Our Honda Pilot electric dies occasionally on left turn

We have a 2007 Honda Pilot that runs great except one small bug. Every once in a while, when we’re turning left, everything will completely die in the middle of the intersection - gas pedal, power steering, everything. Then in a second or two, it’ll just jump back to life like it never happened.

I don’t think the engine itself ever dies because we don’t need to re-turn the key

A few other things:
• When it happens, the car lights sometimes flicker and there are clicks behind them as they turn on and off
• It seems to happen more on rainy days than dry ones
• It usually happens after we slow down to a stop after interstate driving
• It almost always happens on a left turn, but it once happened really quickly on a right turn
• It happens maybe once a month, so it’s impossible to replicate for the mechanic

We’ve had it looked at and no-one has any ideas, but we have had the alternator replaced and that didn’t stop it.

Thanks for any ideas!

Don’t return to that shop. They just threw parts at the problem hoping they would stick. Your alternator was probably fine.

I’d guess a bad battery or ground cable is bad. A real mechanic would have tried to diagnose it by hooking a scanner to it to read while it was being driven and turned left. Find a well rated independent auto repair shop - no chains - and tell them what you posted here.


stop turning left… :rofl: :rofl:

on a more serious note, I completely agree with @Mustangman


So many symptoms and so many things to blame. It could be that the throttle plate is closing all the way. Ice could even be forming in the throttle plate although it’s unlikely.

I had an 85 Cadillac that used to do that whenever the PCM wasn’t working right. Your computer is nothing like that one and is much more expensive than $99.99. You could troubleshoot forever and then change a bad motor mount and never have that problem again. I hope that mystery never happens. My 83 Corolla used to quit on the highway and I would loosen the gas cap and drive on. Don’t do that.

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I am leaning to the too many keys on the keychain theory.

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Yeah, start with the simple things first. Use the key by itself, jiggle it to see if the switch is worn. Then check the battery cables for corrosion. Then go from there.


Thanks! We actually replaced the alternator for a different reason but hoped that it would help. Just got a new battery and it hasn’t happened since. We’ll keep at it to see if that helps.

We’ve got a great independent shop we use, and they’ve had a thorough look thorough the system and didn’t find anything obvious. Everywhere we’ve taken it have needed us to replicate it with them in the car, but we can’t ever anticipate when it’ll happen, so they can’t get a really good idea of what’s happening.

I honestly wish it would happen more often so we could replicate it with a technician

My brothers 77 Aspen would die when ever he turned Left. He would avoid left turns like the plague. I finally replaced the stuck float.

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I dunno if this is still in practice or not, but there is this:

UPS trucks no left turns- CNN

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It could be a bad motor mount, resulting in the motor shifting on turns and pulling on the wiring harness.

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I doubt it. With AI routing systems they have which every major delivery company uses.

The 90’s Accords had a similar problem that would ultimately manifest as a being dead on restart.
From memory that was the main ACC and/or ignition relays & connections under the dash around the steering column.
The fact it occurs going round a corner suggests a loose connection and I would say ignition switch or relays.

Edit: Just reread your post. I initially read the lights going off/on to mean your dash lights. If not and it’s just the headlights then likely the other comments about harness or earth strap being disturbed during weight transfer. Funny coincidence: last weekend’s Car Talk episode has a caller talking about the engine and everything dying and they’re blaming a clicking relay. Ray then asks “Have you had engine work done?” caller says “The engine was replaced” Ray says “Ground strap.”

Thanks P.G.I - This is really helpful. I’ll check out all of those leads. Many Thanks!

That’s awesome - I had no idea :smiley: