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Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

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  • Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

    My 1999 Civic GX with 70,000 miles on it died on me after a fill up about 2 months ago. I had it towed to a Honda Dealership in SLC, Utah and found out that the tank solenoid was shorting out. It is a part inside of the fuel tank which makes me wonder if it is a safety issue. When I asked about possible options they said that the whole tank would have to be replaced costing over $7000 . I asked if I could have prevented this with any maintenance and they said that there was no way and the part was non-serviceable and the only option was to replace the entire tank. I am wondering if this part shorting could be a safety issue? Has anyone else had this problem or have any suggestions on how to have it fixed?

  • #2
    Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

    I've never heard of this problem before, but before giving Honda $7k for a new tank I would call some other CNG shops around Utah and see if they can get you a better price on a tank.

    Natural Solutions - Lindon - 801-785-6225
    Hauns Auto Tech - Orem - 801-494-1521
    Car Doctors - Pleasant Grove - 801-785-9882
    Go Natural CNG - Bountiful - 801-281-4766
    Semi Services - Salt Lake - 801-521-0360
    Lancer Automotive - Salt Lake - 801-268-8863

    We've got a few Cavalier tanks we could let go of for pretty cheap. Ask the shops if there would be any problem putting one of those in a Civic.

    Good Luck,
    -Derek
    www.CNGUtah.com

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    • #3
      Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

      it came apart from the tank when they made it it seems to me you should be able to pull the valve and just replace it at worst or hopfuly just the solnoid I am not a honda kinda guy how about this some of you tank inspector type guys ? what is the deal on honda tanks or just use a manual valve and put a solnoid in the hp line insted?

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      • #4
        Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

        Thanks for your suggestions. I am currently talking to someone else about alternate solutions but have found that the solenoid produced by Honda is a part they will not sell or install. The other shop is looking into something after market that may work. I don't know why Honda would make a part that can fail and not be replaced.
        Last edited by danaman; 09-24-2009, 08:25 AM.

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        • #5
          Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

          Originally posted by danaman View Post
          It is a part inside of the fuel tank which makes me wonder if it is a safety issue... I am wondering if this part shorting could be a safety issue?
          It is not a safety issue. The tank solenoid valve is designed to close when there is no power going to it and open when power is going to it. This is controlled by the ignition switch. When it is shorted out, the power is cut off to the valve and it closes so no gas is allowed out of the tank. Therefore, your tank is completely safe. I don't understand why your entire tank needs to be replaced. You should just be able to replace the solenoid valve with the exact same valve (same part number). The replacement valve must be approved by the tank manufacturer (Lincoln Composites in your case). There is still natural gas inside your tank and there is a procedure to vent the tank through the solenoid valve even though it is closed. You can manually open the valve, but this procedure is for venting purposes only and not to be used to open and close the valve for vehicle use. The shops mentioned above should know how to properly vent the tank and remove the valve.

          The tank must be removed from the vehicle to be able to vent and remove the faulty valve. There is the possibility that Honda has a rule that if the tank is removed (for whatever reason) then it needs to be replaced with a new one. But I could be wrong on that.
          Last edited by Highmarker; 09-24-2009, 08:29 AM. Reason: Added last paragraph
          Jared.
          Mountain Green, Utah
          2003 CNG Cavalier
          2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

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          • #6
            Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

            Thanks. I actually contacted Lincoln Composites and they said that they cannot send the solenoid because it is a Honda produced part. They simply installed the solenoid and tested it and sent it back to Honda to be installed. So my options as far as I understand from Honda are: 1. junk the car or 2. replace the entire tank for about $7000.
            Last edited by danaman; 09-24-2009, 03:36 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

              A couple of things to try. In the past, Honda has paid for this out of warranty as " Good Faith Repair". Call the 800 # for honda customer service. Be nice and tell them how much you love honda automobiles. It's worth a try.

              Sometimes the dealer can arrange a " Back Door " part. This is when the manufacturer ships the part to the dealer free, and the car owner pays for labor. Also a " Good Faith" gesture from the manufacturer. Does not happen much these days.

              Option 3. Some gx's from minor accidents are getting junked, so a tank will come up from time to time. IMPORTANT , ANY HANDA TANK MUST STAY IN THE BRACKET DURING REMOVAL, AND RE-INSTALL TO BE USEABLE AGAIN.

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              • #8
                Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                Here's a 99GX for $3k.
                http://cngchat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5565

                You could probably pull the tank and part out a lot of the rest of the car if you have the space and patience. Or he might be willing to sell you the tank alone.
                Last edited by CNG Utah; 09-25-2009, 10:51 AM.
                www.CNGUtah.com

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                • #9
                  Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                  Originally posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
                  A couple of things to try. In the past, Honda has paid for this out of warranty as " Good Faith Repair". Call the 800 # for honda customer service. Be nice and tell them how much you love honda automobiles. It's worth a try.

                  Sometimes the dealer can arrange a " Back Door " part. This is when the manufacturer ships the part to the dealer free, and the car owner pays for labor. Also a " Good Faith" gesture from the manufacturer. Does not happen much these days.

                  Option 3. Some gx's from minor accidents are getting junked, so a tank will come up from time to time. IMPORTANT , ANY HANDA TANK MUST STAY IN THE BRACKET DURING REMOVAL, AND RE-INSTALL TO BE USEABLE AGAIN.

                  Thanks for the ideas. American Honda says they will not assist in any way (that is the 800 number). The dealership has not offered the "back door" option to us and I doubt that they will, but it is worth a try. Thanks.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                    Solenoid failure is not limited to Gx's, we have the same problem with dedicated fords, to vent the gas you essentially destroy the poppet in the valve, rendering the entire valve useless, poor engineering IMHO. Valves were available that had an extra lockdown port that release gas from the fill side of valve, but they cost extra so they were'nt used. No valve manufacturer will sell you one nor can you get parts to repair one. Your only hope is to find a tank with a good valve. Hopefully in the future a repair part business will develop that will end this mad cycle of overpriced unavailable parts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                      Originally posted by Highmarker View Post
                      It is not a safety issue. The tank solenoid valve is designed to close when there is no power going to it and open when power is going to it. This is controlled by the ignition switch. When it is shorted out, the power is cut off to the valve and it closes so no gas is allowed out of the tank. Therefore, your tank is completely safe. I don't understand why your entire tank needs to be replaced. You should just be able to replace the solenoid valve with the exact same valve (same part number). The replacement valve must be approved by the tank manufacturer (Lincoln Composites in your case). There is still natural gas inside your tank and there is a procedure to vent the tank through the solenoid valve even though it is closed. You can manually open the valve, but this procedure is for venting purposes only and not to be used to open and close the valve for vehicle use. The shops mentioned above should know how to properly vent the tank and remove the valve.

                      The tank must be removed from the vehicle to be able to vent and remove the faulty valve. There is the possibility that Honda has a rule that if the tank is removed (for whatever reason) then it needs to be replaced with a new one. But I could be wrong on that.
                      why not manualy open the tank and install a inline solenoid valve in the line at the tank just a thought I would do this before I got intercorsed by honda and lincoln should cost just a few hundurd dollers

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                      • #12
                        Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                        Have you guy checked with TeleFlex GFI, they make the valve?

                        Just asking a dumb question

                        Larrycng

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                        • #13
                          Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                          My wife said that there are 2 other cars at the dealership with the same problem, so if I replace it with another tank there is still a chance that the part will go bad. Why would Honda manufacture a part that could go faulty like mine and the 2 others without having a reasonable way to fix it?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                            Originally posted by larrycng View Post
                            Have you guy checked with TeleFlex GFI, they make the valve?

                            Just asking a dumb question

                            Larrycng
                            I'll have to look into it. Thank you for the idea.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Civic GX won't start; $7000 repair

                              Originally posted by cowboy View Post
                              why not manualy open the tank and install a inline solenoid valve in the line at the tank just a thought I would do this before I got intercorsed by honda and lincoln should cost just a few hundurd dollers
                              Cowboy,

                              I understand what you are saying, but the valve (solenoid or manual) must be approved by the tank manufacturer.
                              Jared.
                              Mountain Green, Utah
                              2003 CNG Cavalier
                              2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

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