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2008 CRV Console Light Question

Hi Click and Clack,

I have a 2008 CRV that I bought 6 months ago. I subsequently got a remote car starter installed from company that has done many of these before and in which I have used before.

The lights on my heater console and gear shift located in the middle of the console went out. I brought it to my dealer. After a few days of diagnostic testing they found the problem to be that the remote starter wire shorted and burned out the Multiflex Fuse box (Illumination MICU). They said that this is not under warranty and that the cost to fix and replace this unit will be about $800.00. Not including labor. I called the place that I got the car starter installed and they said that they will look at it to see if it was installed incorrectly. But that the person who installed this has had many years of experience.

Do you think what my dealer says is true? Do you think that I should pay this money or am I safe without the lights?

It seems like both places are saying the it is the other guys fault at my expense.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank you.

I am sure I could inspect the car and determine who is at fault (my WAG is the installer)

Have the Dealer walk you through the failure and see how you feel about their explaniation,maybe the installer would like to be present,you guys need to get together.

It would not be the first time a installer cobbed something up

How exactly did a short occur? chaffing,or are you sure it was a short and not a overloaded circuit? he didn’t use a “piggyback” connector and damage the fuse box? did you smell burning electrical?

You’re probably not going to like it, but this is exactly why some of us don’t like after market remote starters. Modern vehicles have extremely complex electrical/electronic systems, and it’s really easy to mess something up installing a remote starter.

I’m surprised these things don’t invalidate the entire factory warranty, and, yes, both places are going to blame each other. Happens all the time. The remote installer isn’t going to want to spend a thousand dollars or more to fix his mistake. Nevertheless, they messed up your vehicle, and they should pay to have it repaired.

The installer may have “many years of experience,” but how much experience does he have with 2008 Honda CRV electrical systems? Not much is my guess. He’s learning on your vehicle.

I have no reason to doubt the dealer, but $800 seems like a lot for something that controls just a few lights. Is there anything else that doesn’t work?

I know it’s a lot of money, but do you really want a new vehicle with interior lights that don’t work? It could be dangerous fiddling around in the dark with heater controls you can’t see, and how will you know which gear you’re shifting into when it’s dark outside?

Here’s something to think about: suppose you repair the vehicle and it shorts out again? I doubt the Honda dealer is going to rewire the remote starter someone else installed. They may disconnect it, but they won’t try to modify it. Only the installer can do that. This could go on forever.

Is the convenience of not going out in the cold to start the car really worth all this?

You’re not going to like my response either, but here goes…
Why would you allow some guy at an aftermarket shop to fool around with the electrical system on a brand new car? Naturally, any mistake made by that installer will not be covered by Honda’s warranty–nor should it be covered by Honda.

The biggest problem will be getting the aftermarket shop to own up to their screw-up and to foot the cost of the repair bill. My guess is that you will have to go through MUCH time and effort in order to try to get them to pay for the needed repairs, and even after all of that effort, you might still be left out in the cold–so to speak.

The lesson here is that, even though Honda’s own remote starter would have been more expensive, any installation mistakes made by the dealership would NOT have voided the warranty. And, since most genuine factory remote starters these days are literally just plug-in installations, the chance of the dealership making a mistake is minimal. Since the aftermarket systems are “one size fits all”, they have to be cobbled into the electrical system, and this is where mistakes happen.

I’m sorry to have to tell you that you are likely going to have to go through a lot of effort in order to be made whole in this situation. Yes, the aftermarket system was cheaper than a genuine Honda system, but as the old saying tells us, “Sometimes you can’t afford to save that much money”.

I know ignorance is not an excuse…but this was my first new car and the remote starter company had done all my previous cars so I didn’t even think about using Honda. I now know, the hard way, that while under warranty, I should never again use anyone other than the dealer.

Thanks for helping me with my question.

Yes, I did smell something burning. I did not know what it was nor did I even notice the lights were not working for a few weeks after I smelled something burning. The dealer told me today that the hazzard illumination light and moonroof light will not work either but that the car is safe to drive. I guess I learned something the hard way. I just never thought to use Honda to install the starter.

Thanks for your help.

Thank you for giving me this advice. I appreciate it. I will think about what you said about giving up the remote starter. Do you think that if I took this starter out and had Honda do it that would be the way to go? Of coure, I doubt I can afford all of this now. Thank you again for spelling out to me that this could go on forever and that maybe the option is to not have a starter. I just hate the fact that I have to pay all of this money for something that I got myself into naively without even the thought that this could be an issue.

Ironically many Dealers farm this stuff out to the aftermarket. When you bought the car did the “add on guy”,(the one that tries to sell you undercoating and such) try to sell you a remote starter? Does your option book list a Factory option (either Dealer installed or Factory installed remote starter?