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Old 07-16-2015, 12:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The doomed flickering lights issue....

Okay, so I'm new to the forum but not new to Hondas or working on cars in general. I have a 2000 EX, 5 speed I just purchased a week ago. It has 189k Miles and looks like it only has 30k and everything is stock except for one new OEM motor mount (practically a damned unicorn these days). So onto the meat of the subject, driving at night from work, my instrument cluster lights, including the cruise light while it is on, as well as the headlights will all flicker/pulsate in no discernible pattern while cruising on the interstate at or above 3k rpm. It will sometimes get bad enough that the SRS light will come on intermittently. No CEL has been thrown (and yes the light does illuminate during KOEO check). Battery light does not come on during driving either. I plan to test the battery and clean up the grounds and check all major power connections for tightness this weekend. I just wanted to see if anyone has ever found a definitive fix for this condition? All the searching I did came up with alternator, battery, Fuse #15 and some wiring harness woes under the intake, but no one ever finishes their damned posts if they fix it or not!!! So if anyone has some real knowledge on remedies of this condition I would really appreciate it! Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check voltage at the battery, sounds like a voltage regulator is going out or you may have a wire backfeeding into something (which would suck) or a simple ground issue.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yea, I plan to check that this weekend. I hate the way these things are set up with the ELD and the different output alternators. So many horror stories out there about reman alternators, but I guess you really only hear about the bad stories. I wish Honda would have just had a standard output system, even with the alternator off vs. on it only changes output approximately 2hp..at least that's what we found with our road race car when we tried a switch to cut off the alternator when we chose to.
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Old 07-16-2015, 02:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Denso makes the best remans for alternators for Honda, they make the OEM ones so they should know what they are doing.
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Old 07-16-2015, 03:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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good to know! I'll definitely grab a Denso if that is the route I end up having to take.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Both my(95 sol w/310k) and my brothers (00 civic ex w/160k) do exactly the same thing as you describe. I deal with it. But it drives my brother crazy.
My battery still charges and the car starts every morning so until something breaks,,,,
I'll leave it be. =]
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've having the SAME exact issue with my car! Same car, same mileage. My SRS light comes on and off too. I check the battery voltage, 14.7V without load, and it get around 14.3V with full load. However, it does seem to fluctuate quite a bit. How do I confirm the voltage regulator is indeed bad?
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would go over the battery terminals, the terminals on the alternator, and I would inspect both fuse boxes for corrosion or moisture.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Actually, on my car, when my lights are pulsing really hard, I can feel it in how the engine's running too. Like, the engine will seem to pulse with the lights when I'm decelerating at low RPM. It seems to go away when I put it in neutral.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ive had the same issue. something related to alternator battery I think. My lights would flicker with ac on, and sometimes the battery light would flicker inside the car.
I just drive with ac off now not a big deal since the car doesn't even accelerate with ac on
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Also, all the 2000 year Civics have that wiring under the intake manifold already fixed up and protected with corrugated plastic from the factory. I found the TSB that excludes our cars and I confirmed it by checking myself. And I assume you've already cleaned your grounds too, right?
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Ill say it again, its a bad connection somewhere.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My wife's old civic did this. Replaced the battery, the positive battery terminal and the negative battery cable, and verified all of the grounds...with no luck. This was an unmolested 06 Civic EX.

Guessing it was the alternator since it didn't flicker/pulsate at idle and only seemed to occur during normal driving above 2K RPM. The car was totaled though so I never had to fix it
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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yea, sorry for the long time since my last response. I've had the charging system checked multiple times...charging voltage is good with no load, under full electrical load, minus driving, voltage was dropping down to 13.1 and even 12.98. I replaced the negative cable and terminal with a 2ga piece and attached to the factory ground spot on the chassis after removing paint and cleaning it up to bare metal. No discernible change. The problem definitely changes regularly. Some days it just pulsates worse than others, even under the same driving conditions, as it's the same route, same speed every day when I come home from work. I know the worse days, as those are the times the SRS light flashes. Doesn't seem to be dependent on temperature or humidity. I need to check the amperage output of my alternator to confirm, but I went ahead and ordered a new alternator. Does anyone know if there are published parameters that will cause the SRS light to illuminate? Mainly due to possibly voltage? Also, does anyone know the part number for the ELD that would be in a 2000 Civic EX 5spd? I would like to be prepared just in case the alternator does not fix the issue. Battery is also 7 years old, but tests good...still may need to replace as well. It's pretty bad that nowadays, a new battery costs more than a damned alternator, so that's why I'm going in the order I am.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Actually, on my car, when my lights are pulsing really hard, I can feel it in how the engine's running too. Like, the engine will seem to pulse with the lights when I'm decelerating at low RPM. It seems to go away when I put it in neutral.
Yes mine does this same thing. When I take off, even with no loads on during the day, you can feel a pulsing hesitation..and while on the interstate with cruise control engaged on flat ground, when it starts pulsing, you can feel the engine doing the same....may not be a big deal to some, but damn, these cars come with limited horsepower, I don't want to waste any I don't have to!
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I may also go ahead and run a new positive cable from the alternator to the battery when I replace the alternator...
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:25 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I would go over the battery terminals, the terminals on the alternator, and I would inspect both fuse boxes for corrosion or moisture.
No moisture or corrosion present at either fuse box (engine compartment and under dash. Checked tightness of connections inside engine compartment fuse box. No. 15 fuse is good. Battery terminals cleaned (post and terminal). Chassis ground cleaned. Alternator post tight and no discernible play or corrosion. No change in pulsation symptoms.

Advance Auto did a charging system check with the amperage lead on the negative cable as directed by their tester, and it measured 6.8A on the negative cable under full load. Tester says no charging problems. Wanted them to check it on the positive cable, but them having the IQ just south of number of US states, they wouldn't do it cause they couldn't figure out how it would work

I have a no-contact Ammeter somewhere and once I can scrounge it up I'm going to try testing the output amperage while driving, and hopefully voltage fluctuation while driving.

I haven't ruled out the ELD, but the alternator and battery seem more suspect to me.

The intensity and frequency of the pulsation also changes from when cruising at night, just lights on...and then turning on AC or the rear defroster, it will go from a slower but more noticeable brightness change pulsation, to a faster frequency pulse with less brightness change.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Today I tried starting my car and it wouldnt start. I jumped it and it started and ran fine. But when I unhooked the battery terminal the car died, I changed the alternator and now The car doesn't have a flickering issue, runs alot smoother too.

I would check the alternator, just test it yourself on full load. ac,defroster,wipers,radio,hibeams and signals. If it drops lower than 12v its probably bad. or loose connection, bad ground
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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just being helpful, but my old car was having issues cranking, wasn't getting enough juice. so I went to lowes and bought 1 gauge copper wiring and ran new battery cables, alt to battery, and battery to starter. no issues at all since....may want to think about it?



pics from the old car. the new car has an amp cable the same thickness.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:52 AM   #20 (permalink)
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No moisture or corrosion present at either fuse box (engine compartment and under dash. Checked tightness of connections inside engine compartment fuse box. No. 15 fuse is good. Battery terminals cleaned (post and terminal). Chassis ground cleaned. Alternator post tight and no discernible play or corrosion. No change in pulsation symptoms.

Advance Auto did a charging system check with the amperage lead on the negative cable as directed by their tester, and it measured 6.8A on the negative cable under full load. Tester says no charging problems. Wanted them to check it on the positive cable, but them having the IQ just south of number of US states, they wouldn't do it cause they couldn't figure out how it would work

I have a no-contact Ammeter somewhere and once I can scrounge it up I'm going to try testing the output amperage while driving, and hopefully voltage fluctuation while driving.

I haven't ruled out the ELD, but the alternator and battery seem more suspect to me.

The intensity and frequency of the pulsation also changes from when cruising at night, just lights on...and then turning on AC or the rear defroster, it will go from a slower but more noticeable brightness change pulsation, to a faster frequency pulse with less brightness change.
Honestly man you need to step back and KISS. Your reply is bordering on hilarious and its pretty clear electrical is a bit over your head. But fret not, it is over 95% of peoples heads.
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