Could it be my spark plugs? - Honda Civic Forum


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Old 04-17-2009   #1  
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Exclamation Could it be my spark plugs?

UPDATE: The cause of the problem was I didn't slow charge the cap, I didn't put the resistor in. We now know why I have the problem, we only need to find the problem!

Please let me begin by saying EVERYTHING in my system has been either changed or replaced.

I had this kickass system, it sounded amazing. However I was getting a slight headlight dim. So I got a Tsunami Competition Capacitor.

I followed the instructions and hooked it up. (This was verified by a pro audio shop *** being correctly hooked up.) I reconnected my battery and my cap began to squeal, it then blew my 150amp inline ANL fuse. I quickly disconnected it and started my car.

Ever since that incident I have gotten static and squealing (that matches the revs) out of my tweeters. It also seems to have weakened my whole electrical system. My lights dim while rolling the windows down (even with my sound system off). My lights also dim much more than they used to while the woofer hits. The tweeters also output the sound of the CD spinning in the headunit.The problem only exists while the engine runs.

This is not your common alternator squeal. I have tried everything I can think of.

Since the incident I have tried changing all of the following:
  • Head unit
  • Spark plugs
  • Amps
  • Speakers
  • 4 gauge Ground wires
  • 4 gauge Hot wires
  • Shielded RCAs
  • Remote wires
  • ELD
  • Head Unit Harness
  • Spark Plugs
  • Alternator
  • Battery

I have also tried:
  • Regrounding both my head unit and amp straight to the battery
  • Power the head unit and amp straight to the battery
  • Run the power on the seperate from the RCAs
  • Tried 4 different head units
  • Ground loop isolators
  • Ground Noise suppressors
  • Upgrading to 120Amp Alternator
  • Upgrading my battery ground terminals

The only thing that seemed to provide a band aid solution is on my Pioneer, if I touch the RCA ground to the headunit, the problem completely goes away. This does not seem to work on the Sony, Alpine, nor Pyle head unit.

Please I am begging for someone to figure this out. This was originally posted at CivicForums, but so far no one has solved it.

Crappy Video (HD coming soon):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSTj9-duGB0

Thanks

Last edited by Retell; 05-18-2009 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 04-17-2009   #2  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

ground your headunit straight to the chassis instead of using factory harness wire. check and upgrade your engine grounds from battery to chassis.
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Old 04-18-2009   #3  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

I have grounded the headunit and amp straight to both the battery and chassis which made very little difference. I have also powered the head unit straight from the battery. I've also replaced the battery tap for the ground with brand new thicker gauge wiring, as well as the ground going from the engine to the chassis.

I am going insane. Could it be my battery?

Last edited by Retell; 04-18-2009 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 04-18-2009   #4  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

not likely. just to be sure, you ran the rcas and power wire for the amp on opposite sides of the car right? its possible your rcas are just crappy quality and are picking up noise, or they got ruined when you hooked the cap up wrong. does the static happen when you have stereo on but engine off? could be the "hotwires" which im assuming are the nology spark plug wires. they dont really do anything, but the caps in the wires may be causing interference.
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Old 04-18-2009   #5  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

The cap is currently out of the system in fear that it my "mess" something up further. The RCAs are shielded "Competition Series" and they are indeed ran separate from the power. I have also tried a brand new RCA cable not hidden or anything just running over the center console.

I am a computer person, I thought the transition to car electronics would be an easy one... ahahah

I am also trying to read up on the ELD, could that be a possibility?

I have also pulled the fuse for my alternator and started the car for a quick sec, the static was pretty much gone, however the engine sequel in the tweeters continued.

Thank you gearbox for taking more interest in this subject than anyone before you My father works for a Honda dealership (Not a technician, but he has no clue).
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Old 04-18-2009   #6  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

hmm i dont know what else it could be. unless, you blew the diodes in the alternator with your cap accident. that would cause alot more electrical noise. its also possible you blew the resistors in the spark plugs, or both. the ELD is just the electronic load detector, it senses how much power the car needs and turns the alternator on/off accordingly so its not constantly producing power thats not needed.
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Old 04-18-2009   #7  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Ah. Well the noise is very noticeable, but if I crank the radio and fill the car with sound you cannot really hear it. It becomes only slightly louder when the volume is turned way up. The noise is only present when the engine is running. The car seems to be much more sensitive to power as well. Even when the amps are unhooked, if I put the windows up or down my headlights dim, if I turn my headlights on my heating fans slow. The headlights were changed but they are still halogens (Low beams: Nighthawk Sport) (High beams: Regular Nighthawk)
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Old 04-18-2009   #8  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

the dimming and stuff is normal, our alternator is only 70 amps afterall, barely enough to run the car without accessories. the alternator may still be working but if the diodes blew, it will not dampen the electrical noise normally produced. try changing the spark plugs, then go to an auto store and have them check the alternator to see if the diode is good.
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Old 04-18-2009   #9  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

If the Diodes are bad can they be replaced by without replacing the whole alternator?
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Old 04-18-2009   #10  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Also what should I look for if it is bad spark plugs or alternator diodes. Can you recommend a good brand of both?
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Old 04-18-2009   #11  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Okay the doc is in. Here is what you have pioneer head units are known for the week rca grounding. So here is what you are going to do. Your going to take pieces or wire dosent matter if its 14 gauge or 16 gauge. And you are going to wrap a piece around your "grounding screw" than the other part you are going to wrap around the rca plugs. This should get rid of your noise. I could go into massive details on why this happens but I am not.If it still a curs after doing this than I might have to make an on site appearance. Here is a pick on what I am talking about.
Name:  PioneerFix.jpg
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Old 04-18-2009   #12  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

I understand that that fixes the symptoms, however why is it that with my Pyle head unit that same technique doesn't work?

I'd rather get the problem fixed, than hidden.
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

It dose not hide the problem. If you were to go buy a alpine head unit and install it you would not have this problem. The fact as I stated is that all pioneers have week grounding points on there rca's thats why you are getting the noise if they have a better ground than it will go away. This is what you have to do. Belive me I use to have a ppioneer in my 1999 honda civic and had the problem I didn't want to do that wire trick becasue I though it was a stupid to try but it works. But I got smart and found out that alpines are better so I went with them.
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Old 04-18-2009   #14  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

I am currently using a Pyle because my Pioneer died and is out for repairs. I have the same problem with a Pyle, I also tried another headunit which was a Sony with the same problem. The problem introduced itself with the bad cap install, before that my Pioneer and all my other head units worked really well.
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Old 04-18-2009   #15  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Hmm looks like I may need to come there. Try a few other things. But also pyle and sony not to rude but are rely rely cheap brands so try that trick. Also try removing the cap and cleaning up your ground for your amp.RCA cable quality has nothing to do with the noise signal that is carried threw it and than amplified by the amp. So it usually is the head unit.
Believe me I use to run into problems like this and didn't know what to do. Now I do and I help people with the problems. I can tell you its not your alt or your spark plugs. If it were you would hear hearing an even more horrendous sound coming threw your speakers. Also were are your rcas? If they are on the same side as your power and wake up line move them to the other side of the vehicle.
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Old 04-18-2009   #16  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

i tend to agree. i had some background noise problems on my old pioneer, esp with the radio. the alpine i have now is crystal clear. grounding the rcas is a good idea to try if it solves the problem. i would still replace the plugs (get some $2 ngk v-power coppers) and test the alternator. see if the diode comes back good. if not, replace the alt. having these things causing interference also will affect the ecu and the way the whole car runs.
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Old 04-18-2009   #17  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

The cap has never actively been used with the system, I installed a ground on the cap when I shouldn't have, the cap made a loud squeal and blew my 120amp fuse at the battery. The cap did this as soon as I reconnected the battery before the engine was even started. I believe that I pushed 12v into my chassis thus frying something. It has to be a problem in my stock electrical components from Honda. Before this my system worked perfectly.

Just so I am 100% sure, I need 4 spark plugs correct?

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Old 04-18-2009   #18  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

I think you may have damaged a diode in the alternator.

Take the alternators output lead loose and see if the noise is gone.
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Old 04-18-2009   #19  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Again, if it is just a diode can just a diode be replaced or is the whole alternator done?
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Old 04-18-2009   #20  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

I have unplugged the alternator and i just gets rid of a little static. For ***** and giggles I went to Autozone and they let me borrow a new Optima yellow top and that didn't fix it. He also test my alternator through my battery and said it was good.

I have also heard people say this could be a fuel pump or intake issue?

Last edited by Retell; 04-18-2009 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 04-19-2009   #21  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

After reviewing the diagrams from the service manual, I will indeed make spark plugs my next priority of troubleshooting.

http://autoban.com.ru:8080/manual/CivHtml/Wd-1a25.gif
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Old 04-19-2009   #22  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retell View Post
I have unplugged

Did you take the alternator output lead loose ?? The output lead is bolted on.

Since it happened after the electrical incident... My guess is something has been damaged. Not really any way the plugs could be damaged IMO. Was the engine running when the fuse blew ??

I cannot say if parts are avail for the alternator or not.

Last edited by CraigW; 04-19-2009 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 04-19-2009   #23  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Both the car and engine was off. I had just reconnected the battery.
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

That was a pretty good jolt to the system... the main alternator lead output wire is always hot when battery connected. Electrical and electronics are easily damaged by just such a event.

I just don't see it as spark plugs IMO.

The best way would be to take all connections loose from alternator and make the test.
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Old 04-19-2009   #25  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

I will take it to my mechanic friend and have whack at that
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Old 05-10-2009   #26  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

120AMP Alternator installed, fixed a little light blinks, but my speaker squeal is still there, so if anyone finds a good deal on some NGK spark plugs let me know, that will be my next test.

Could it possibly be a relay?
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Old 05-10-2009   #27  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

if youre getting feedback from speakers, its either a bad headunit ground, bad plugs (or plugs without resistors), or bad alternator diode (prolly not this cause yours is new). try the ngk v-power plugs for $2 each.
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Old 05-10-2009   #28  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

Everything related to the sound system (RCAs, 4/8guage wiring, remote wires, headunit, speaker amp, woofer amp, all 4 speakers, woofer, wiring harness, iPod input cable, and all of the amp/head unit ground have been changed)

:'( I really hope it is my spark plugs. Wish me luck gearbox.
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Old 05-10-2009   #29  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

I found the V Powers at my local Pep Boys.

Just for future reference how much better are these over the standard V Power.

Iridium Plug
Platinum Plug
Laser Series Platinum Plug
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Old 05-10-2009   #30  
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Re: Could it be my spark plugs?

platinum plugs are trash, they are the worst conductors and their only benefit is long life. the oem plugs are double platinum (center and ground electrodes are platinum coated). copper is the best conductor but it has the shortest life. these are the best for performance if you dont mind changing the plugs every couple years, and theyre cheap. the v-power is a copper plug and i recommend it over anything else. now if you have money to throw away, the denso iridium are the top of the line with a very small center electrode. while they will not give any extra hp over the copper plugs, they do use less electrical energy to make the same spark, so your charging system doesnt have to work as hard.
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