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First time poster long time reader, I have a 2003 E, great car up til recently. Battery light started flickering a few weeks back, then 1 night driving home lost all power. I am on my 3rd alternator which is brand new the last 2 was referbs, and a brand new Walmart battery and still battery light flickers. Today the A/C even stopped working and passenger side window wont even go down but driver side does. I have taken out the factory amp because I heard thats a drain. Now I even dont turn the power reset back on the radio (factory) just to see if thats it, but still light flickering then sometimes always on. I hear ground issues but the 1 ground wire goes to fender has no corrosion and the other to block is clean. I have taken out all ac relays because they say those can stick open. When car sitting, battery volts is 12.4. When I turn E on the battery falls to 12 or if other components on 11.6 -11.8. I like trying to fix things myself and learn. Any kind of help or tips or videos would be much appreciated:)
 

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Its a brand new tensioner belt has no where. I have watch it in works make sure there was no kind of slipping. Like I said it is weird because yesterday the A/C stopped working too. This morning I got it started it and turned A/C on, heard the compressor kick on the went off a couple seconds later. The battery light still flickkering too.
 

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Well came home at lunch break with battery light still flickering and volts read
12.3 - 12.4 while not running and 12 while running, so the eld could possibly be it?
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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Guessing and throwing parts at an electrical problem is the most expensive way to identify the cause.
You don't give the timing of the symptoms and the component replacements.

Alternators can be damaged by improper connections during the course of installation, and by short circuits at any time. Repeatedly replacing aelectrical component is not only expensive, but can cause damage during installation to its harnesses and connectors and anything in the proximity of the work done. It also tends to indicate that the replaced components were not the cause of the problem.

With the engine running and lights off, your battery should be getting about 14 V from the alternator. To suck down the battery voltage to 12v with engine at 2500 rpm, the load would need to be large, like a closed starter relay or high beam headlamos.Pulling fuses while watching current draw is the fastest way to isolate an abnormal load.

It's more likely the alternator isn't delivering current to the battery than something in the cabin is drawing a huge load. Could be that the alternator or anything between it and the battery, or it and the engine, is defective.

The way to quickly confirm or eliminate unusual parasitic current draw is to measure the load a clamp-around inductive current meter on the primary positive battery cable. With the ignition on, the engine not running and all accessories off, draw should be under 2 amps. Turning on the high beam headlamps, the current should be under 12 amps. With ignition off, draw should be milliamps.

Without an inductive current meter, the only things you can check are bad connections, blown fuses and bad primary cables.

Verify that the alternator is connected, and that its ground conductor is intact.

Eyeball the primary battery cable connectors. There should be no exposed copper between the connectors and cables, no pinching or fraying of the cables.

However eyeball checks don't measure electrical conductivity.

Use a DVM* to test for a voltage drop between the negative battery post and a good chassis ground, not a screw terminal, but a clean scrapped metal contact on the engine block. (*-If you have been using an analog VOM, replace it with a DVM. )
Measure between the positive post and that clean chassis ground. O
There should be less than 0.1 volt drop from negative battery post to chassis ground and between the reading across the battery posts and from positive post to chassis ground.

The grounding connections to the body, especially the one on the left inner fender, the two under the dash at the far sides and in the middle can easily become corroded or loose. But that the passenger window doesn't work suggests that the related underdash body ground connection may be involved.

If all that checks out, have an auto center or parts store do a basic charging system test.
 

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Not sure if this will be of help, but depending on how many accessories are side wired, the ELD may be your problem.

THIS is a pretty good explanation.

Good luck.

And it is nice to check in and see some of you old members still handing around. Other than a clutch (same spring issue), that intermittent low idle at start-up, and replacing the AUX stereo input, my 03 runs like a top.
 

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If the battery voltage with the key off is 12.4 volts the battery is partially discharged or faulty. It should be 12.6 to 12.8 volts. The pertinent question is, what is the system voltage when running. With the engine running and all accessories including lights are turned on the system should be in high-output mode and set the charging voltage at 14.4 to 14.9 volts. If the system can do that the alternator output is working properly. Test the voltage at the battery. If not correct, test directly at the alternator output terminal and alternator case. If the readings differ by more than 1/2 volt there is a poor connection somewhere causing a voltage drop.

What you really need to know is the charging amperage going to the battery when it is fully charged and whether there are any fault codes relevant to the charging system. On older Hondas the charge indicator is controlled by the voltage regulator in the alternator. On newer Hondas the charge or battery indicator is illuminate by the instrument cluster when requested by the Engine Control Module, in which case a fault code should be present. A good battery should not require more than 2 to 3 amps charging current after starting motor current used is replenished.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the info, going to get everything checked out this weekend. I just don't think its the alternator, it is the 3 rd 1 in 3 weeks. Then when my passenger window and then my a/c and vents all quit working, I'm almost going towards the fuse box(multiplex) with the ELD. I really don't have the $ to take it to a specialized place in that so I got a DVM and going to go to Advanced Auoto to get the load test and charging system tested.
 

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Went and had a charging tst, battery load test and code test done, everthing came out good, only codes was o2 downstream and knock sensor. Went on a 40 mile drive now battery is at 12 not running and 11.8 running
 

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Went and had a charging tst, battery load test and code test done, everthing came out good, only codes was o2 downstream and knock sensor. Went on a 40 mile drive now battery is at 12 not running and 11.8 running
Replacement parts, especially rebuits can be BOOTB Bad Out of the Box. A turning tensioner doesn't mean it is applying enough tension. I replaced one on my 2004 E thatn never squeaked, and kept smoothly turning. Found it when I was needlessly replacing the serpentine belt and checked the position after the new belt was installed. Eyeballs are poor measuring tools, even mine.

At this point I might suspect bad connections or the battery. I would question the measuring techniques that you are employing and your assumptions.

To eliminate all of them systematically in order of ease:

Disconnect the battery. Remove the top caps and check the electrolyte level. If it is low (the top of the grid is above the fluid) in some but not all of the cells, the battery has some damaged cells. Plan to replace it.

If the electrolyte is slightly low in all the cells, the battery has been overcharged at some point, or not properly filled at time of installation and/or not properly maintained. Add distilled water to bring each cell up to the fill indicator.

Clean the posts and attach a current adjusting battery charger to the battery. A commonly available charger of this type will have selectors for battery capacity and voltage, plus indicators for the approximate charge level.

Let the battery charge overnight or until the charger automatically drops to a maintenance level (<2a) and stays there. Some chargers will cycle through levels While it is charging check the voltage across the chargers attached clamps. You'll see it varies up as it charges, and down as it tests to see how the battery has responded..

Disconnect the charger , wait 10 minutes, then check the battery voltage with a DVM. It should be above 12.5v, wait one hour and check the voltage a second time. It should be above 12.4 volts. If it isn't, the battery has an internal defect. (Reattach the charger and observe how long it takes to reach full charge.)

If the terminal voltage is above 12v, clean the battery clamps inside surface, Disconnect and clean the ground cable connections at the fender and on each side of the engine. Visually inspect the each cable abobe the crimpedbon connector for any signs of exposed conductor that is green. Green indicates a conductor that is failing and may have or be developing a high resistance connection within the connector. If so, measure the cable resistance with your DVM. the cables should read as near shorts. Replace the cable or the terminal if resistance is above one ohm. Apply some petroleum jelly to each connection to inhibit corrosion

Immediately measure the terminal voltage. The Element normally draws a low current ,(ma) even when off to maintain things like the battery code, Maintenance Minder calculations and some ECM codes. All these will have been lost with the battery removed. Any ODB codes stored after a battery replacement indicate new, recent errors. (A $15 ODBII adapter, or a better one, should be part of a modern diyers toolkit. )

Start the engine and watch the terminal voltage. When cranking the terminal voltage will drop. Once the engine is up to fast idle (+1500 rpm) the alternator output should be high enough to produce 14v across the battery to carry the engine load AND RECHARGE the battery. Until the power consumed to start the engine has been replaced, the battery terminal voltage will be below the level it was at before starting.

With battery, connections and alternator no longer suspects, go under the dashboard and locate the primary cabin grounding lugs. If any of the connections to them are loose or corroded, one or more electrical systems will be non functional, intermintent, or in the case of the ECM, give erroneous or misleading readings and produced erratic performance.

Those grounding lugs are on the inner steels fenders G501 and G502, which are easy access, and near the center of the dashboard, G503, G401, G402 and G451, which are harder to get to.. The last one is the ECM ground.

Now that the Element shop and troubleshooting manuals is available on CDROM, legally and affordable from Bishko, through Rockauto, there's no excuse for not having one. For less than a tank of gas, it's one of the best tools you can own. I have copied mine to my tablet and to a USB stick that I keep in the glovebox with my ODB adapter.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now I went out this morning and jump in it, turned the key and wont kick over, it turns over great and strong , but wont sart
 

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Sorry, I won't be any help with your problem, just wanted to share my story as I noted many here are more mechanically inclined than I; few years ago my old "78 ford pickup began acting weird, started fine at home, drove 5 miles and turned over sluggish, drove 15 miles and wouldn't turn over at all, my theory was the battery was so far gone that driving it was draining the battery, put new battery in, no problem since. my neighbor doesn't agree, going on to make noise that the alternator should have kept up. I said not if the battery would not take the charge. so I throw it out there to you, think my theory was right? if not how would we explain the "fix".
 

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One possibility is that in changing the battery, the person who did the installation cleaned the corrosion off the contacts and properly tightened them down, eliminating a high-resistance connection. That should always the the repair of first resort.
thanks Ramblerdan but I changed the battery at home and
I doubt you'll ever find my battery terminals with corrosion,
although they say we should never say never. :)
 
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