2018 EX-L front Heater/AC fan pauses/stutters during transmission shifts
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Thread: 2018 EX-L front Heater/AC fan pauses/stutters during transmission shifts

  1. #1
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    2018 EX-L front Heater/AC fan pauses/stutters during transmission shifts

    Hi All,
    I searched the other threads and didn't find this one posted:

    When the front blower fan is blowing air at high speed, the fan will pause (or stutter) ever so slightly before again resuming the high speed airflow. If you're not paying attention, you probably won't notice it. However, I'm a bit OCD, so I can perceive it. And it's quite annoying.

    After some testing and observation, I was able to determine that the pause occurs during transmission shifts, both down and up shifts. It also occurs if you let off the gas after accelerating.

    Two trips to the dealership have resulted in the standard "our tech could not reproduce the behavior".

    Anyone else observe this in their 2018 EX-L?
    No other vehicle (Honda, Nissan, Acura, Mercedes-Benz, BMW) I've ever driven has exhibited this kind of behavior.
    Thanks.

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  3. #2
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    Instantaneous.

    I have the exact issues you describe with your fan speed. I have talked to my Service Manager as well. Flies circling around head and in and out of mouth ..........

    So If you look up the very very long list of issues I have posted in other threads with my EXL you will find mentioned in there an item about the interior lights and headlights dimming when the A/C clutch engages and disengages at high speed cruise. Please look up the thread and read over my list.


    So all this dimming and abrupt fan speed nonsense is related to voltage and current, i.e., the voltage regulation within the alternator. I believe Honda is playing a fuel efficiency trick here at our expense. IMAGINE THAT. So. In the recent past, my 2013 EXL, had no problems with these symptoms you and I are seeing. I believe that the new Odyssey generation alternators have voltage regulators with either faulty voltage regulation circuits OR Honda has designed a wider voltage range that the alternator can stay unloaded to conserve on gas because the load isn't transferred as counter torque on the engine crankshaft pulley.

    I believe if every single one of us with this issue called Honda and listed this effects of this deficiency on the NHTSA site, that something will be none. Here is why.

    When I'm driving on the open road either two lane or freeway in a line of traffic, when my A/C clutch cycles on and off .....my headlights are "flicking" in the back of the vehicle I'm following. This change in brightness is so pronounced that the drivers of some vehicles that i'm behind will tap their brakes and sometimes abruptly apply their brakes because they think i'm visibly and symbolically giving them the finger for driving too slow or not changing lanes because my lights "flick" or the lumen output goes way down and way back up again just as you describe with the fan speed under driving dynamics. I experience it all and Honda has done NOTHING but ignore me.

  4. #3
    Registered User DJVAN's Avatar
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    If you believe it is in the alternator, go down to a local alternator repair shop and ask if it is
    possible that the alternator can do what you are saying, perhaps they will do a free test for you.

    I was in a car accident, (drunk driver) went left of center line and managed to hit me after I
    steered to my right by 6 feet and she still hit me. Needless to say after the accident my charging
    system wasn't working, the auto shop that was doing the repair said that didn't happen from the
    accident impact, wrong it did. I took the alternator out to the alternator repair shop found the diode pack
    cracked and opened up the AC/DC charging circuit, they wrote a letter to the small claims court I took them
    to get paid for vehicle damage after receiving vehicle back after body damage was completed. I also took a copy of the
    alternator letter and judge's small claim paper and gave it to body shop owner and had him read both items.
    He apologized but he said his body shop does not work beyond the body repair. My answer to him was what part of
    repair is there that the alternator does not charge. He gave his answer, I told him before I left, that I took the wrong person
    to small claims court and registered with the BBB of his "repair work".

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    I think there's definitely something wrong with the OP's alternator. Even if you must pay a small fee to an automotive electrical shop to have a load test done on the alternator, I would do it. My EX doesn't show any signs of AC motor RPM reduction or dimming headlights when several devices run at the same time during a shift.

    Ask the automotive electrical shop to give you a print out of their findings and take it to the "We can't fix it because we can't reproduce the problem" dealership and make sure you take a picture of the moron at the service counter with egg all over his face. Holy crap, any competent dealer would do a load test for free. If they find an issue, then they can charge for the repair, assuming you're out of warranty, which you're aren't. A first year automotive tech student could diagnose this problem in a heartbeat.

    I'm honestly starting to believe that the dealers are so pissed at Honda Corp for releasing such a bug-riddled vehicle that they are tired of dealing with the constant issues. I've heard that the dealer gets paid by Honda Corp for warranty repairs, but nowhere near what the dealer makes on vehicles that are off warranty. For those types of repairs, the dealer can charge what he or she wants.
    2018 Odyssey EX, that still has a rattly transmission. Honda says I can't have a compass, and to stop being so cheap and buy a cell phone with a data plan!!

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    Thanks All! I will follow your advice to get the alternator checked out. I'll post back after getting a resolution from the dealership (crossing my fingers).

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    Instantaneous:

    I took my 2019 EX-L into a trusted shop today that has a battery and alternator testing machine all in one that tests the both while inside your vehicle under dynamic conditions.

    I found today that HONDA has computer programmed these alternator controls in the ECU to broaden the band in which the alternator operates in STANDBY mode. In this way the alternator cycles less and uses less torque from the motor when it is less efficient to do so. I observed this today on the test and analysis machine.

    The 2019 EX-L battery was tested under load by the device circuitry itself. Then the battery was tested while the engine was started. After the battery was proven to be able to easily supply and had no problem recovering.... the alternator.

    The alternator was then tested on recovering the battery after starting the engine again. The alternator voltage was 14.7 volts and around 80-90 amps initially. As the battery recovered the amperage trended down as well as the volts. The alternator was then diode tested. This test passed as well. Then the alternator was tested while all accessories in the van were on in a way to produce maximum load with the vehicle in neutral and then in drive with the brake held.

    In the end the alternator always kept up with the load that was placed on it. Here is where the ISSUE you and I and I'm sure MANY others out there will experience. At any time the A/C clutch energized the voltage would drop and cause the headlights to dim. This was also very apparent when you hold the accelerator down with the engine at about 1500RPM. The second either the A/C clutch would de-energize or the accelerator pedal would be abruptly completely released......the testing device would show an abrupt drop in volts. This drop would be from a steady 14.5 volts down to 12.5. Every time this would happen the fan speed would drop to inaudible levels and then BLAST back to it's full original speed and the headlights would dim and then brighten again.

    The technician agreed with my synopsis. Honda has programmed the alternator voltage control circuit on these new vehicles in such a away that some of them may display this annoying attribute if the vehicle dynamics on the road produce the same effects seen in our simulation.

    My vehicle has already been to the dealer and was kept at the service department for 5 days while they went through all sorts of testing only to tell me that they did everything the "TECHLINE" told them to do but were not able to eliminate the effect observed. More HONDA quality issues. More of the same. This issue will likely never be resolved by HONDA. I plan on adding a capacitor to the electrical system itself after some research to help smooth out current drops and in turn prevent these annoying attributes that we experience.

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    Registered User DJVAN's Avatar
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    Triaque, you said "I plan on adding a capacitor to the electrical system itself after some research to help smooth out current drops and in turn prevent these annoying attributes that we experience."

    The problem of this is that a battery and a capacitor is the same thing, only difference is the battery stores it as a chemical charge and a capacitor stores it as an electrical charge. In this case the force (current) would be better suited by the battery as it stores the charge slower and will absorb it better, a capacitor can take the charge faster but can be violent as an in result of too much all at once and blow open the capacitor. The one advantage of a capacitor is it can charge quickly and discharge into a short without any damage and then charge again and again. A battery will charge slowly and as we know will boil out the battery (chemical reaction) if it is over voltage for sustained times and can discharge into a dead state which dramatically shortens it life. This just to say that a capacitor can have a higher voltage by the formula E=Voltage L=Inductance I= Current (ELI the ICEMAN), which tells us that voltage leads current. Herein lies the rub, It can be to high of voltage for the electronics in the ODY to handle, the battery as it takes longer to raise the voltage is a safer source.

    There is some newer batteries out there made by Optima that is showing great promise for the newer autos including the 2018 ODY. It is a yellow top battery, great for starting and longer lasting with all the electronics involved including the side and rear door usage when engine is shut off. A far better battery than what is in the ODY already, and it is supposed to fit in the same battery tray. This battery is very expensive as compared to lead acid batteries as it is a AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat). Price is 289.99 direct from Optima manufacture.

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    Last edited by DJVAN; 04-19-2019 at 12:27 AM.

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    DJVAN

    Will the Optima battery maintain voltage values (not surface charge)in the hi 13's range and have a higher capacitance discharge rate (capacitive reactance)than the Johnson Controls AGM battery that honda contracted with to place in the Odyssey from the factory. ?
    Last edited by Triaque; 04-19-2019 at 06:13 AM.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triaque View Post
    DJVAN

    Will the Optima battery maintain voltage values (not surface charge)in the hi 13's range and have a higher capacitance discharge rate (capacitive reactance)than the Johnson Controls AGM battery that honda contracted with to place in the Odyssey from the factory. ?
    Here's some data from Optima website:
    Model:H6 Weight: 54.01 lb

    C20 Capacity: 72 Ah CCA: 800 Amp
    Width: 6.89 in Length: 10.94 in
    Height: 7.48 in Reserve Capacity @25 Amps: 140 Minutes
    Voltage: 12 Volts Case Material: Polypropylene

    Case Color: Light Gray Cover Color: "OPTIMA" Yellow

    Group Size: H6 Internal Resistance: 3 mohm
    CA: 928 Amp


    There are two types of maintenance chargers:

    • Preferred – Fully automatic multistage or multistep chargers, which monitor the battery and charge it as necessary. Multistage maintainers will charge at varying voltages and varying amperage (rarely exceeding two amps). Some of these multistep chargers are also capable of being regular battery chargers (seven amps or more).
    • OK, but not preferred – Traditional float chargers provide constant voltage with tapering amperage to the battery even when it is fully charged. For float charging, we recommend one amp max, 13.2-13.8 volts.


    YELLOWTOP batteries are dual-purpose. They are designed for engine start and cyclic applications and for use in vehicles with large accessory loads.

    Recommended charging information:
    Alternator: 13.65 to 15.0 volts, no amperage limit.
    Battery Charger: 13.8 to 15.0 volts, 10 amps maximum, approximately for six to twelve hours.
    Cyclic Applications: 14.7 volts, no current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). When current falls below one amp, finish with two-amp constant current for one hour.
    Rapid Recharge: Maximum voltage 15.6 volts (regulated), no current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). Charge until current drops below one amp.
    Float Charge: 13.2 to 13.8 volts, one amp maximum current, time indefinite (at lower voltage).
    Strictly adhere to all limits.

    If you need any more data let me know or you can go to https://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us.

    djvan




  12. #10
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    DJVAN
    I appreciate you posting the basics on the Optima yellow top battery. I'm actually looking for details in specifications on how this particular battery reacts to supply current faster than the OEM battery.

    I have owned four different red tops of this brand over the years and in differing vehicles. They are more expensive and the yellow top is VERY expensive. Of the four I have owned I never got one to last over two years in normal automotive use. However, I have been buying the higher end INTERSTATE brand batteries for years as well and those usually last about 7-8 years before a winter kills them off.

    I am going to be really skeptical about how a yellow top Optima can resolve the current flow issue on the Odyssey(s) being that these don't last and they cost a lot.
    Thanks again.

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    I noticed the same here. Keep us updated.

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    Dixonba

    What have you made observations of or noticed?

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    Same behavior that the OP described. I thought it was normal but maybe not...

  16. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triaque View Post
    DJVAN
    I am going to be really skeptical about how a yellow top Optima can resolve the current flow issue on the Odyssey(s) being that these don't last and they cost a lot.
    Thanks again.
    Sorry you had problems with Red Top Optima's. While I was working for the Federal Aviation Administration for 37 years one of my responsibilities was Standby Engine Generator's. These were all Diesel Engines and all except 3 sit in just a metal building, no ambient air heating for the little buildings they were in, just a immersion block heater set at 114 degrees. These batteries start the engines at temperature rated for -30 to 120 degrees (Metal buildings no insulation) as I said before that the outside temperature was 109 degrees. The other 3 were in a heated, no air-conditioning, just a outside air used for cooling. These were the largest diesel engines we had powering 175 KW at 480 VAC. I had never lost a red top Optima battery after using somewhere around 13 years ago. The batteries was charged by a fully automatic battery charge that is just as good or better than Optima's Digital 1200,they was all wall mounted chargers and reliable. I will admit they all RED TOPS due to the fact is they only started the engines, no accessories such as any radio DVD players or monitors. We had to replace the Optima's every 5 years by preventative maintenance (PM) rules as our Generator services team comes up with the PM's for everything on a Engine Generator. The engineering group had contacted Optima for performance specifications and service length also on these batteries.

    I will be buying the YELLOWTOP Optima battery for the ODY after 4 years if the OEM battery will last that long. I love the idea that it can start the ODY but can handle the accessory items as well.

    I have personally owned Interstate batteries in several of my vehicles over the years and they had never lived up to a good standard. Had 2 batteries fail in the same day 3rd one lasted a year, then I stopped buying them, after I saw how many Interstate batteries was at a battery wholesaler on pallets, the next worse was Sears Diehards.

    Did you ever send into Optima the bad RedTop batteries you had that was bad? These batteries are very picky of charging systems, they must be a digital stepping voltage to charge them in the correct manner. The ODY has this system, even the chargers we had at work were CPU controlled and as I said they worked flawlessly.
    Last edited by DJVAN; 04-22-2019 at 03:41 AM.

  17. #15
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    I have and always will buy Enersys Odyssey batteries. They are about the same price as the Optima red tops but are MUCH better made. I have had two last over 10 years and one died around 9 years. Most of their batteries are standard lead-acid so charging isn't much of an issue. Can 100% recover from a complete drain unlike AGM batteries. And are made right down the street from my house so I'm always up for supporting local businesses. The 94R-850 (which happens to be AGM) fits the 18-19 Ody and runs about $225 from Autozone here in the midwest.
    Last edited by airforceb2cc; 04-22-2019 at 05:11 AM.

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