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Old 04-19-2011, 11:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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dash light and headlights flicker.

I recently started noticing that my headlights would flicker occassionally. Then it increased from an occasional flicker to a more constant flicker, but now it also includes my dash (guage) lights as well. They flicker WITH the headlight flicker now.

Any ideas? I have not had any major work done on the vehicle that would require any wiring to be removed. The last thing repair wise was replacing the battery and a blown out bulb. However, the bulbs have been in there several months now. Replaced the bulbs in both lights with matching bulbs.

Anyone?

2000 civic EX sedan
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check the drive belt for the alternator. If it's worn, replace it.
Or, the alternator might be dying and not juicing your battery enough. Then, you'll have to replace the alternator.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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whats the best way to tell if it's the alternator? I will check the belts this evening, last I checked, they all looked like they were in good shape... but I've been wrong before! Thanks!

Oh, one more thing, my radar detector has a voltage meter on it, and when the car is running it stays well above 13.5 volts under load so I'd assume the alternator is still charging.
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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whats the best way to tell if it's the alternator? I will check the belts this evening, last I checked, they all looked like they were in good shape... but I've been wrong before! Thanks!

Oh, one more thing, my radar detector has a voltage meter on it, and when the car is running it stays well above 13.5 volts under load so I'd assume the alternator is still charging.
check all grounds to be sure none have broke or (depending on the year) vibrated loose. happened to me when i got my lude years ago.

plus, a bad battery can do that even showing good voltage as well
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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whats the best way to tell if it's the alternator? I will check the belts this evening, last I checked, they all looked like they were in good shape... but I've been wrong before! Thanks!

Oh, one more thing, my radar detector has a voltage meter on it, and when the car is running it stays well above 13.5 volts under load so I'd assume the alternator is still charging.
Bring it to a car parts store like Advanced Auto and have them check it.
How old is your current battery?
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The battery is less than a year old.

So yesterday evening I drove home and the headlights were not on because the sun was still out and my voltage meter on my radar detector was reading 12.9 - 13.5. This morning with headlights on the meter was reading anywhere from 13.5 - 13.7 and no flickering.

However, I just realized that the AC was acting strange the other day. It was blowing air out super hard and cold. It was never like that. It has since stopped. I bring this up because aren't the alternator and AC belts the same??

I haven't changed the belts myself. I have 145k miles on the car, but the previous owner claims the timing belt and other belts were changed at 90k. Might be time to change all the belts. lol
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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However, I just realized that the AC was acting strange the other day. It was blowing air out super hard and cold. It was never like that. It has since stopped. I bring this up because aren't the alternator and AC belts the same??

I haven't changed the belts myself. I have 145k miles on the car, but the previous owner claims the timing belt and other belts were changed at 90k. Might be time to change all the belts. lol
The drive belt is just one of mutilple things to check.

I had the same issue you went through. I changed the battery thinking it was the root cause. It was fine for a short time. Then, the battery was weak again. I changed out the alternator. No problems after that.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks. I think I will take it this weekend to get checked out at the auto parts place. and start getting it fixed before it dies.

Its just one of those things... I am at the point of where its do I fix it or trade in on a newer car.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would check the battery and alternator. There is a quick write up on how to test them at
Autoshepherd Blog. If those are good, I would check for bad/loose grounds or even corrosion.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, last friday I had a top tank blow on my radiator. I replaced the entire cooling system with the exception of a water pump. But anyway checked all grounds and battery terminals and everything was in good order.

Went to test drive the vehicle after replacing the cooling system and my AC compressor was short cycling because of the condensor fan! I took it in to get replaced and now I have ICE cold A/C and they claimed the positive battery terminal was loose. Long story short, I just got to work and my voltage meter on my radar detector alarmed and shut down the radar detector due to low voltage. Still cruising below 12v. So I will be checking the alternator today/tomorrow!
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm having the same problem..does your deck ever die out n turn back on as well?
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Old 06-12-2011, 12:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would not think it is the alternator or the battery. You would know if the alternator isnt working properly. Easy test too, you just disconect the positive from your battery while your car is running. The aternator should keep powering everything on the car. Where they flicker I am leaning towards a bad ground connection or even a short on a positive wire somewhere.
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