Wierd Magnetic Fields?

Page 1 of 2  
OK... This isn't really a "problem" with the car, but it has me baffled...
I have an 06 Civic Si. It is a great car, but it didn't come with a
compass, which I have always found invaluable, being that I do a lot of on-site work all over Western NY and Northwestern PA.
So, I bought a little ball compass that can be stuck to the dash, suctioned to the windshield or clipped to the visor. Simple solution.
The problem is that no matter which way I go, I am always pointed ENE according to the compass, when it is anywhere inside the front section of the car. I haven't checked it in the back, as I don't ever plan to drive from there... ;-)
Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with the compass. If I take it out of the car and walk around, it works fine.
So, my question is simply if anyone knows what in the car could be causing this. There must be something with a strong enough field that it is pulling the compass, but I can't seem to narrow it down. I get the same results with the compass in the passenger seat area or the drivers area, on top of the dash or below, and even at the roofline.
I don't expect to be able to fix it. The only solution may be to buy the stupid $200 option rearview mirror with a built-in digital compass, but I'd still love to know what on earth is going on...
--
Joseph M. LaVigne
snipped-for-privacy@hits-buffalo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When you move it around to various locations in front, does the direction deflect slightly? If there were something inside the car that created a magnetic field - under the dash or hood, etc. - it seems to me that the lines of magnetic force would not all be lined up. In other words, in an area that small, there should be a 'point' of origin somewhere. You could even approximate the location by observing the compass deflection.
Unless the car is somehow acting as a coil, and the compass is 'inside' the coil.

What about close to the car? Is there a clear line of working/not working as you leave the car, or does the effect 'fade out?'
-- R Flowers
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 8 Sep 2006 08:13:30 -0500, R Flowers wrote:

You'd think, wouldn't you? ;-)
I do not find any serious movement from location to location. It always shows ENE.

As soon as I get out of the car with it (even holding it out the window) it acts normally. Strangest friggin thing I have ever seen...
--
Joseph M. LaVigne
snipped-for-privacy@hits-buffalo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joe LaVigne wrote:

1. the car's full of electrical gear - all of which generates electromagnetic fields of some degree. you can figure out if that's the cause by turning everything off and seeing if the needle moves.
2. the car's made of ferro-magnetic steel. that always has some degree of "set" to it. theoretically, it's possible to neutralize this with big electromagnetic coils running around the perimeter of the vehicle [as used in shipping], but reality of course is that it's not practical.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 06:17:57 -0700, jim beam wrote:

That certainly sounds most likely to me, too. The effect is the same with the car on or off...
Thanks for the possibility...
--
Joseph M. LaVigne
snipped-for-privacy@hits-buffalo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
No don't spend that kind of money for a compass. Just go to Sears and buy the yellow digital one with the 2 rubber suction cups. I paid $25 bux and it is excellent. You do a calibrate by driving in a circle and it compensates for any magnetic variation in the vehicle. I love the thing. RickOn Fri, 08 Sep 2006 04:17:39 -0400, Joe LaVigne

--
Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail /

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 09:54:29 -0400, RickaTTic wrote:

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=AUTO&cat=Automotive+Accessories&subcat=Emergency+Kits+%26+Travel+Aids&pid 823009000 http://tinyurl.com/ja56j
This one? It isn't yellow, but it looks like what you are describing. I think I'll go get one tomorrow.
Thanks!
--
Joseph M. LaVigne
snipped-for-privacy@hits-buffalo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joe, Here is the webpage of the manufacturer of my compass which I bought at Sears. I have the VT220 model and it is great. http://www.wayfindercompass.com/wayfinder.asp I'm fairly certain the one you posted is about the same. Good Luck you will love it. RickaTTic
On Sat, 09 Sep 2006 03:46:50 -0400, Joe LaVigne

--

Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail /

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 07:29:32 -0400, RickaTTic wrote:

That's the one! Works great. Thanks for the tip!
--
Joseph M. LaVigne
snipped-for-privacy@hits-buffalo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the body of the car is magnetized, I don't think this would help.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 9 Sep 2006 10:11:15 -0700, Brady Sakoda wrote:

The digital is far less affected by it.
Here's an update... Bought the digital from sears. Originally placed it near the left side of the windshield, at the edge. It had very similar problems to the analog.
Placed it in the center of the Windshield, so it is visible just below the rear-view mirror, calibarated it, and it is perfect. The analog in this position still showed ENE at all times.
So, now, I am a happy camper... ;-)
Thanks, everyone, for your input.
--
Joseph M. LaVigne
snipped-for-privacy@hits-buffalo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm happy to hear it is working for you. I mounted my compass just under the rear view mirror maybe 5 inches down. Drove in a circle and calibrated and Perfect! You will notice that going under large metal overpasses the degrees will change and the direction sometimes. This is normal due to the large affect of a big mass of metal. I've spent a lot of bux over the last 5-10 years and my wife always laughs at my quest for a working car compass. Now finally my quest has been fulfilled LoL. Have Fun... RickaTTic
On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 05:46:56 -0400, Joe LaVigne

--
Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail /

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Does it make a difference if the car is on or off? that could lead you in the direction of what is causing the pull.
Dave DeJonge
" I don't like guns" - Dave DeJonge
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's the radio speaker.
Al
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 8 Sep 2006 23:13:08 -0700, Big Al wrote:

I thought that, too, but considering that it doesn't change anywhere in the car, including far away from any speakers, I think the magnetized body is most likely...
--
Joseph M. LaVigne
snipped-for-privacy@hits-buffalo.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When the outside of your car gets dusty, do you see the magnetic lines in the way the dust settles? Just curious.. Nick
Joe LaVigne wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There you go! Get some fine metal filings and throw them on the car in various places.
-- R Flowers
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

couple inches swings the compass a lot.
Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 9 Sep 2006 16:37:56 -0700, "Michael Pardee"

I am going to jump in here late. I do not think any of the answers explain what the OP experienced. There are several issues with compasses in cars, airplanes, boats, etc.
1. The compass needle is a magnet. It will point to the nearest peace of ferromagnetic material. It will point to a magnet, but it will also point to a nail, car pillar, anything made of iron or steel whether magnetized or not.
2. The car is full of magnetic fields caused by wiring, speakers, etc.
Both of these issues are resolved by placing the magnet as close to the outside world as possible, stuck to the windshield for example, and then calibrating it.
But, the OP said the compass always pointed ENE (if I recall). I assume this is regardless of the position of the car. This sounds like a stuck compass needle. In other words, take it back and get a refund.
Elliot Richmond Itinerant astronomy teacher
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Elliot Richmond wrote:

Not sure he said that (points ENE at all times) but I may be wrong. What I do know he said is that it works just fine as soon as he removes it from the car. There, I think, goes the stuck needle theory, right?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.