2012 Honda Civic Electrical Issues

Hello everyone! I recently started having issues with my 2012 Honda civic’s accessories. The interior lights flicker, the headlights often flicker, the audio to the radio will sometimes cut out for a few seconds (usually when I turn the steering wheel all the way to the left or all the way to the right), the ABS light and the Airbag light will come on for just a few seconds at a time and then go away, and the power steering has gone out on me a couple of times and I have to stop the car, turn it off, and turn it back on in order for the power steering to reset. This model does not use power steering fluid. The alternator was replaced about a month ago and the issues started prior to its replacement. The car is a 2012 Honda Civic with 193,000 miles.

Thanks so much in advance!

This could be from a battery that is failing internally, or that has loose or corroded connections.

That can be one of the signs the Body Control Module is starting to fail.



Have a lot of keys on your keychain? Maybe the ignition switch is failing, if it uses keys of coarse.

Thanks for the incredibly fast replies! The battery connections are clean and in good shape. The battery was recently tested. It reads as good until it is put under a load and then it reads as bad. Also, I am reading that the 2012 civic doesn’t have a BCM, is this correct?

Sounds like it’s time for a new battery.


I have had to replace the battery a couple of times before (I use my car full time and have several accessories) and I’ve never had an issue like this. Is there a reason the battery being bad could do this in this particular circumstance rather than the previous times where the car just wouldn’t turn over?

I also forgot to mention that sometimes the car is slow to start. Never have had to jump it this time around, but it doesn’t always turn over right away. By the second time, it almost always starts up.

What do you mean by not turn over? It’s an oft-misused term. An engine can turn over (starter motor turns the crankshaft so the pistons go up and down and the valves open and close, etc.) but not start.

If it turns over but doesn’t start, try the key dance: turn the key from Off to Run (not all the way to Start.) The fuel pump should run for a couple seconds. You may hear it there in the gas tank. Do this Off-Run a couple or a few times, and then turn the key all the way to Start. The idea is you bring fuel and fuel pressure up to the engine so it can start quickly.

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So I suppose I can hear the car trying to start, as in the starter motor is turning the crankshaft but it is going very slowly and sometimes gives up all together. Once I turn it off and try again, it almost always starts up that second time. It’s really just a hit or miss when I try the first time.

That slow, labored cranking (turning over) sounds like a weak battery (or poor connections) and/or a bad starter motor. As you stated above, the battery tests as bad under load. Voila.

The greatest load a car battery experiences is turning the starter motor/crankshaft/pistons/valves when you start the engine.

51R battery? I’ve bought a few for my 1999 Civic.


You have your answer. Is there a reason why have you not put a battery in it yet? Do you not trust who tested it? If so, get a second opinion.

Batteries are not just good or bad. There can be many different way for it to fail. And each way may lead to a different set of circumstances for the driver to experience.
I echo @shanonia though, make sure you check the connectors. The slow cranking then and fire right up sounds an awful lot like a loose or dirty connector.

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It obviously needs a new battery. You say all connections are good and have a new alternator. You need to go no further until you repace your battery and double check connections and charging system. If symptoms still happen after this, then you can address them, but not until.


Thank you all so much for your input! The only reason I have not replaced the batter is that I’m currently working through a number of repairs and I’m just trying to prioritize which need to be done first. I just got my brakes and oil changed but also have to get a CV axle replaced, shocks and struts, an engine mount, and the AC compressor. (this is what happens when you drive for rideshare companies full time.) I’ll replace the battery and update you! Thanks again!

Thank you all! I replaced the battery this evening and everything is working good as new! I simply had no idea a bad battery could cause so many issues and make the care behave in such an odd way. Even the rough idle is gone now that I have the new battery in there. Thanks again to all of you who took the time to help out!