Momentary electrical drop-outs on a 2001 Honda CRV

At unpredictable times, all of the dashboard gauges, the factory installed car radio and a ham radio which is directly wired to the battery terminals, loses power for about 100 milliseconds, plus or minus, and may occur from 1 to 10 times in varying succession. Bumpy roads or bad weather do not seem to influence the electrical drop-outs. The ignition, and headlights if night time, are steady and uneffected. The battery terminals are tight. This has been occurring over several years.

I have had problems with chipmonks chewing on the wire harness on top of the gas tank, causing the check engine light to light. The harness was replaced and the check engine light has been off during the latest drop-outs. The above senario does not seem to be logically possible. What could cause this problem?

Well, electricity will flow continously as long as the circuit is unimpeded. So it must be impeded at least intermittantly. Where? Who knows? Could be a fuse, electrical connector, the battery itself, or just a broken wire. It’s like if someone posted here their house plumbing was plugged up. There’s clearly something wrong, but it’s hard to say where the plug is occuring without various tests and inspections of the pipes.

How do you know the loss of power is for 100 msec? Did you measure it? How? It may be occuring in all the systems, but only the gauges and radios happen to be affected by that brief of power loss. If you haven’t actually measured a power loss of 100 msec, but are supposing that is the cause, consider also that the problem may be an electrical noise pulse coming from say dirty alternator brushes or faulty electrical power conditioning circuits in the voltage regulator.

Sounds like it’s a bad ground connection. Run a wire from the common ground back to the battery and see if the problem goes away. If that fixes it then find the bad ground connection. Is the CRV moving at the time. If so it’s probably the ground connection between the body and the frame.

Check the ignition switch. Well known to go out on these cars. That may cause things to shut off as it begins to fail. My 2000 Honda civic also had the dash light dimmer fail. Another common problem, it can shut off all dash lights until a new switch or jumper wire is installed.