When Big Jobs Get Bigger

It all started as simply taking over a used car that another tech had looked at but was out sick and couldn’t work on. One of the problems with the car was that the wires to one of the airbag system impact sensors were broken. Trying to repair airbag system wiring isn’t the best idea, because it’s a sensitive system, and Honda always recommends wiring harness replacement, so that was one of the jobs I had to do.

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Wiring harnesses are similar to brake lines in that they are one of the first things installed on a car, so they run under and through everything else. This particular wiring harness was the engine room harness, which includes everything in front of the firewall except for the engine itself. I ended up having to take the front bumper off and remove both headlights so I get to everywhere the wiring ran.

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In a couple hours I got everything disconnected in the engine compartment, I had to remove the part of the harness that’s inside the car. I looked inside the car and found out that the job was going to take a lot longer than anybody originally expected. The way the harness ran inside the car was in such a way that I would have to remove the whole dashboard, which is a multi-hour job itself.

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I got the dashboard out in record time, and that allowed me to move the HVAC box out of the way of where the harness came through the firewall. It also made it a lot easier to unbolt the brake pedal assembly, which the harness ran behind.

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Big jobs like this can be frustrating, especially when you discover they’re even bigger, like when I realized I needed to remove the dashboard, but I was actually pretty positive the whole time. I think it was mostly because I knew I was going to get paid for it all, because even though the job had only been quoted for 4 hours of pay, because it was a dealer vehicle I knew I’d get as much time as I took. If it was a customer car, I would’ve had to talk to the customer’s service advisor so they could sell more time on the job.


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-Dan

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