1998 Honda Accord Dash lights remain on

Tiny
BAKER44
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA ACCORD
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 15,500 MILES
Recently when I started my Accord, all the system lights on the dash came on, including the SRS, Brake, "Doors Open" display, Eng, Maint, etc. They still remain on after approx 500 miles of it being like this, but will occasionally flicker off. Very annoying at night. I read on a Honda forum that it could possibly be a bad ignition switch.
Also, don't know if its related, but at the same time, my battery started draining overnight. After a few mornings of untangling jumper cables and boosting off my wife's minivan, I now just disconnect it at night and reconnect in the morning, and it starts fine. I had the battery/charging system checked and its came out ok. A friend told me that if the terminals on the back of the alternator are magnetized with the car turned off, that could be causing a slow drain. I checked and they are strongly magnetized. The alternator is about 2 yrs old (remanufactured).
Question: Is this 2 different problems? They both occured after the car was rained on for a couple of days. Otherwise, this car sits outside all the time and had no previous problems and has been very reliable. Any help is appreciated.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, October 30th, 2010 AT 10:27 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Baker44,

You mentioned the vehicle was rained on, do you mean water had entered the cabin? If yes, the symptoms indicates a control unit is water logged and shorting internally. This would result in the dash indicator lights flickering and aslo the battery drain.

Check all components where water could possibly get to and remove covers to check/dry out the components. A hair dryer would be of immense help drying out these components. Hope they are not damaged beyond repair.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, October 30th, 2010 AT 12:07 PM
Tiny
BAKER44
  • MEMBER
Thanks for responding. No, the hood was down and windows rolled up, but mentioned the rain in case the extra moisture or humidity might be perpetuating a known frequent problem.
Where is this control unit so that I can put a blow dryer to it? Also, what is the name of this control unit in case I have to order one (i.E. Is it a dealer part only)? And have you heard of an alternator staying magnetized after the car is shut off and key removed?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, October 30th, 2010 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
In the alternator there are electronic components (rectifier and voltage regulator assy) and some wires have constant power all the time, even when ignition switch is off. If there are any fault with the rectifier or voltage regulator, they can cause a battery drain when ignitionn is turned off. It has been known to occur.

You need to test for parasitic drain when engine is turned off. Get an ammeter and discnnect the battery negative terminals. Connect the ammeter between the battery negative terminal and the cable to make the circuit complete. With all door closed and hood switch disconnected, note the amperage after 5 minutes.

Anything more than 0.5 mA means there is a parasitic drain.

Start pulling each fuse in underhood fuse box and note whichever fuse that affects the ammeter reading is the circuit you need to check.

As to the control module, there are quite a number, in driver door, passenger side or uinderdash, under driver seat etc. Tha parasitic drain test would help to pinpoint or localise the problem and help in determining which to look at.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, October 31st, 2010 AT 2:05 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides