Honda Fit Sport -- Anti-Theft Foolishness

2007 Honda Fit Long-Term Road Test

Honda Fit Sport -- Anti-Theft Foolishness

May 07, 2007

If any of you lovely readers attended the Brad Mehldau concert at Pepperdine this weekend, and heard the announcement regarding the car with its lights on in the parking lot, uh, that was me. D'OH!

But, of course, I was too embarrassed to check and didn't happen to have the license plate memorized. (The announcer didn't mention that the car was a silver 2007 Honda Fit Sport). Needless to say, at the end of the show, when I discovered the headlights fading (after a mere two hours???), I was horrified. And Triple-A-less. Fortunately, a former employer was also in attendance and she and her husband helped me jump-start the Fit, which fired immediately.

That's where the trouble started. The damn error message.

See, apparently the Fit's stereo doesn't work if the battery is jump-started. Why? I spent much of the weekend pondering this. I had no problem driving the car, but thought, OF COURSE! If you steal the car, you can only do it in silence. It gives you time to think of how awful a person you are. Or better yet, in my case, the silence gave me time to think about not leaving the headlights on next time. (Sidebar: Why does a car like this even NEED that feature? I get that on a big SUV or work truck or something like that (camping trips and such, where one might actually need to shed light on something), but a city car like the Fit? Particularly if the battery runs out in a short two hours with the lights on? In my opinion, the lights should automatically go off with the car.)

Anyway, after much R'ing of TFM, I located the problem. Nowhere under the jump-start section. Nowhere in the pages related to the stereo. And forget the index. No "code," no "error message," no "troubleshooting." After repeated analysis of TFM, I finally found it under the anti-theft pages. Apparently there's a little card that comes with the car, with the code. I punched in the code and the stereo returned to normal.

Which led me to further ponder the utter stupidity of this system. To wit: Can't find it in TFM in any logical place. Totally unclear what this feature serves to prevent. (Feel free, dear readers, to opine.) And lastly, most people are simply going to leave the little card in the car, so if you DO steal the stereo system (which is fairly cumbersome and probably not very easy to remove, and not exactly a Rockford Fosgate or B&O), simply make sure to grab the manual packet from the glovebox so you can punch in the little code.

And yes, I realize this was all my fault. Should have just turned off the lights. Double-D'oh!

Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor, at 10,447 miles

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