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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a search on this and all they talked about was the 2008, but my wife has a 2013.
It's a 2013 EXL Accord, 4 cyl, auto.
The lights don't really blink....they dim and then come back. Sort of like the 2008's, but the blinking on her car has nothing to do with the A/C. It will do it in the winter with the defroster off, so the compressor should be off. It will do it with low beams or hight beams, and there is no pattern to the blinking, believe me I have tried to put a situation on the act, but have found nothing.
A couple of guys from the Honda dealership has rode with her and seen them blink, but have no answer....except 'that is normal'.
It probably averages a blink about every 10 minutes of driving, but again...it might blink 4 or 5 times in a 10 minute span. No ryme or reason.
It really doesn't bother me much, but it drives my wife bonkers. This is her first new car and she doesn't appreciate 'that's normal' crap from the dealer.
I have to admit....I've been driving for 50 years and never had a car do this. Kinda looks like an engineering screw up to me.
She's had it in the shop 4 times and has filed a 'lemon law' complaint on them....we will see how it goes.
Anyone else have this problem, or we just the lucky one?

Thanks
 

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The underpowered battery is the culprit. When the car is idling, turn the wheel. I bet the lights will dim then. Mine does the same thing. Buy a larger battery and the problem will go away.
 

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A larger battery can definitely alleviate the issue. My fit had this problem but I also had aftermarket electronics installed so I went with a better battery (not bigger) and a H/O alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the thread.....I did not ever see that one.
I've done the headlights in the garage bit, and I could see the lights dim a little, but the dimming I'm getting on the highway is a lot worst than that. I've had passengers in the car notice without a problem.
Like some have mentioned....I think a stronger battery will help, but not eliminate the problem. We have a date with an orbitrator soon....I will mention a better battery, but since Honda doesn't consider it a problem they might not agree to anything.
I was pulling out of McDonalds a few night ago, and my wife had her maplight on, probably chasing down a french fry, the lights dim so badly that I thought someone had blinked their lights at me. I looked up....nope it was all me. If you have your brights on, or any other lights it's very noticeable.
My wife says, "They should advertise their diming lights and charge extra for them."
Like I said....she's not a real happy camper about the lights.
Thanks for the replys, and Merry Christmas
 

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Hmm, that's weird. I'd also say weak battery, but seems like yours may be excessive. Maybe it's just a bad battery/alternator.

As for dealing with "that's normal", find something that's easy to reproduce it, then do the same in a similar vehicle from the lot. That's usually convincing enough for them to try to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The first time she took it to the dealer they said the battery was bad, although it cranked OK, but I did notice the dimming wasn't as noticeable after the change. Maybe a better battery and alternator will be a fix. Getting Honda to actually admit to it will probably be a problem, tho. I work a corp......I know how they work.
From what I've read....it seems that only the 4 bangers have the problem. Doesn't seem like it would be too hard to find if you admit that it's a problem.
 

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This has been discussed many times, the issue is the ELD or Electronic Load Detector, which has been installed in all Honda's since the early 90's. There are some that believe replacing the battery with a higher capacity (IE larger battery with higher CCA) improves the "dimming" but does not eliminate it. The issue is the Electronic Control Module (ECM) controls the charging rate based on information from the ELD, this is designed to increase fuel economy. The ECM will set the charging voltage to 14.4-14.9V (high output mode); during startup and light electrical load conditions, the ECM will set the charging voltage to 12.4-12.9V (low output mode). It is in this mode people see the "Dimming".

Depending on the charging systems needs, the ECM either holds the voltage high to signal the high output mode, or it pulls the voltage low to signal the low output mode. When the circuit C voltage is pulled low by the ECM: the charging voltage at the battery will range from 12.4-12.9V. The ECM uses the low output mode when the engine is starting or if all of the following parameters are met:

electrical Load below 15 Amps (varies with vehicle),
vehicle speed between 10-45 mph or at idle while in drive
engine speed below 3,000 rpm,
coolant temperature above 167°F (75°C)
A/C Switch Off
intake air temperature above 68°F (20°C)

Outside of these parameters, the ECM will hold the voltage on the C circuit, which will place the charging system in the high output mode. In this mode, the charging voltage at the battery will range from 14.4-14.9V.


Most of this information was stolen from this Documentation


http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1011&context=auto_pres


So it would seem the behavior is "Normal" but does make people believe that there is something wrong with the electrical system. All other vehicle manufacturers alternators are controlled in some way by the onboard computer for the same reasons Honda does it.

In the old days Alternators were 1 wire connections and then they went to a 3wire configuration, one of the 3 wired measured the voltage at the fuse panel and controlled the Alternator output. A simple feedback circuit that controlled the output of the alternator.
 

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That is the way I read this to say, that should always be the case because the Battery is the reserve. So as long as the battery is fully charged (12.6 volts), the electrical system should not drop below 12.4 volts.

There are volt meters that plug in the power outlet, not sure how accurate they are, but this one on eBay is $20. There are others much cheaper but this one looked cool. I am sure they all read voltage!!! But it would be nice to see the voltage when the dimming occurs. You could do that with a multimeter if you had one.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/390546830181?lpid=82


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I have been reading a little about the future of electrical systems in automobiles, as we have had the 12/14v standard for almost 60 years. There has been a new standard proposed since the mid 90's to go to a 36/42v standard. This would make wiring smaller and moved a/c compressors and power steering to electric motors. But the engineers have solved a lot of the issues that the new standard was designed to help in the old standard. So it would seem that the 36/42 standard is dead and they will continue with 12/14v for the foreseeable future.

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Ok, so most of this electrical stuff is over my head.... What size battery would you recommend ?
Thanks!
I know furniture and mattresses, not electrical !
 

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are you running your climate control in auto mode or have ac turned on? i didnt see it mentioned in this thread anywhere but your dimming might be coming from the ac compressor kicking on and off during your drive. maybe try turning off ac to see if the dimming goes away. if you have auto mode on, ac will be running by default even if you have the heat up.
 

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From what I've read....it seems that only the 4 bangers have the problem.
I know this probably doesn't help, but I have an EX-L V6 (with bigger battery), and I also had the same issue. Of course, it was nowhere near as bad as you guys are describing it, but when I would turn the steering wheel and do a few other things, my headlights would dim quite a bit.

Since then I've upgraded to the Touring LED headlights, and it's no longer an issue. The LED low beams never become dim, not even while the engine is starting, which is nice. Map lights and visor lights still do it from time to time. Annoying.
 

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Believe it or not, HIDs can dim. Every time the bass hits. No I do not have the bass up to the point where you can hear it all the way down the street. I believe if the alternator put out a higher amp, it wouldn't be a prob.


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I have not noticed this problem on my car. However, has anyone upgraded to a GEL or other non wet type of battery? They're more expensive but might solve the problem.
 
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