Electrical & Lights Immobiliser key LED flashing whilst engine running

Discussion in '1st Generation (2004-2011)' started by slavedave, Tuesday 12th Jun, 2018.

  1. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
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    My 2005 1.7SE petrol (Manual) FR-V has been as reliable as anything for the 8 years I have had it. A couple of wear and tear repairs and that has been all.
    However, last week (twice) and today(once) when I tried to start the car from cold the turnover was noticeably sluggish and the car would not fire in the normal, instantaneous way. I noticed that the green key symbol on the console display ( that usually only flashes a few times pre- ignition) remained flashing continuously whilst driving. There didn't seem to be any detrimental effect on the running of the car though. Subsequent starts of the car were normal though.
    To get the car started I followed some advice on a forum - remove the key fully each time after trying to turn the engine over for a second or so. Upon insertion of the key and turning to the first position, waited for the green key symbol to extinguish and then turned over the engine. This resulted in the engine firing after the third / fourth cycle of the above procedure, although the flashing key symbol remained present when driving.
    I searched the forum and the internet for similar experiences and solutions ranged from keys losing their coding, bad earthing somewhere in the circuit, software control system errors, relays failing to parasitic battery drain.
    Would someone be able to give me a brief, systematic approach to attempt troubleshooting please? I am reasonably practical but am not particularly with auto-electronics ( I do know how to carry out basic measurements with a meter though - continuity etc).
    Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
    14
    6
    Update 1: Car battery nearly flat this morning so I had to jump start the FR-V (no flashing key LED afterwards). Took it immediately to an auto electrician who tested the charging system and the battery and they were both in good shape, he thought. He recommended booking it in for an hour and a half on Friday so that he can check the electrical system for slow drainage causes (Parasitic?) so I am going to do that. Will post here afterwards.
     
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  3. andy83 Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom andy shropshire
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    hello mate dose the FR-V have HFT as stuff like these can cause battery drain....
     
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  4. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
    14
    6
    Thanks for the reply.
    No hands free telephone. I did retro fit rear parking sensors about 6 years ago. The only other thing that has changed ( and it corresponds nicely in time with the start of the problem) is that I purchased a cigarette lighter-socket bluetooth FM transmitter (the device that allows you to play audio from a bluetooth device to a FM channel on your radio). However, I did suspect this may be the offending reason so I have not connected it for over a week and even before then I removed it from the lighter socket every time we parked the car - so it can't be draining the battery whilst it is disconnected. Is it possible that it could have damaged a component in the electrical circuit somehow?
     
  5. andy83 Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom andy shropshire
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    mate I would not of thought it could is there any other electric problems showing up on your FR-V....
     
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  6. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
    14
    6
    Just remembered - I retrofitted a dashcam about 15 months ago by taking a feed off of one of the fuses on the board (recommended installation by the manufacturer). Perhaps I should try unplugging that each time I park as well? I would have thought that if it turns off after the ignition key is removed then it would not be drawing any power though?
    - - - Updated - - -
    I did get an EML light on the dash once about 6 weeks ago. I disconnected the battery and left it off for ten minutes (I think that was someones advice here on Honda Karma) then refitted the terminals. This cleared the error and it has not returned. I checked in with the local Honda service agent to see if they needed to connect the car up to read any error codes and they said they would have been wiped anyway so no point. They advised me to bring the car in next time when (if) it happens again. It hasn't happened since though.
    Thanks
     
  7. andy83 Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom andy shropshire
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    Mate the dash cam would depend on how live feed is run to it as if it has like a standby maybe that a drain, i'm not saying for sure it is but got to worth thinking about, the EML code might still be in the background but would need to look this up more or someone else might have better idea....
     
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  8. 155695 Premium Member Club Supporter

    England Keith Essex
    673
    407
    Notwithstanding what the auto election says, i would double check the battery, particularly that its resting charge is showing at least 12v. Low battery condition can throw up a lot of peculiar symptoms on modern cars.

    Keith
     
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  9. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
    14
    6
    Keith, when you say resting, do you mean idling or with everything turned off including the ignition? Thanks
     
  10. 155695 Premium Member Club Supporter

    England Keith Essex
    673
    407
    Put a voltmeter on the battery with everything turned off, i.e. as if the battery was on a bench. It should be no less than 12v to avoid problems. These days on modern cars, a battery often doesn't last more than 5 or so years.

    Keith
     
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  11. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
    14
    6
    Well, I parked overnight having driven it around yesterday for a couple of trips (trying to ensure that I didn't turn off the engine too much to preserve stressing the battery). Throughout the day I smelt a faint egg-like smell (and actually thought it was a friend's kid who had soiled herself slightly at one point). My wife used the car in the evening and both she and my eldest came home to tell me that the car had a horrible smell inside it. I checked all the seat pockets / boot / cubby holes for rotting food (it has been known before!) and nothing, so I opened the bonnet up to get a blast of distinctly sulphurous odour. I thought about the cat convertor but this was slightly different. My youngest, who was standing next to me said that there was "smoke" coming out of the battery, and sure enough there was a little fume/ smoke escaping from the edge of one of the cell covers - together with a little fluid which I presumed was the battery electrolyte Suspicious, I said that I would look at it in the morning.
    Went out to the car this morning and... even the central locking wouldn't work. Nothing on the dash at all. Nada! I measured the battery across the terminals and there was no voltage at all.
    So, I have bought a new battery and installed it this morning. I am hoping that Keith is right, and the auto electrician is wrong about the condition of the battery , and that this is the end of the problem. I will keep this thread updated as things progress.
    Thanks everyone for their input.
     
  12. andy83 Club Veteran ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom andy shropshire
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    mate test the new battery with engine running also do you have a code reader that can read battery volt....
     
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  13. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
    14
    6
    Unfortunately, I don't have a code reader at all. What should I be seeing across the terminals with the engine running. Thanks
     
  14. 155695 Premium Member Club Supporter

    England Keith Essex
    673
    407
    Whilst not definitively confirming was the battery, I would put my money on that as the cause. It is now quite normal to change batteries after 5/6 years and the electronics in modern cars are very susceptible to voltage drops of even a minor nature that years ago would be irrelevant. The days of batteries lasting 15 or 20 years are long gone.

    In answer to your question, as mentioned above, with everything switched off, you should have at least 12v and with a new battery maybe even 12.5v or more. You can pick up a simple voltmeter quite cheaply and it will have all the instruction and what voltages you can expect when cranking and when the engine is running. Whilst cranking, the voltage will obviously drop until the engine starts, whereafter you should see 12v or more.

    I suspect the easiest test for you though is if your original problem has been resolved.

    Keith
     
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  15. slavedave Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Dave Dublin
    14
    6
    Following this query up with an update in case it is of use to any other FR-V drivers out there. I bought a new battery and fitted it and I haven't had a re-occurrence of the problem since! So Keith - top advice! And interesting to note the auto-electrician (whom I have used before and is a trustworthy, professional guy) got it wrong on this occasion. He measured the battery at off, and running. and checked the charging circuit as well.
    Thanks everyone - Honda Karma to the rescue!!
     
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