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Does anyone else have problems with their headlights flickering? I have noticed this driving at night, it almost like the lights turn on/off very fast.
 

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I have noticed this too. It seems like for a split second the lights dim/turn off. Not enough to were you lose sight but enough to notice it.

My thought was it has something to do with the Auto Temperature turning the heater/fans up and down. It's been to cold here to drive w/o the heater on so I haven't been able to test this theory.
 

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I've noticed this too. There may be other things that cause slight, quick flicker in the lights, but I know that the A/C compressor cycling on does cause it. I wonder if the auto temperature control turns the A/C unit on and off frequently as it adjusts the inside air temp, even when cold outside? Anyway, in a vehicle like the Pilot with so much operated by electricity, it's not surprising that momentary loads causes blips in the lights. Unless the lights are actually going out (mine aren't), it's probably not a worry.
 

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The only time mine does it is when the fan kicks on. And it's enough of a flicker to look like I am "flashing my lights" at the car ahead. One of these days it's gonna cause some road rage if I'm behind a car long enough. :rolleyes:

Yeah it has a lot of electronics that cause a strain on the battery, etc.....but seriously, do you see this happening on a $50,000 Lexus? A BMW??

There has to be a fix somewhere.
 

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I did notice it too and so did some other cars I was approaching. I had one guy actually flash his brights back to me thinking I flashed mine.

When I looked for a reason/solution I found this post:

http://www.piloteers.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2188&highlight=lights+dim

I am still not satisfied with the reasoning though. Like said, this is a $30000 vehicle, this should not happen!

I am suspecting a bad or weak battery. Another one on the list when I get to the dealer...
 

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Yep, mine does it too when something "kicks on" not a major deal but bugs me a little bit my 2000 Accord doesn't do stuff like that.
 

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I drove up to PA last night and since I posted about this I kept a look out for it. I didn't notice it once. Werid how things always seem to go away when your trying to get them to happen.
 

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I noticed the flickering too. Not just the headlight, the interior light flickering too if the interior lights are on. It happen when the fan kicks in.
 

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Only at idle

Same happens to me, but only when I am at idle. Seem not to happen when you speed up and the alternator is turning faster. Also had this happen when I had my Ford Ranger.
 

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I've had 3 Hondas and an Acura. And I think they all did this. Only slightly though. Not so much that an on coming vehicle high beams back. Usually idle and you roll up the window or turn something electrical on. Definite disruption in electrical flow, but again only very slightly, and never while moving.
 

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Pilot-1 said:
The only time mine does it is when the fan kicks on. And it's enough of a flicker to look like I am "flashing my lights" at the car ahead. One of these days it's gonna cause some road rage if I'm behind a car long enough. :rolleyes:

Yeah it has a lot of electronics that cause a strain on the battery, etc.....but seriously, do you see this happening on a $50,000 Lexus? A BMW??

There has to be a fix somewhere.

I wouldn't expect this to happen on a $12,000 KIA. Honda took too long developing this vehicle to have problems like this. Our $20,000 97 CRV does not have this problem.

Honda must address this issue. Too many little issues will eventually add up to a poor reputation.
 

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Too many problems

Mine have blinked all summer and into the winter.

"Honda must address this issue. Too many little issues will eventually add up to a poor reputation"

I think it's too late for that. The damage is done and it's a GD shame.

If you opened a forum on toilet seats you'd get all kinds of people crabbing about things. But there are consistent themes in this forum that should not exist, especially with Honda.

I for one have found the experience a giant pain. I'm not a Honda, Ford, Chevy, Nissan, Toyota, BMW or anything else lover or hater. I appreciate well engineered products and thought I was buying into one.

As I mentioned earlier it's a GD shame.
 

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auto mode

I haven't noticed a flicker of any type during the 4 mos I've owned the HP. I agree if your experiencing the the problem its probably cyclical and can be related to the temp/fan/auto mode. it would be simple to isolate this by turning off the temp/fan during the flicker and see if it continues. I like to however, leave my lights in the "on" mode so when the car is started the lights are always on, kind of a daytime running light. My Jeep GC had this mode and I really liked it. good luck
 

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Gas saving trick

Honda (and Acura) use a system that shuts off the alternator when it is not needed and lets the car run on the battery.
It causes a slight change in headlight brightness as the voltage changes from about 14 with the alt. on to about 12 with it off.
 

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Where did this info come from?

You can't get something for nothing, any energy used from the battery has to be put back at some point. In fact it takes less energy to float a battery at the correct voltage than it does to charge it back due to inefficiencies in the charging process. It will also shorten the life of the battery, lead acid batteries lose some life everytime they are discharged/recharged, kept at float they will last far longer. That's why every vehicle I'm aware of has the usual voltage regulator setup, not something like you described. I want to know more:confused: If Honda truly designed something like this they have some very poor engineers in their electrical department.

I've noticed the Pilot's lights dimming briefly at idle when the AC compressor kicks in, which shouldn't even kick in at weird times like it does in the winter.

Al
 

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Check out the ETM

The system is covered in the Electrical Troubleshooting Manual.
It was also the topic of an Acura TSB a while back.

If you look in the Under-Hood fuse box you will see a module with a couple of thin wire going into the top (If I recall correctly).
This is part of the system that senses the electrical load and helps the computer make the decision.

As for wasting power when charging. Floating the battery is the biggest waste of power because once the battery is at full charge any additional energy is just turned to heat, or used to break down the water in the cells. Both are completely lost energy uses.

An alternator is also a source of wasted energy, as you have to supply the field current when it is in use.

I would guess that the engineer had to show it worked or it would not be in all their cars.
 

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A lead acid battery properly floated uses almost no energy. If it is floated at too high a voltage, then yes it uses energy and dries out the cells, but that is not really a float but a charge condition.
Just the mere fact that Honda lights noticeably dim/brighten when the AC cuts in and out makes their electrical engineering suspect in my opinion. No other vehicle I've ever driven does that, apparently because their electrical systems were better designed. The small amount of energy saved, if any, by their scheme is more than offset by the nuisance it causes. Just because it was incorporated doesn't mean it was necessarly shown to work either. Many, many things have been shown later to be bad ideas. I admit it, I'm a pessimist, but then I'm less often disapointed than an optimist ;)

Al
 

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Float vs Charge.

Most auto systems maintain 14 to 15 Volts when "Charging" This is definetly in the Charge range not the float range.
For the battery to float without charging you would need to be at about 13.2 or below. That voltage will not charge the battery when it needs it.

We will have to see what happens in the long run. They have been using this system for a few years now.

All these silly issues should go away once the 36V/42V systems become available.
 

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Found this explation of the Honda charging system. It's a PDF tech brief. http://www.smpcorp.com/download/view/TT1Q98.PDF
From the above pdf file:
In closing, the computer monitors the ELD and the FR signal and gets a good idea of what the electrical demand is like. Using this information, the computer controls the charging system through the C circuit. It also uses this information to regulate idle speed. By turning off the alternator, the computer reduces the load on the engine, and thus saves fuel and increases power output when needed. In diagnosing some idle speed problems, these charging system inputs or outputs, being out of specification, can be the source of the problem and need to be checked for proper operation.
 

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Alternator not needed

N_JAY,

Do you know why the alternator would not be needed? Running at night would seem to create a sufficient load, like lights, fan motors, etc, on the system to require full-time alternator.

Is cutting out the alternator an efficiency step?
 
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