What's up with my Honda Civic door dinger?
March 11, 2008 6:23 PM   Subscribe

Why is my Honda Civic dinging when I come down to go to work in the morning? And can I make it stop? Some backstory...

In December, my '99 Honda Civic was stolen and hotwired. The police found the car. When the shop repaired the steering column, they did something wrong with the sensor that tells you if you left the keys in the ignition with the driver door open. That is, the dinger goes off every time you open the driver's side door, whether or not the key is in the ignition. This is annoying, but not a huge problem.

Cut to the last two weeks. Sometimes, when I come down in the morning, I realize that the dinger is dinging on its own, even with the door closed. This sometimes happens also when I come out of work. The dinger is definitely not dinging when I lock up the car and go into my house or to work. It does not happen every day. I think it happens more often on colder days, but I could be wrong. Also, when I'm driving, the dome light goes on by itself, and I can make it go off again by jiggling the driver's side door.

What gives, so to speak? Is this something a mechanically disinclined person such as myself could fix on his own? Thanks much.
posted by HeroZero to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Not having seen the car or knowing that model well, here's my guess: The switch in the area of the door that should close (i.e. make an electrical connection) when the door is open is closing when the door is shut. If you find this switch and cut or unplug the wire leading to it, it should stop triggering the events (light, ding) that occur when the door is open. Ideally, there is some sort of connector on the back of this switch that you can unplug, which you will be able to plug back in if this fix doesn't work by, say, causing a constant dinging.
posted by yohko at 7:07 PM on March 11, 2008

For what it's worth, on Saturday night my girlfriend's car seemed to have cold-related problems which caused the car to always think the door was open; chime constantly going, even after shutting it off. I ended up putting it in the garage to warm up then pulling the battery. After putting it back it's been fine since then.

She's got a 2000-ish Cavalier which was broken into at one point, had the stereo ripped out, and occasionally has other odd electrical issues.
posted by c0nsumer at 7:45 PM on March 11, 2008

Sounds like one or more of your electrical subsystems has partially failed since the hotwiring. I'd take it to the dealership and ask if they can replace whichever board senses door switches and keys in the ignition.

Should be a quick repair, but the electrical board might run as much as a couple hundred dollars.
posted by SlyBevel at 8:01 PM on March 11, 2008

It may be that the switch that senses that the door is open is just in need of adjustment.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:09 PM on March 11, 2008

This happened to my Prelude. The Honda specialist I had been taking it to told me to get a new door, although everyone else told me there's probably a fuse you can pull to make it stop dinging.
posted by hfbellefille at 11:04 AM on March 12, 2008

I'd say it is the pin switch for the door (1) and the sensor for the key in the ignition (2) - look in the area (with the door open) for (1) - it will be most likely look like a little rubber nubbin sticking out that should make the interior light go on and off when you push it in and let it return. Check it isn't damaged and/or replace it (it should be easy to do with very basic mechanical ability).

(2) is a little more tricky. I imagine that when they took the car, they damaged part of the sensor mechanism - why have you not taken it back to the shop that repaired the column for this issue? They need to fix this for free. If they can't then maybe get behind the dash and pull the connector off it to stop it being so irritating (although it is possible that this may interlock with the mechanism that stops you taking the lever out of park, but this is easily tested when you pull the connector off).
posted by Brockles at 8:02 AM on March 13, 2008

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