Electrical & Lights Side lights flicker

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by Primarycare, Friday 5th Oct, 2012.

  1. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Hi peeps

    Anyone got an idea about this?

    Got home tonight and noticed when I pulled up with the car ticking over that the side lights both seemed to flicker dim to bright. Given a gentle rev of the engine and they seem normal lift off and back to flickering. Now I know zip about electric, dip lights are fine no problem with them.

    Am going to replace my front discs and pads tomorrow weather permitting so if anyone has any ideas shout as I have not a clue. Everything looked secure but it was getting dark.

    ?
     
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  2. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    My first guess might be a loose earth point.
     
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  3. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    As doc earth and check the holders of bulb get some dielectric grease on it will keep the contacts rust free.
     
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  4. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Any idea where the earth strap/cable is situated?
    Will check the connections tomorrow but seems odd both sides are effected ?

    Thanks guys
     
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  5. RobB Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Check fuse is securely inserted as well, that could explain why both are flickering.

    Just a thought do mean dipped beam or side lights. I'd be surprised if you can see the side light dim from inside the car. If it's the dipped beams it could be the alternator output is lower at tick over.
     
  6. Jon_G Guest

    I agree with Rob - it's more likely to be the feed, rather than the earth... the lamps will be independantly earthed, therefore both earths would have to become defective for this flickering to manifest (which is unlikely). Also, it's a little odd that gentle revving 'fixes' the problem if it is a dodgy earth connection. Again as Rob suggests, this would point to the alternator.
     
  7. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Thanks guys I will check the fuse, the time I get home from work I can easily see the side lights when I pull up in front of the garage doors as i normaly do.
    They defiantly go dim to bright and if I rev to 1000 RPM rather than tick over they stay bright? The dip beam is not effected. I have had the bulbs out and checked the connection to both bulbs which seemed clean with no corrosion.

    Thanks for your views will pop out and look at the fuse in a while, the charge seems ok as nothing else seems effected.

    Again thanks
     
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  8. Dave400 Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Does the Accord alternator have a smart charging circuit like the Ford Focus does, this gives the effect of sidelight flicker at tickover.
     
  9. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Dave, no idea - this is quite pronounced though goes from normal bright to dim and orange like a torch when the batteries are getting low from a fraction under 1000 RPM it goes and only on the side lights dip beam is normal.. Odd...

    Had the fuse out and seems ok, I changed it for a new one just in case but still the same.. I will try and borrow a electrical meter (if I can get to the connectors without skinning my hands again) and see what is coming down the wiring if it were the alternator (god forbid!) I would have thought it would effect the dip and or main beam which would have a higher drain power wise.

    Thanks again chaps..
     
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  10. RobB Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    The accord does have a smart alternator. If you place a multimeter on the battery terminals whilst the engine is running, you'll see the voltage fluctuate as the alternator drops in and out.
     
  11. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    So could this be normal and I've just not noticed it before, if it is why would it not effect dip beam? Would it be because the draw is bigger hence the alternator kicking out more ? I will have to borrow a multi meter and have a play

    Thanks
     
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  12. Jon_G Guest

    I can only imagine that you're correct.. when the much greater load of the dip beams is on, then the smart alternator gives a continuous output to supply the necessary current. It will be interesting to see what a voltmeter might show with just the sidelights on, but it will be hard to read a 'flickering' voltage. You may see this better with an oscilloscope (some multimeters do have an oscilloscope function), as this would allow the voltage fluctuations to be displayed against a timebase.
     
  13. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Out if interest would it be worth replacing the side light bulbs for some good quality LED or Cree bulbs if I can find any!

    They will gave an even lower draw on power and may be more stable?
    I have always resisted the led option as they look to blue for my taste. Anyone tried these and found any ones that give a White light?

    Just a thought.

    Jon I think your spot on and thanks I will try and find someone with a multi meter and test the drain to see what's going on..

    Many thanks.
     
    Last edited: Monday 8th Oct, 2012
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  14. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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  15. RobB Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I use white LEDs for my side lights as well. They look so much better than filament bulbs.
     
  16. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Rob
    Hi mate, are they white though or that HID blue kinda look? I would happily fit led if I would find some which are white..

    Guys

    I popped in to Honda who owe me a favour they kindly tested the altetnator which they said working perfectly they said the dimming of the side lights us normal ?



    Ta
    :Smile:
     
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  17. Jon_G Guest

    Strange how the rest of us never noticed our cars doing this! Logically, if the available voltage is falling to a level where the sidelights flicker or dim, then you'd expect all other lamps on at that same moment to also do the same (e.g. dash lights).

    I'll have to check mine sometime.
     
  18. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Jon,
    Im with you on that I to find it odd.. Being more than a little anal about problems with my cars I have checked all the lights which are fine. Dash is normal but I did find the interior lights did exactly the same thing.

    Now.. I have replaced a while back all the interior bulbs with led bulbs. They do not seem to dim but when I put the old filament bulbs back in they dimmed in the same way as the side lights and at the same time.

    Odd... so there must be a problems somware . Bit of a loss with this but Will keep digging . May need a trip to an auto electrician.
     
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  19. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    Just been out to pick up my lad and noticed, the lights don't dim when the engine is cold however when warmed up it starts playing up. Only on tick over. While waiting for him tonight I noticed if I place more drain on the battery for example I switched on the rear demister they go bright as normal and stay bright, switch it off and hey presto dim again.. Surely it points to altermator...
     
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  20. Jon_G Guest

    Not sure... I'm thinking that when the engine is cold, then it implies that you've recently used the starter motor (so have partially drained the battery) therefore the alternator is having to do a bit of work while re-charging said battery. It sounds as though the 'dimming' only occurs when very little load on the alternator (as your HRW test might demonstrate)? Replacement LED lamps may have electronic circuitry in with them that ensures a constant current/voltage condition, thereby eliminating this effect. I'm still puzzled though, as even if the voltage from the alternator falls at tickover at a light load, then the battery voltage should nevertheless hold the supplied car system voltage at the required level. Maybe your battery is a little weak?