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Old 11th September 2010, 03:15   #1
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Default ANHC Voltage variations

Hello all. I own a 2008 ANHC. I have driven about 20K Kms. I am facing a unique issue with my car. At first I thought it was the issue with the horn. While driving, the horn would sometimes sound ok and sometimes sound low. I suspected it to be horn issue and the guys at the service center ( Magnum Honda Bangalore) changed it promptly. It was ok for some time, but again it started with the same problem. It was very annoying in the highways. I had also noticed that head lights were not powerful enough. But something that I discovered couple of months ago was that the head lights would become dim slightly at times and then would become bright after a couple of seconds while driving. I also noticed that the horn sound would change when the headlights went dim slightly.

To investigate this further, I connected a multi meter to the 12V socket and started monitoring the voltage. I found a strange behavior. The voltage was varying between 14.2V to 12.2V randomly while driving. There was no fixed pattern. When you start the engine for the first time, it would show 14.2V and after driving about 2 to 3Kms it drops to 12.3V for a couple of seconds(10-15sec) and then bounce back to 14.2V. it is during this 10-15secs, the horn would sound low and the Headlights would go dim.
As far as I understand, to charge the battery you need at least 13-14V. So I assume, when it drops to 12.2V the battery is not getting charged.
I took my car to Magnum Honda and they understood the problem and kept the car for almost 5days for investigation. After about 5days, they said that the issue was caused due the headlamp upgrade. I am using a 90/100W bulb with a proper relay. So I suggested that we remove the wiring and check again. Again the problem persisted even after reverting to the stock headlamps. Finally the guys at Magnum Honda said that itís a normal behavior of the Honda City. I wanted to confirm with others here if you guys have noticed any such issues in your cars? I am sorry for the long description, but it is a very unique problem and hence this long description.
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Old 11th September 2010, 10:03   #2
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Ah. After reading your posts. I realize, its something similar on my city. The horn doesn't sound good sometimes. Especially if i need to honk many times. The noise level varies, just 2 days ago, i was thinking about bringing this up with honda guys during my next service.

I will now check if this also happens when I go for longer distances. May be something with the charging.

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Old 11th September 2010, 12:53   #3
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Electrical and electronic gremlins can be difficult to detect. I think you need to perform a basic check on a bunch of main wires for loose connections and/or corrosion:

a) Alternator to fuse box (it is the thick cable that is attached to the alt and covered with a grey or black cap). Also check the fuses are inserted firmly into their sockets
b) Fuse box to battery +ve terminal
c) Negative terminal to chassis (earth/ground)
d) Last but not the least, the battery terminals themselves.

A loose connection can mess up your electrical fittings and affect the alternator's regulator/rectifier circuit other than posing a fire hazard. My suspicion is that the after market equipment technicians left something undone or partially tightened.

Get the system checked pronto.

PS - charging voltages are between 13.8 and 14.4 at idle with all equipment switched off.

Cheers!

Last edited by R2D2 : 11th September 2010 at 12:55. Reason: added PS
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Old 11th September 2010, 13:18   #4
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Looks like either a loose connection on the charging circuit or an issue with the rectifier circuitry on the alternator. This is certainly not normal behaviour, whether in a Honda City or any other car.
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Old 11th September 2010, 15:46   #5
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my family has used NHC for 51k, never faced such a problem.
My indica turbo though faced this problem twice and the culprit has always been the alternator voltage regulator(cuthouse in garage mechanic words)
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Old 11th September 2010, 17:07   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemen View Post
my family has used NHC for 51k, never faced such a problem.
My indica turbo though faced this problem twice and the culprit has always been the alternator voltage regulator(cuthouse in garage mechanic words)
I believe its called 'cutout' and not 'cuthouse'
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Old 11th September 2010, 18:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apk_net View Post
wanted to confirm with others here if you guys have noticed any such issues in your cars? I am sorry for the long description, but it is a very unique problem and hence this long description.
i have got the headlight upgrade done. i dont know about other ANHCs, but i have also observed this in my car.

It behaves exactly the way you have mentioned. I have just left it the way it is to get it checked sometime.

and the ANHC's horn is the very bad. It gives out two different tones, due to dual horn, However, horn issue doesnt bother me much , since i drive most of time thinking my cars doesnt have horns. I hate using the horns in my cars or bike.
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Old 11th September 2010, 21:02   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nandans2005 View Post
and the ANHC's horn is the very bad. It gives out two different tones, due to dual horn
From what I have seen,ANHC's stock horns are zilch;they pack up at the slightest sight of water/cold.Have noticed this on all four ANHCs that I have sampled.The only solution is to get the horn adjusted(there's a screw at the rear of the horn which needs to be set)
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Old 12th September 2010, 21:47   #9
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@akush: I am experiencing the same issue as you have mentiond about the horns. However since this is happening for more than a year, and that I have not experienced any issues with the battery, I am not sure if there is any issue with the charging circuit.
@R2D2: I got the entire wiring thoroughly checked at the service centre. IN fact they even replaced the alternator to check if there were any issues. Unfortunately nothing changed.
@SS-Traverller: as I mentioned above, the guys at Honda service station changed the alternator and still the issue remains.
@hemen: the alternator was replaced no luck
@nandans2005: I am glad to know you too have noticed this. I too have started feeling that this could be a normal thing with the ANHC. But what I donít understand is that the engineers at Honda service are not able to confirm if this is a normal behaviour.
@vigsom: the horns have been replaced twice.
Thanks for all the suggestion guys. I have started to feel that this is a normal behaviour of the ANHC. However, I am trying to see if anyone has got an official response from Honda?
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Old 13th September 2010, 00:15   #10
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The voltage given by the alternator is never going to be constant. It does hover at around the same voltages mentioned by the thread starter. The behaviour is normal but usually not apparent in all cars unless some very heavy equipment is being powered.
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Old 13th September 2010, 15:29   #11
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Apk,

i have been having driving with this since one year now. If it was an issue, it would have complicated further. I think its no issue, so just carry on.

i also feel that the A/C compressor switches on & off very often adding to further fluctuation in the car.

keep posting.
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Old 13th September 2010, 16:42   #12
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@pranav: I donít think its normal behavior of an alternator to stay at 12V for more than 15-20seconds.
@nandan: as you said, I too have not seen this causing any issue with the battery or anything. But its just annoying to see the lights go dim slightly in the night when the voltage drops. Also the curiosity to understand the reason behind it
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Old 13th September 2010, 20:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranavt View Post
The voltage given by the alternator is never going to be constant. It does hover at around the same voltages mentioned by the thread starter. The behaviour is normal but usually not apparent in all cars unless some very heavy equipment is being powered.
While your 1st sentence is correct that voltage varies (albeit within a restricted range depending on load and engine RPMs), I disagree with your statement that the behaviour experienced by is normal.

Lights dimming (other than for a fraction of a second when there are load spikes) and horns sounding weak is not normal unless there is some issue with the wiring or alternator. From what apk said, the alternator has already been replaced. Other than the 100/90w headlamp bulbs he doesnt have any other aftermarket electrical items in the car. I discount AC and other factory fitted electrical items as their load would have been accounted for when sizing the alternator.

@apk_net - Maybe you could temporarily switch back to the OEM bulbs to see if the problem goes away. Changing a headlamp bulb doesnt take more than a few minutes.
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Old 13th September 2010, 20:56   #14
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I too have observed this issue of headlight getting dimmer several times during night drives. BTW, i am still with stock head lamps.

regarding horn going "besura" or out of tone, i have observed this when i try to blow a long horn, after few seconds, i hear the besura tone
on a lighter sense, i like the idea of horn going besura after several seconds of continuous honking.

hence i have decided to blow the horn in short spells or not blow it at all.

i have been using my ANHC last 16+ months now, i do not think this is an serious issue worth spoiling the mood.
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Old 13th September 2010, 22:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
hence i have decided to blow the horn in short spells or not blow it at all.

i have been using my ANHC last 16+ months now, i do not think this is an serious issue worth spoiling the mood.
I used to have a funny issue with my OHC-II's horn back in the early 2000s. Believe it or not, when I went on a particular road it would sometimes stop working temporarily and then get back to nornal. I had the wiring checked the horn button and the horns checked too. It plagued me for all the years I had my OHC. Go figure. I just ignored it.

And yes, the OHCs OEM headlamp bulbs were terrible. I remember the day I drove it from Mumbai (the car was purchased from Ichibaan Honda and registered in Pune) I was horrified when I drove on the e'way.

I had the Philips Vision Plus 60/55 H4s, which were purchased in the UK as they not available in India in those days, installed. But I stayed away from 100/90s coz I was warned they could melt the bulb holder and discolour the reflector over time.

Cheers!

Last edited by R2D2 : 13th September 2010 at 22:29.
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