How to: Acura MDX 2007-2013 no power windows, sunroof, gas/fuel door or rear door fix

So recently my 2008 MDX rear windows didn’t work. We recently replaced driver side window switch but that didn’t fix the issue, so I was wondering what other issue it might be. With some research, I was able to pin point the issue to the MDX window wire harness  or the correct term known as the door sub-wire. Some owners might develop a combination of issues such as fuel door, sunroof, rear hatch, or various power windows not working.  My specific issue was the rear passenger and driver side windows were not going down. What’s my guess to what caused the door sub-wire to have issues? After 10 years, with enough opening and closing the doors the wires will develop fatigue and tear off.  Luckily, the wiring harness was cheap and it was a simple 10 minutes job for me.  I’ll show you how I fixed it.

What you’ll need:

How to: 

1. Make sure you have a replaceable door sub-wire. The lowest price I can find on the internet was from Amazon.com

 

2.  Locate the sub-wires. They will be located in the front left driver side, in between the door and the car.

View of the left sub-wire

View of the right of the sub-wire

3. Pull back the left side sub-wire rubber grommet and plug.

It should easily come off. Feel free to use some force. 

What it looks like pulled back.


Use your fingers or a flat head screw driver to push on the top of the plug so you can release it. Push down and pull the plug.

4. Pull back the right side of the rubber grommet and plastic retainer. The plastic retainer might be a little stubborn. This is where the flat head screw driver came in handy for me. I wedged it in between the plastic retainer and forced it out.

I found it easier to pull out the rubber grommet from the bottom.


The plastic retainer might be a little stubborn. What helped me was a flat head screwdriver to pry it out.

5. Unplug, the sub-wire’s green plugs and clip under the dash. They are right next to the e-brake pedal. It helped me tremendously to push down the e-brakes for more working space.

I made three red circles in this picture to show what needs to be unplugged. Two green plugs and one plastic retainer clip.

6.  Once everything is unplugged. Pull out the wires from the front.

7.  When everything is pulled out, feed the new wire harness back in. This might be the most difficult part. It might take a little jiggling, pulling the wire out and pushing it back in so you can see it from under the dash. A flashlight came in handy for spotting the green plug.

8.  Lastly, put everything back and you’re done!

The Culprit

As expected, the reason the rear windows were not working was because of a broken wire.

Repairing Weatherstrip on a Car

So recently I was walking by my car,  a 2008 Nissan Xterra, and I noticed one of the rear door weather seal was awkwardly sticking out. I inspected the damage and it seems like it somehow ripped out of the fastener. I tried putting the weather strip back into the fastener but it would not stay.

 

Options

I looked at different options on how to repair it. First instinct was looking for a OEM weatherstrip replacement but the price was too expensive. Second option was to replace it with an aftermarket weatherstrip, but while comparing the Xterra weatherstrip to the aftermarket it looked a lot different and seemed like it would not work out that well. Lastly, the best option was to use a weatherstrip adhesive to keep the weatherstrip intact.

How to apply weatherstrip adhesive?

1. Buy a weatherstrip adhesive of your choice.  For me I purchased 3M 08008 Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive due to the overwhelming positive reviews.

3M Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive

 

Permatex Black Super Weatherstrip Adhesive

The cheapest option I can find if you’re trying to save money. Permatex Super Weatherstrip Adhesive. 

2.  Remove fastener. For my car I had the old fasteners obstructing the path. Since I could no longer use them I decided it was best to remove it so the weatherstrip can fit flat.

Feel free to discard the fastener once your done because they will be bent and useless.

3. Clean the surface of the door and weatherstrip really well with rubbing alcohol or windex.

4. Apply the adhesive on both the door and rubber. The instructions says wait for it to get tacky before putting the surface together.

5. After waiting for a minute I decided to put the weatherstrip and door together.  What I used for indicators for alignment on the weatherstrip was to match the hole on the weatherstrip with the fastener holes. Try not to make a mess but if you do try your best to wipe off the excess adhesive. For me it dried too fast so I rubbed it off with my hand.

6.  Final Step. Let it dry for a few more minutes before closing the door. Surprisingly, it dries pretty fast and holds its strength.

Conclusion

It was a quick and easy fix for a few dollars. Really happy with the results and it seems like the weatherstrip never had an issue to begin with.

Nissan Xterra Air Bag SRS light and Autel AL619

A couple of days after replacing my suspensions I notice my airbag light (SRS) started to blink.  At first I thought I’ll just do a simple reset procedure to turn it off.  I tried the procedure but after a few trips later the SRS light started blinking again. I knew this would be a nightmare to deal with since the car has multiple airbag devices that will trigger the lights. So I came up with a bright idea, why not take it to O’Reilly and see if they can read SRS codes. So when I went down there I found out that their OBD2 reader Bosch OBD 1200 can actually read SRS codes but for some reason it was giving errors and was not able to pull any codes. When I researched more into the Bosch OBD 1200 I found out it was actually rebrand of Actron CP9680 where it does list Nissan as compatible for SRS code reading but for some reason it was not pulling any SRS codes.

I didn’t want to take the car to the dealership because as you know they’re pricey. I do have an OBD2 code reader at home so I researched all different ways to pull SRS codes using an OBD2 reader. I discovered OBD2 can only read engine error codes and I would need a specialized SRS reader for SRS codes. So I googled SRS code reader on Amazon to see what options came up and it was an Autel AL619.

Autel AL619

It was cheaper than taking it to the dealership and I get a code reader out of this whole ordeal. So when the Autel AL619 came I plugged it into my car right away. Navigating through the menu was easier than the Bosch. I didn’t need to set the model, year, and make of the car. I could just simply choose the SRS option and it prompted the maker of the car. It read the code and gave me two codes. It was B1049 and B1054. A light researched indicated that these codes meant I needed a new spiral cable (clock spring.)  Bought a replacement clock spring, installed it and then used the Autel AL619 to erase the SRS codes. After driving the car for a few months and no new SRS codes it’s safe to say that the clock spring was the culprit that’s now fixed.

Here are a few extra notes from my experience:

  • Most models of cars have procedures where you can pull SRS codes without a need for a code reader. For the Nissan, the air bag light will blink in a certain sequence to let you know the error.
  • Sadly, when I did the procedure for my Nissan Xterra it gave me 0 blinks. Which meant:
    • Self-Diagnoses result (previously stored in the memory) might not have been erased after repair
    • Intermittent malfunction has been detected in the past.
    • These were really broad explanation and the only repair order mentioned was to use Nissan Consult II. Which you know cost thousands of dollars if you want to buy your own.
  • The procedure is only good for pulling one code. If you have two SRS codes stored like my situation then it might just give you 0 blinks which can only be read by a SRS code reader.
  • The clock spring was most likely damaged when I was replacing the suspension. I probably turned the steering wheel past the allowed limit and damaged the clock spring.
    • Surprisingly, even though my clock spring was damaged my horns and steering wheel controls were working fine.
  • I did not need to update the Autel AL619 before using it. It’s recommended that you do just in case. It also doubles as an OBD2, SRS and ABS code reader.