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03 Accord EX - Loss of Power Steering / Battery Light On

Old 12-09-2018, 05:36 PM
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Question 03 Accord EX - Loss of Power Steering / Battery Light On

Hello All:

New here. Thought I'd reach out, as I'm beginning to have more & more issues with maintaining my 2003 Honda Accord Ex - 4dr Automatic vehicle. My dad took great care of her, and she's officially just passed 300K this summer. I give her regular maintenance, as she has several little quirks that require attention; but yesterday, something different happened.

Upon turning into the parking lot at my job in the morning, the power steering failed and I had to pull extremely hard to get her safely into the lot. I noticed at the same time, the battery light came on. She did not feel like she turned off; nor did I lose power elsewhere, at least in that moment. Upon fully making a wide u-turn and straightening the wheel, it released and continued driving like normal. I parked it; checked the power steering fluid, as the PS pump does have a slight leak (I have to add fluid every week or two...) but it was full. On my drive home from work, I noticed the battery light flashed for about 2 seconds, then went away. Stopped at O'Reillys and had them check my battery & alternator, both of which were good. (I just replaced the alternator and belt this summer, so I knew it couldn't be that.) Once again, as I rounded the corner and turned into my apartment parking lot, the wheel tightened up again, battery light came on, and then released 2-3 seconds later. I was able to park her in reverse just fine, with no hesitation.

The O'Reilly's guy mentioned it could be something to do with the sensors/computer inside my engine; my brother suggested perhaps the fuel filter or pump. Research shows that 1998 and beyond Accords don't have a fuel filter; just a screen over the intake pump. My dad also suggested the ECM as a culprit.

Any suggestions or ideas as to why the car would cut power, but not appear/feel/sound like she turned off, then auto-correct itself within 5 seconds? Could it possibly be anything else? Your help is appreciated.
Old 12-09-2018, 06:21 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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The battery light is the charging system indicator. Aftermarket alternator aren't always reliable.

It still may be a charging issue; check cable connections, etc. But, it may end up still being an issue with the alternator.
Old 12-09-2018, 06:26 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 393

Your strainer or pump would not be the issue since the battery light came on. You are correct the accord no longer come with an inline filter but does have a strainer in the tank (what you indicated was a screen) which you would only change if you drop pressure in the line.

Since the battery light came on I would focus on the alternator. What brand did you buy? Even though you just replaced it it could still give you intermittent issues which will not show up on a test at times. You will have to monitor it as you are driving to be sure. Also make sure your battery is charged to eliminate it (it would not cause the batt light to come on).

Before monitoring check your battery cables. Make sure the posts on your battery are clean and cables are tightly on. Also check your grounds. I have an 07 and my grounds were the issue when I had power quirks. When I fixed it I purchased the V6 size ground cable and battery and have not had any issues since.

Last edited by Seanjordan20; 12-09-2018 at 06:29 PM.
Old 12-09-2018, 09:49 PM
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Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 13,112

The power steering pump works the hardest to push power steering fluid when making turns at low speeds. The extra load on the serpentine belt could cause the belt to slip. The belt tensioner could be weak, this could be a crankshaft pulley issue, the wrong sized belt was installed, or possibly the alternator.

The crank pulley is not a solid piece of metal. The outer part where the belt rides is metal, the middle is rubber, the inner part where the bolt holds it to the crankshaft is metal. It is possible that the rubber has separated from the metal. The easiest way to test is to mark a line using whiteout from the center bolt to the edge. After you get the car to act up, look to see if you still have a straight line. If the line is now 2 lines, then the crank pulley will need replaced.

Here is a video showing the failure/replacement that may help explain what I'm talking about. The crank bolt is a pain to remove if you find the crank pulley is the issue. I would not replace that pulley unless you verify the pulley is bad. We can give you some pointers on how to remove if you need to replace that pulley.

Old 12-10-2018, 05:21 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 393

PAhonda that is definitely a good possibility. I overlooked the age and the combination of the 2 happening at the same time which could very well be a belt/pulley issue.

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