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Discussion Starter #1
My 01 EX with 1400 miles has developed a gradually worsening squeaking/rubbing sound in the right hand side door pillar area (sounds like right where the fr passenger door meets the dash) that is almost constant. I brought it in to dealer today and they were baffled, after taking all the trim off. Their explanation was not clear but they suggested that there was an internal structural piece that was not properly aligned or joined or something like that. They seemed convinced that something is wrong though and scheduled me to go in to the body shop - They were also going to look for a service bulletin on this, swearing that they had never seen anything like this before -EVER. Naturally, I was a little freaked out. They said it was not safety-related although I don't know how they would know...

Has anybody had any problem like this? Should I allow the body shop to mess around with this? They said they weren't going to do any cutting or welding when I asked. They also said that where structural steel was joined at the welds, sometimes one piece is wrapped too tightly around the other and the metal squeaks when it flexes. Sorry for the dumb sounding description but I didn't get a look at the problem and they weren't too clear about it.
 

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Hi Yankeeblues,

Sorry to hear about your problem. Having worked for car dealership many years ago, I understand how frustrating something like this can be on both sides of the counter. By my experience, the fact that the dealer is acknowledging the problem and obviously trying to schedule a time to attempt to correct it says a lot for the folks you're working with.

Things like this can be very hard to track down sometimes because sounds can travel through the structure of the car and appear to be comeing from an area that's far removed from the actual sourse point. Please try to be patient with them on this one and good luck!

Drive Safe,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good points. Thanks.
Just to clarify; They seemed to know exactly where the noise was coming from, just not how to fix it. It seemed like they had seen something that didn't look right. The service coordinator (not a mechanic) even raised the question of the vehicle possibly having been in an accident (!)which seems pretty unlikely as the body looks perfect and I bought vehicle with 7 miles on it. I did buy from a family friend in a nearby state so it was a different dealer. When I questioned this comment, they backed right off that possibility. I guess I am curious as to whether anyone has had the dealer body shop muck around to solve a new car integrity problem - is this pretty unusual or standard?
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by yankeeblues:
Good points. Thanks.
Just to clarify; They seemed to know exactly where the noise was coming from, just not how to fix it.
</font>
Actually, that's my point. They know where the sound "appears" to be coming from but that isn't necessarily "where" it's coming from. They'll just have to track that down. OTOH, they may be correct on where it's coming from but I've seen situations where the movement causing the noise was totally indetectable by the naked eye. I've fought this type of thing before where I didn't find the culprit until I accidentally had my hand on the offending part when it happened to misbehave. I could feel it but would never have seen it. It can be very frustrating for all parties concerned.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> It seemed like they had seen something that didn't look right. The service coordinator (not a mechanic) even raised the question of the vehicle possibly having been in an accident (!)which seems pretty unlikely as the body looks perfect and I bought vehicle with 7 miles on it. I did buy from a family friend in a nearby state so it was a different dealer. When I questioned this comment, they backed right off that possibility. I guess I am curious as to whether anyone has had the dealer body shop muck around to solve a new car integrity problem - is this pretty unusual or standard?</font>
I've seen dealers that would make minor repair to a vehicle prior to sale and then not fully disclose this information but I'd say it's more the acception than the rule. Personally, I don't think it speaks well of a dealership that would do that but unfortunately, it happens sometimes. You're probably as familiar with your Odyssey as anyone at this point in time. Since the body itself looks OK, the only thing I can suggest is to put the car up on jack stands and crawl under to look for any evidence of repair work, unusual marks on the body work or possibly tell tale overspray. I'd be surprised if you found any based on what you've said so far but it might be worth checking out. Good luck with this and let us know how it works out.

Drive Safe,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for another helpful reply and I should look closely - but the reason I bought the Ody about 100 miles from home was to buy from a dealer my brother is personally acquainted with so the odds of this are REALLY small - still, worth checking out for peace of mind and I will.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This vehicle was in the dealer's body shop for the whole day but no repairs were made. They have identified some "bad welds" (their words) maybe from welding too hot (?) and they want to basically reweld this area which I am balking at without hearing from Honda. They cannot provide ANY time estimate for the car to be left for and cannot provide a loaner other than a small economy car for this undefined time.

The shop says they have never done this before on a new Honda (1400 miles). The dealer is nice and has offered to contact Honda to reassure me that this is the best way to proceed (I prefer not to have a bodyshop welded new car).

Anybody ever have any welding done under warranty?

Does this sound like a potential buyback car?

The dealer/body shop swears this is not a safety issue on account of the small number of affected welds vs the number in the unibody but I am not sure - what about in an accident?

Folks -weigh in - I need some advice? Does this sound major or am I just overreacting emotionally?

Ps- the cars drives and handles fine -
 

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I think your answer will lie with Honda, but I think I'd want it in writing.

One or two bad welds would be inconsequential if you could be positive that's all there are, but how do you know for sure? I think if I were you, I'd talk to a body man (or person
) that I knew and trusted to find out his estimate regarding the likelihood that the bad welds they found would be the ONLY bad ones.


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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes.
 

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Did they show you where they need to reweld? And how much painting, etc will be required? If it's in a hidden area like a door jam, then may not be too bad, but I'd sure hate to have any visible body panels repainted. I'd want the Honda Rep to be aware of it and ok it first, then if something gets messed up Honda can't say it shouldn't have been done. Also, like you say, how can they be sure it isn't a safety issue? Don't know the Lemon Law in your state, but be sure to keep a good paper trail like Tom did with his paint problem.

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Lanny
2K1 EX MB
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Chuck and Lanny for your good ideas and to all for reading. There is no paint involved as the creaky welds lie inside the windshield pillar. At least they mentioned no painting!!!I think that reaching the right weld(s)is the problem and that is why they won't give any time estimates. I am definitely going to proceed slowly on this and get a formal letter into Honda about this. In the mean time, the van drives fine (the creaking isn't always present or noticeable part. at hiway speeds.) I'll keep y'all posted and we'll see if the Ody makes it thru a week at Acadia, Maine without incident(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
8/20 update: my dealer contacted honda and they want to examine the winshield/pillar area and have their "field engineer" either repair the problem or failing that, replace the van? I have agreed to let him examine the car and offer recommended fix but NOT agreed to any welding. My neighbor, who owns an auto insurance adjustor co. doubts it is body/welding at all but thinks it is more likely plastic trim or duct parts rubbing. He thinks it is probably not serious. He is going to take the van for a test "sqeak/drive later this week so we'll see what HE says.
 

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Hi,
Just read this thread today. Wow.
Body work/integrity is one of my hot buttons. I HATE body/repair shops because in general, they just don't know what the heck they are doing.

I know maybe only 1 or 2 shops that I've ever encountered that I "trust" in relation to body repairs, etc...

Anyways, I diverge. Do have the field engineer take a look at your van, and diagnose the problem. Make sure this is well documented too!

To be honest, bad spot welds scare me. (if this is truly the problem) If the bad welds are enough to cause noise from stress/vibration in routine driving, I personally feel (my opinion) that is probably not too safe, and I think you have every right to be concerned. Structurally, the A-pillar is critical for integrity during frontal collisions, and rollover situations.

The problem with fixing welds after the car is together is that they usually can't be done the same way as in assembly. Spot weld locations are optimized for highest strength, and they do this PRIOR to finishing the metal. Typically a body shop will have to strip/prep the surface, and use either a torch, tig welder, etc.. to do the repair.

The difference is that at the factory the spot welder comes in from both sides of the metal and fuses the metal together in a big "spot" somewhat like a glue between two sheets of paper. With other forms of welding, coming in from one side, they typically have to do a seam weld, which is not really the same structurally as spot welds. Then there is the issue of "back side" refinishing (may not be a concern) since the welding will burn finish off the opposing side of the metal. Just about any time you have welding, you will have refinish/repaint issues, because the plating from the steel gets burned off...

I'm not saying that it cannot be repaired properly. I'm merely stating that critical structural areas such as the pillars need carefull attention. I also have not seen where the in question weld(s) are, or exactly what the problem is, so some of my comments may not completly apply. I just wanted to state some of what I know, having worked in the auto industry.

I'd get a second opion too if I were you. This of course, is assuming you can find a body shop you trust....

I sure hope you don't have a weld problem.
Best of luck, and hang with it...

-SJ



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DEP '01 EX no-navi
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update 9/13; Still waiting for district Honda Engineer to look at car but I had it examined closely by my neighbor, an auto body adjuster with 30 years exp. Although he was frustrated by not being able to find the squeak, he is emphatic that it is NOT frame or even metal related and is a trim squeak in a hard place to find. He is totally confident that the body/frame is safe. The Serv Mgr (nice, helpful) said it is" definitely metal." So we will see what the Honda Engineer says as I am insisting he examine the car and give me a written opinion. Stay tuned and thanks for carin'.
 

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I had a similar problem with my 99. I actually identified it before I bought it new, but drove it home anyway (bad mistake). It took four trips to the dealer and finally a rewelded strut tower before it was fixed. My problem was actually a clicking coming from the same area you described. I was able to figure out when the hood was open and I pushed extremely hard down on the fender that it was coming from the strut tower even though it sounded like a trim problem from inside.

A couple months after mine was fixed, I spoke to the service manager and he said several people with around 1K miles had the same problem, and the same rewelding fixed it. I thought this was a 99 only problem, but maybe you have the same thing.

I finally traded in my 99 last week after the drivers side started doing the same thing and after being frustrated with numerous other bugging problems. I now have a 2002 EX. If I have similar problems with it, the 2002 will be my second and last Honda.
 

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Coming from a guy who just went through the Lemon Law with his Volvo, I have one piece of advice for you:

Keep ALL records of everything you do. If you have not done it yet, start a journal of ever phone call, and every service visit you make. Record what you tell people, and what you are told in return. Doesn't take much, but if you start it now, and keep it up-to-date, you'll be in great shape if this becomes a buy-back situation.

Good luck. I feel your pain.

- Darell

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Discussion Starter #15
FINALLY a happy ending. The district engineer met me at the local dealer yesterday; obviously very knowledgeable and get this...he listened carefully to everything I had to say about the creaking; then we went for a long ride. He agreed that the sound was "non-metallic" and his first suspect was the windshield/windshield sea. So they had a glass guy look at it -he said no. Turns out the culprit was the plastic outside trim at bottom of windshield rubbing against a body seam. The noise is GONE. BTW, the dealer accidentally nicked the front tire going off the lift and replaced the tire with a new Symmetry and told me right off. They also did the first service/oil change at no charge. So I am pretty happy with Honda and the dealer right now. Also, the regional field engineer is Thomas McGovern, Field Engineering and his card says he is out of Arlington Heights, Ohio. A true professional.

Do you think I am happy I didn't let the dealer's body shop start welding the pillar? YOU BET. Patience has its rewards guys.
 

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Great news. We lose some and win some. I'm glad yours was a winner. And you have established what appears to be a good relationship with the service department at the dealership by being patient and not nasty about it.

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Lanny
2K1 EX MB
 
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