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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bought my 2010 FK3 there was bright green mold all around the rear light cluster. This is a well-known fault with the 8G Civic and is to do with water/soap getting trapped in the light cluster drainage channels and turning green. This is much like the pond scum you'd get on any poorly maintained static body of water. For my two cents, this is due to the water channels being both incredibly small and virtually horizontal in some places (particularly around the rear lights).

I recently went through the process of cleaning all the mold out of the channels so I thought I'd write a 'How To' guide to help anyone else with the same issue. I also wanted to provide a single, easy to find thread that everyone could refer to. There are other posts about this issue already and I'll detail some of the methods others have used to clean the mold. I've attached some before and after photos to show the improvement. Enjoy!

Previously documented methods:
  • Pressure washer. Seems to be most effective if you only have a light covering of mold
  • Toothbrush. Dipped in some mold killer/bleach and rub the bristles into the channels
  • Syringe. Used with a small gauge needle to inject a bleach solution into the small channels

My method was a little different as I wanted to get a really deep clean. I also thought it was a cool alternative approach and hence was worth a go.

Time needed:
I did my entire rear light cluster in under 2 hours. I'm certain you could do it quicker than this with this guide. It's worth noting that a chunk of the time taken was also spent getting access to and undoing the bolts holding the clusters. The centre cluster is a complete PITA unless you're brave enough to attempt removing the fragile interior boot trim (I wasn't!).

Tools:
  • Spray bottle of Ronseal 3 in 1 mold killer (like you'd use on damp walls in the house)
  • 500ml adjustable spray bottle of warm water
  • Cloth/MF towel
  • Morrisons basics pack of 2 firm toothbrushes
  • Small pot/container
  • Wilko's kids craft pipe cleaners
  • 8mm spanner
  • 8mm bit on a ratchet (Extension bar helps if available)
  • Trim removal tool (slim)

Method:
  1. Spray a load of mold killer into the pot/container. You need enough that you can easily dip/submerge a couple of centimetres length of the pipe cleaners in the mold killer. I used this instead of bleach as it's quite a gentle chemical and also leaves behind an anti-fungal compound which I'm hoping will ensure the mold can't re-grow. It may be the same as bleach ultimately, only time will tell.
  2. Take your pipe cleaner doused in ronseal and slide it horizontally and vertically into one affected water channel at a time
  3. Slide your pipe cleaner in/out a little to grab as much mold as possible
  4. Remove the ronseal pipe cleaner (which will remove a good proportion of the mold)
  5. Spray some warm water roughly into/onto the part of the channel you just cleaned
  6. Take a clean pipe cleaner and slide it into the channel, sliding back and forward, to remove the remaining mold and any excess ronseal
  7. Continue this process until you've cleaned all the channels. In some places you may need to use the firmer toothbrush bristles to get any stubborn mold.
  8. Rinse the whole area again with the spray bottle or any other water source you have to hand
  9. Dry each cluster/segment off as you go with the cloth

Tips:
  • To help stop the issue returning it may be advisable to blow out excess water from the channels each time you wash your car. You could use a hair drier or similar to make it easier. Obviously you can't do this every time it rains but doing it when you clean your car will at least help to stop any chemicals/soap staying in the channels.
  • Not all water channels are created equal! Some of them are 'wide', some are medium and some are reallllly thin (especially around the top edges of the indicator clusters). The wider channels will take two pipe cleaners twisted around each other to help you grab all the mold.
  • The really thin channels will most likely require the toothbrush approach or, as I'm going to do, loosen the bolts holding the cluster so you can get a little more access to the channel in hopes of using the pipe cleaner for a deep clean.
  • The rear indicator clusters are so easy to remove it's worth doing as it makes access to the channels super easy.
  • The centre rear light cluster with the Honda badge in it is ever so slightly recessed and as such the top edge water channel is overlapped by the metal body panel. In order to get into this channel I had to loosen (not remove) the bolts holding the cluster enough that i could pull the cluster out slightly and get access to the channel.
  • The pipe cleaners aren't the most rigid so they need to be fed into the channel gently or they'll keep bending at the point where they enter the channel. This is less of a problem on the wider channels where you can use two pipe cleaners twisted together.
  • The pipe cleaners will shed a little as you use them. To combat this, just keep changing out to new pipe cleaners every so often (There's 50 in the pack for £1 so why not!).
  • I had originally planned to use the white cleaners just in case they shed a little inside the channel and so you wouldn't see a bit of white against the plastic channel. In hindsight I went with the red, green and orange ones instead so that I could easily see any bits that shed inside the channel and so be able to clean them to not block the channel!
  • The pipe cleaners will do a really good job but they won't grab absolutely everything. What they will do though is get all the mold covered in mold killer which will allow any bits left over to be surgically pushed out of the channel with a pressure washer.
  • It's best to work from the top down on the channels otherwise you'll end up with mold from the top channels running down into the lower channels and just staying there. Why does the mold run down the channel but water stays....?
  • The lip around the top of the spoiler has a rubber seal and a small channel that is best tackled with a toothbrush.
  • You can usually get the pipe cleaner into a channel from the corners of the cluster but it's also possible to bend the end of a pipe cleaner to create a little hook which you can push into a channel mid-way through if needed.
 

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When I bought my 2010 FK3 there was bright green mold all around the rear light cluster. This is a well-known fault with the 8G Civic and is to do with water/soap getting trapped in the light cluster drainage channels and turning green. This is much like the pond scum you'd get on any poorly maintained static body of water. For my two cents, this is due to the water channels being both incredibly small and virtually horizontal in some places (particularly around the rear lights).



I recently went through the process of cleaning all the mold out of the channels so I thought I'd write a 'How To' guide to help anyone else with the same issue. I also wanted to provide a single, easy to find thread that everyone could refer to. There are other posts about this issue already and I'll detail some of the methods others have used to clean the mold. I've attached some before and after photos to show the improvement. Enjoy!



Previously documented methods:

  • Pressure washer. Seems to be most effective if you only have a light covering of mold
  • Toothbrush. Dipped in some mold killer/bleach and rub the bristles into the channels
  • Syringe. Used with a small gauge needle to inject a bleach solution into the small channels



My method was a little different as I wanted to get a really deep clean. I also thought it was a cool alternative approach and hence was worth a go.



Time needed:

I did my entire rear light cluster in under 2 hours. I'm certain you could do it quicker than this with this guide. It's worth noting that a chunk of the time taken was also spent getting access to and undoing the bolts holding the clusters. The centre cluster is a complete PITA unless you're brave enough to attempt removing the fragile interior boot trim (I wasn't!).



Tools:

  • Spray bottle of Ronseal 3 in 1 mold killer (like you'd use on damp walls in the house)
  • 500ml adjustable spray bottle of warm water
  • Cloth/MF towel
  • Morrisons basics pack of 2 firm toothbrushes
  • Small pot/container
  • Wilko's kids craft pipe cleaners
  • 8mm spanner
  • 8mm bit on a ratchet (Extension bar helps if available)
  • Trim removal tool (slim)



Method:

  1. Spray a load of mold killer into the pot/container. You need enough that you can easily dip/submerge a couple of centimetres length of the pipe cleaners in the mold killer. I used this instead of bleach as it's quite a gentle chemical and also leaves behind an anti-fungal compound which I'm hoping will ensure the mold can't re-grow. It may be the same as bleach ultimately, only time will tell.
  2. Take your pipe cleaner doused in ronseal and slide it horizontally and vertically into one affected water channel at a time
  3. Slide your pipe cleaner in/out a little to grab as much mold as possible
  4. Remove the ronseal pipe cleaner (which will remove a good proportion of the mold)
  5. Spray some warm water roughly into/onto the part of the channel you just cleaned
  6. Take a clean pipe cleaner and slide it into the channel, sliding back and forward, to remove the remaining mold and any excess ronseal
  7. Continue this process until you've cleaned all the channels. In some places you may need to use the firmer toothbrush bristles to get any stubborn mold.
  8. Rinse the whole area again with the spray bottle or any other water source you have to hand
  9. Dry each cluster/segment off as you go with the cloth



Tips:

  • To help stop the issue returning it may be advisable to blow out excess water from the channels each time you wash your car. You could use a hair drier or similar to make it easier. Obviously you can't do this every time it rains but doing it when you clean your car will at least help to stop any chemicals/soap staying in the channels.
  • Not all water channels are created equal! Some of them are 'wide', some are medium and some are reallllly thin (especially around the top edges of the indicator clusters). The wider channels will take two pipe cleaners twisted around each other to help you grab all the mold.
  • The really thin channels will most likely require the toothbrush approach or, as I'm going to do, loosen the bolts holding the cluster so you can get a little more access to the channel in hopes of using the pipe cleaner for a deep clean.
  • The rear indicator clusters are so easy to remove it's worth doing as it makes access to the channels super easy.
  • The centre rear light cluster with the Honda badge in it is ever so slightly recessed and as such the top edge water channel is overlapped by the metal body panel. In order to get into this channel I had to loosen (not remove) the bolts holding the cluster enough that i could pull the cluster out slightly and get access to the channel.
  • The pipe cleaners aren't the most rigid so they need to be fed into the channel gently or they'll keep bending at the point where they enter the channel. This is less of a problem on the wider channels where you can use two pipe cleaners twisted together.
  • The pipe cleaners will shed a little as you use them. To combat this, just keep changing out to new pipe cleaners every so often (There's 50 in the pack for £1 so why not!).
  • I had originally planned to use the white cleaners just in case they shed a little inside the channel and so you wouldn't see a bit of white against the plastic channel. In hindsight I went with the red, green and orange ones instead so that I could easily see any bits that shed inside the channel and so be able to clean them to not block the channel!
  • The pipe cleaners will do a really good job but they won't grab absolutely everything. What they will do though is get all the mold covered in mold killer which will allow any bits left over to be surgically pushed out of the channel with a pressure washer.
  • It's best to work from the top down on the channels otherwise you'll end up with mold from the top channels running down into the lower channels and just staying there. Why does the mold run down the channel but water stays....?
  • The lip around the top of the spoiler has a rubber seal and a small channel that is best tackled with a toothbrush.
  • You can usually get the pipe cleaner into a channel from the corners of the cluster but it's also possible to bend the end of a pipe cleaner to create a little hook which you can push into a channel mid-way through if needed.


Great how to. Not tried centre cluster but brake lights are easy to remove,mine are the same thinking of doubling up on the foam surround around them.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great how to. Not tried centre cluster but brake lights are easy to remove,mine are the same thinking of doubling up on the foam surround around them.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Glad it was of some use to people here. The center cluster is held on by about 10 nuts, some of which can be undone easily with the interior boot panels removed, but about 4 of them are an absolute pig to get at, without taking off the entire interior boot lid trim, which others have tried and failed at!

I managed to get at all the nuts in the end with a tiny spanner and a lot of patience. Even then though, I only loosened them off enough so I could pull the cluster out slightly proud of the surrounding panels which gave me better access to the water channels to clean them out.
 

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Premium Member
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Glad it was of some use to people here. The center cluster is held on by about 10 nuts, some of which can be undone easily with the interior boot panels removed, but about 4 of them are an absolute pig to get at, without taking off the entire interior boot lid trim, which others have tried and failed at!

I managed to get at all the nuts in the end with a tiny spanner and a lot of patience. Even then though, I only loosened them off enough so I could pull the cluster out slightly proud of the surrounding panels which gave me better access to the water channels to clean them out.


Typical nothing ever easy on these,thanks for the heads up , gonna give it a go soon, got a carbon holey of coolice thought it might have been easier to take it of and do it,& give it a clean at the same time
Cheers Stevie46


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I suppose I should add that it is perfectly possible to remove the entire trim from the bit, and theres a how to on here somewhere about it, but you can also very easily break the trim if you're heavy handed, which is why I decided against it!
 
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