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I own a Honda Civic 2007 FD MT. Lately the check engine light always turns on. When it starts from cold, there is no issue. But when I turn off the engine after a drive and then turn it on, it will take about 10 to 20 minutes to start. Long drives are not an issue.

I brought it to a Honda service center and was told that I need to have the top dead center (TDC) sensor replaced. I paid P6,000 to have the TDC sensor replaced, but the problem persisted. I was then advised to change the computer box or the engine control module, which is about P50,000 because they couldn't detect any other issue and there's a lack of supply of kuryente.

Do you have other suggestions? The computer box replacement is quite pricey, and I only know the car basics. Thank you for the help, and I hope you keep my name anonymous. I also hope your readers can provide suggestions.

Mario Tuddao

Hi Mario,

It's ironic that of all places that you could take your 2007 Honda Civic to, it had to be the Honda service center without any test parts to confirm what the problem is before having you pay for them.

What's the point of taking your car to the official brand representative service center, if it's just going to be subjected to the same guesswork that any multi-brand independent automotive service center unfamiliar with your vehicle model will provide? It comes across as the service center or its personnel are more interested in selling you a truckload of parts than actually fixing your vehicle's issues.

Now, I'm not saying that the service center you took your car to is incompetent or crooked—I'm sure they have to follow factory-approved repair and service procedures. The situation you encountered just doesn't make sense to me. Sadly, I have heard from numerous vehicle owners of other automotive brands encountering the same thing.

I would ask for your original TDC sensor back and go get a second or third opinion elsewhere. You'll likely have better results with a number of Honda specialists or enthusiast-friendly service shops in getting your car's problem fixed than the place you initially went to. Some independent shops do actually invest in test parts or have supplier networks that allow them access to test parts.

Visit a few of the local Honda enthusiasts online forums to get the lowdown on what places that you may want to check out to get your car fixed. There's a wealth of information out there, but just be mindful to shift through the information and pay no attention to trolls.

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Without checking on your car myself, seeing what the trouble codes are, or knowing its background (i.e. mileage, service history, driving habits) it does seem like that there's either an electrical component or connection that's functioning marginally or intermittently. I would look for an intermittent electrical connection first before suspecting parts failure. Be aware that it does consume a bit of time to track down electrical issues.

Automotive electrical components for the most part are fairly durable and last for quite some time. However, they do eventually fail and that's about only time we really want to replace them.

 


Ferman Lao
Technical Editor
Wearing the hats of a race car driver, driving instructor, grease monkey, tuner, dyno operator, auto shop owner, motoring journalist and CAGI president at one time or another, or all at once, deep down he's just another guy who loves cars.
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