Battery light blinks intermittently?

Tiny
BLAZ85
  • MEMBER
  • 2013 HONDA PILOT
  • 3.5L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 195,000 MILES
Battery light blinks on approximately 25 second intervals.

a little history, alternator failed and was replaced with a totally new one. At the same time the battery was also replaced
since old battery was over 4 years old. Blinking started after these replacements.

We have checked output of new alternator, 14.4v at idle, thoroughly cleaned battery connections and negative cable where cable attaches to engine. There is no"check engine" light but we have not checked to see if any codes are present. The interval of the blinking does not change under differing electrical loads, i.E. Headlights and blower motor on or off. Battery stays fully charged and the vehicle runs great.

Research on Honda forums suggest this blinking is often caused by a faulty electronic load detector (eld). We understand the eld is located in the engine compartment electrical box.

Could you provide us with the testing procedure for eld and step by step instructions for the replacement of the eld? Also, any other insights you might have as to why this blinking is occurring.

Thank you in advance for your response and for the times you have helped us in the past!
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Saturday, August 27th, 2022 AT 8:27 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

This could be the cause. However, according to my manual, there isn't a specific test just for this part. However, I have an idea. Since the light comes on for approximately 25 seconds, I suggest testing at the battery if there is a voltage change between when it's on and off.

Here is a link to help with that:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-alternator

I suggest doing this because it started after the new parts were installed. The alternator may be keeping the battery charged but may have an intermittent issue causing the light. If there is no change in voltage, then the VLD is the likely cause.

As far as the replacement of the VLD, I attached them below for you. I started the directions with the removal of the fuse box under the hood. That needs to be done first. However, make sure the battery is disconnected prior to removing the box.

Let me know if this helps.

Take care,

Joe
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Saturday, August 27th, 2022 AT 10:17 PM
Tiny
BLAZ85
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your prompt reply and forgive me for my slow one. The vehicle belongs to my son who live 14 miles away and has been very busy.

We finally got around to working on the vehicle. We replaced the electronic load detector with a new OEM Honda detector. It changed nothing.

Here is what we have right now. With no lights nor blower motor, there are no blinks. With lights and no blower motor, there are no blinks. With lights and blower motor at max speed in the heating mode, there are no blinks. With lights and blower motor at max speed in the A/C mode, we get a single blink of the battery light about every 30 seconds. With no lights and blower motor on max speed in the A/C mode we also get the single blink about every 30 seconds.

From the results above, it would seem that the blinks are somehow related to the a/c system operation. However, it did not blink before the alternator failed. Also, the only difference in electrical load between heating and a/c modes is the compressor clutch coil is energized.

The new alternator is a top of the line after market replacement purchased from O'reilly's where my son is the store manager. It has a lifetime warranty so we could change it out if we feel it could be the cause. The alternator keeps the battery fully charged and puts out 14.4v at idle. Vehicle runs exceptionally well, just that nuisance blink under certain conditions.

Please provide your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance for your reply!
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2022 AT 7:46 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

When the compressor is engaged and the light flashes, have you checked the alternator output at the battery?

Let me know.

Joe
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Thursday, September 29th, 2022 AT 6:00 PM
Tiny
BLAZ85
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your response.
We are still working on the problem as time permits. As I stated earlier, the vehicle runs flawlessly, and the battery stays fully charged so my son is continuing to drive it on a somewhat regular basis. One thing you might have misunderstood is the battery light only blinks once about every 25 seconds did not blink for 25 seconds, only one short blink. And it does not do it all the time. One might drive it for a 2-hour trip one way, and it never blinked but on the return trip it starts the single blink every 25 second. Last week we were testing it and it started having one single blink every time we turned off the HVAC blower motor. Just a few minutes later we could not get it blink at all turning off the blower. Then it started its "regular" blink cycle. Thinking it might be related to the HVAC system, we unplugged the condensing fan motor, but it made no change. The problem seems to be intermittent. One other observation, my son says if you are driving at night with lights on and it blinks, you can see a momentary slight dimming of the lights. So, the ELD is not lying.

So far, we have replaced the electronic load detector (ELD) with no change. Next, we replaced the alternator with another new alternator (14.4V output) with no change. We load tested the new battery and it tests good. My son says he cleaned the battery terminals and block ground however sometimes his idea of cleaning is not the same as mine. Since it now appears to be somewhat intermittent maybe we have a grounding issue.

Could please you get me a diagram of the grounds locations both body and engine for this vehicle We will then go through each and insure they are clean and bright.

Thank you in advance for your reply and thank you again for your help in the past.
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Wednesday, December 14th, 2022 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Anything is possible. It could be a weak ground, but I would expect that to trigger the light every 25 seconds (when it happens). But, stranger things have happened.

I attached the entire ground distribution schematic below. I had to cut each pic in half to make it readable. I did overlap them for you.

Take a look through them and let me know if you have questions.

Take care,

Joe

See pics below.
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Wednesday, December 14th, 2022 AT 9:38 PM

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