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1998 CRV Headlights/Instrument Panel Flickering with idle during Park and Drive

I’ve done a long laundry list of work on my Honda CRV. In the pass month, I’ve had…

valve job/re-seating of valves/new sleeves in intake side

valve adjustment to full spec.

new fuel filter

new alternator

new thermostat

new air change sensor

new belts

new seals

cleaned iac

adj idle

new battery

new distributor

new distributor cap

new rotator for distributor

flushed coolant

Now this last week after the car was running in tip top shape I found the headlights to flicker, the idle rough, the car would shake back and forth when sitting at a light and the instrument panel flickers with the idle(ie. as the engine rotates).

So I’ve checked…

Checked the valve clearance(Good)

Checked Belts (Good)

Checked Battery (Good)

Checked Alternator (Good)

Checked Grounding (Good)

Checked Timing Belt (Good)

Checked Fuses (Good)

Checked Batt Cables (Good)

Checked Spark Plugs (Good)

Checked Spark Plug Wires (Good)

Checked Coolant (Good)

Checked DTC (none)

Going to Recheck the IAC.

Any Suggestions, Remember now it surges, as it goes through the rotation of the motor and with the surge comes flickering of the internal lights and external lights (ie, headlights and rear lights), plus it also surges at any speed I’m driving at. It’s way more apparent at night then in the daytime. But car doesn’t stall yet, no DTC’s, batter voltage is normal.



I know you said you checked it but I would recheck ground to body and motor

Virtually all ‘new’ alternators for 12-year-old cars are rebuilt alternators.

It sounds like your brushes are not making good contact with the commutator in the alternator, Either the commutator is rough, or someone either damaged the brushes or forgot to replace the old brushes when they rebuilt the alternator.

The first thing I would do is pull the brushes out of the alternator and have a look at them - no, I take that back, the first thing I would do is show the person who sold me that alternator the pulsing needle on an analog voltmeter while the car is running and ask them for another alternator.

Have you checked the coil? Your coil may be arcing internaly, causing engine to misfire/surge. The coil can be damaged unknowingly if someone pulled a spark plug wire(s) off and cranked the engine during some previous diagnostic. Try replacing the coil.