Recently, I encountered a problem with my trustworthy 2008 MDX – the rear windows just stopped working. I had replaced the driver-side window switch not long ago, thinking it would solve the problem, but it didn’t. This left me wondering, “What could be the underlying issue here?”
With a resolve to figure it out, I embarked on a mission to find the answer. My research led me to the culprit – the window wire harness, or as it’s technically known, the door sub-wire.
This component, when faulty, can cause various problems such as a stubborn fuel door, an unresponsive sunroof, a stuck rear hatch, or, as in my case, uncooperative power windows. My issue was specifically with the rear passenger and driver-side windows that refused to go down.
After pondering what could have caused the door sub-wire to malfunction, I concluded it was simply wear and tear. Over a decade of continuous use, the relentless opening and closing of the doors, had caused the wires to become fatigued and tear off.
However, the situation wasn’t as grim as it seemed. The wiring harness was reasonably priced, and replacing it was quite straightforward. In fact, it took me just about 10 minutes to fix it. So, if you’re interested in learning how I resolved this issue, keep reading. I’ll outline my process in the next section.
What you’ll need:
- Genuine Acura Door Sub-Wire Part #32757-STX-A00
- Your fingers
- Flashlight. It’s really dark under the dash.
- Flat head screw driver (Optional, I could have done it without any tools but it came in handy.)
1. Make sure you have a replaceable door sub-wire. The lowest price I can find on the internet was from Amazon.com
2. Identify the Sub-Wires: These are located on the front left driver side, nestled between the door and the car body.
View of the left sub-wire
View of the right of the sub-wire
3. Start by pulling back the left side sub-wire rubber grommet and plug. It should come off with relative ease. If necessary, apply some force. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to push the top of the plug and release it.
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. Next, pull back the right side rubber grommet and plastic retainer. The plastic retainer can be a bit stubborn – this is where your flat-head screwdriver will come in handy. Wedge it between the retainer and the body, and apply force to pry 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: You’ll find these under the dash, right next to the e-brake pedal. I found it helpful to depress the e-brakes to create 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. (Update: Optional, you can read about Opus method on using the fishing line method to simplify step 7. Look below at the comments or click here)
7. When everything is pulled out, feed the new wire harness back in. I found this to be the most difficult task. 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 plugs so I can maneuver them.
8. Lastly, put everything back and you’re done!
As it turned out, the malfunctioning rear windows in my 2008 MDX boiled down to a simple issue: a broken wire within the door sub-wire.
Despite the initial uncertainty, the process of identifying and replacing this faulty component was straightforward. The simplicity of the repair was a pleasant surprise, saving me from a trip to the mechanic and the associated costs.
This guide is here to show that with a little patience and the right guidance, tackling such issues by yourself can be pretty straightforward. There’s a certain satisfaction in resolving the problem with your own two hands, bringing a piece of your car back to life. So if you ever encounter a similar issue, remember – it’s simpler than you might think.