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No, door master switch, door switch nor key fobs will unlock or lock left rear passenger door. After removing door panel I looked at wiring harness from actuator to inside the car and saw no signs of a broken wire. The auto tech instructor at the local community college and i put a voltmeter on the wiring harness connection at the left rear door connector that plugs into the actuator and there was source voltage. I hooked a battery up and connected it directly to the actuator and it would open and close the door knob. I have checked fuses. I am at a loss why if there is power to the actuator which it won’t function. I believe there is a ground under the drivers seat and I will try to check that. Thanks for your suggestion.
Sounds like the actuator is fine as you can work it by directly powering it.

So I still think this is probably a bad connection between the circuit that actually triggers the actuator, and the buttons/circuits that are used to request actuation open/closed. That is the only thing that makes sense, based on what you have been able to rule out. And with Hondas, you have to pay as much attention to proper ground connection and switching as you do the power bus.

Frustrating for sure. When you finally find the cause, it will probably be a "but of course! why didn't I check that first" moment. :) Good luck resolving. I am sure you will find it because persistence and logical troubleshooting generally always prevail, it may just result in some hair pulling in the process. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the suggestion. I am going to check for a good ground and if needed will do a comparison test with the other actuators.

A funny thing happened yesterday and I switched the child proof lever up and down about 6 times and then used the master switch and the door seemed to open and close. I then tried the key fob and nothing then went back to the master switch and it no longer would lock/unlock the door. Makes me wonder if there is not enough current getting to the actuator as opposed to voltage. Any thoughts anyone? Thanks again for all your help :)

"I have had the car to dealer who tested actuator and it works along with switch and all fuses are good."

So what is the dealer saying, that this is normal? If it is not working, something is wrong and the dealer should be able to tell you what the problem is. If they can't, go to another Honda dealer.
The issue with the dealer is that I am on the hook for a diagnostic fee at $100+ an hour. They spent one hour already and didn't determine what is wrong. I would rather try to locate the issue myself and then take the car back under extended warranty and see if it is a covered repair. Honda Extended Care will not reimburse me for the diagnostic fee unless it is determined something is broken. So in the meantime I am doing as much research and testing as possible to get the matter fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like I found the culprit. I removed the wiring harness from where it plugs in the C pillar and gets routed into the door through a rubber grommet. I was able to peel back the rubber grommet to find a red wire (goes to actuator) a brown wire (also goes to actuator) broken and a few other wires chaffed and read to break.

I have contacted dealer to see if now they will cover repair under extended warranty from Honda. If not, I will simply finish the job myself. Wiring harness is less than $40.00 and I already have everything apart so it should go pretty quickly.
 

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Looks like I found the culprit. I removed the wiring harness from where it plugs in the C pillar and gets routed into the door through a rubber grommet. I was able to peel back the rubber grommet to find a red wire (goes to actuator) a brown wire (also goes to actuator) broken and a few other wires chaffed and read to break.

I have contacted dealer to see if now they will cover repair under extended warranty from Honda. If not, I will simply finish the job myself. Wiring harness is less than $40.00 and I already have everything apart so it should go pretty quickly.
Thanks for updating us on the issue. Good job troubleshooting!!


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Good find! (y)

Yeah wiring getting damaged at the grommet point has been reported by some other owners on various CRVs over the years.

Some of those wires look like they have insulation sliced or worn through, though not yet broken. I have to wonder if that was not introduced at the factory during assembly and just took all this time to finally fail. it looks to like it could be from someone getting happy with a wire stripping tool or something. But it's probably just from rubbing at a hard point metal surface, given the door is constantly being opened and closed.

If the dealer does the repair, it will be expensive as they are required by Honda to replace the wiring harness, not repair it. So if it is not covered under the extended warranty, best do the repair yourself I think.

Good find, and yeah I'd say you nailed it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well the good news is that the dealer called me back and Honda Extended Care says the wiring harness is covered so they are going to order it and schedule a time for me to bring it in to be installed. I told them since I have disassembled everything I will leave it as it is and it will make the Techs job pretty simple to install the wiring harness and put it back together.

Yes, I agree that the rubber sleeve the wires run through was actually partially worn out as well. I attribute all these wires breaking due to using lighter gauge wire to reduce weight in vehicles. Consequently, the wires are thinner and subject to wear and breakage with the doors being opened and shut frequently. Not sure what can be done given the amount of wiring now in vehicles for all the electronics and ADAS systems.
 

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Well the good news is that the dealer called me back and Honda Extended Care says the wiring harness is covered so they are going to order it and schedule a time for me to bring it in to be installed. I told them since I have disassembled everything I will leave it as it is and it will make the Techs job pretty simple to install the wiring harness and put it back together.

Yes, I agree that the rubber sleeve the wires run through was actually partially worn out as well. I attribute all these wires breaking due to using lighter gauge wire to reduce weight in vehicles. Consequently, the wires are thinner and subject to wear and breakage with the doors being opened and shut frequently. Not sure what can be done given the amount of wiring now in vehicles for all the electronics and ADAS systems.
Double good news! You found the issue, and the warranty will cover it! Great to hear!
 

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Well the good news is that the dealer called me back and Honda Extended Care says the wiring harness is covered so they are going to order it and schedule a time for me to bring it in to be installed. I told them since I have disassembled everything I will leave it as it is and it will make the Techs job pretty simple to install the wiring harness and put it back together.

Yes, I agree that the rubber sleeve the wires run through was actually partially worn out as well. I attribute all these wires breaking due to using lighter gauge wire to reduce weight in vehicles. Consequently, the wires are thinner and subject to wear and breakage with the doors being opened and shut frequently. Not sure what can be done given the amount of wiring now in vehicles for all the electronics and ADAS systems.
Now that’s awesome! I’m glad it worked out for you.


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Yes, I agree that the rubber sleeve the wires run through was actually partially worn out as well. I attribute all these wires breaking due to using lighter gauge wire to reduce weight in vehicles. Consequently, the wires are thinner and subject to wear and breakage with the doors being opened and shut frequently. Not sure what can be done given the amount of wiring now in vehicles for all the electronics and ADAS systems.
I think the fact that they switched to an organic soy based insulation for the wires now may also be a contributor. I get why they have moved away from PVC insulation, but PVC was a preferred wire insulation for many decades for a reason.. it was robust in these sorts of settings. Makes me curious to dig a little deeper into the soy insulation in both design and application.

I imagine Honda engineering has already captured this issue from field data and will incorporate the learning into better wire routing design in doors moving forward. So it will be interesting to see if they make noticeable changes in the gen5 CRV for door wiring.
 

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No, door master switch, door switch nor key fobs will unlock or lock left rear passenger door. After removing door panel I looked at wiring harness from actuator to inside the car and saw no signs of a broken wire. The auto tech instructor at the local community college and i put a voltmeter on the wiring harness connection at the left rear door connector that plugs into the actuator and there was source voltage. I hooked a battery up and connected it directly to the actuator and it would open and close the door knob. I have checked fuses. I am at a loss why if there is power to the actuator which it won’t function. I believe there is a ground under the drivers seat and I will try to check that. Thanks for your suggestion.
The often forgotten but super important ground side of every circuit. A bad ground will cause a circuit to malfunction.
 

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Very disappointing that the “factory-trained” “mechanics” at the dealer couldn’t diagnose that!🙄
What else is new? Just because they're "factory-trained", the question is "in what" were they trained? Anyway, the problem is a very, very common one on any vehicle that has wiring going through a rubber accordian-like flex connection on doors, trunk lids, hatchbacks, etc. Toyotas were notorious for their trunk lid connectors breaking wires inside the rubber flex tubing so they ended up with reverse lights, license lights, etc. not working. The back and forth bending of the wires from opening and closing the doors eventually causes the wires inside to break though the insulation outside may not break right away. Some vehicles are more prone to this than others, perhaps due to the wires used (stiffness, etc.) The early mid-size Chevy Colorados had very frequent breaks in the driver side rear doors which would cause the SRS light to illuminate as the wires going to the seat belt switches in the buckle to break.
 
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