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All lights flicker when engine is running

Old 12-31-2017, 08:33 PM
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Default All lights flicker when engine is running

Headed out to the bay for New year's too watch the fireworks etc. For a while before leaving we were on the boat with the cockpit lights on (All LED) and everything was fine.

Started up and headed out. Once the engine was running (YAM300 XCA) all the cockpit lights, nav lights, switch lights, compass light started to flicker intermittently. I switched off the radio/amp concerned it may be the draw although not cranked up. No everything still flickers.

When anchored up and engine is off all lights on, not a single flicker!! Started engine just to see and they start to flicker.

Thinking a bad ground? Or is it a voltage regulator?? Thanks for ideas and suggestions.

Last edited by avee8tor; 01-01-2018 at 07:25 AM.
Old 01-01-2018, 06:18 AM
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I would check for a bad, broken, corroded ground. Good luck.
Old 01-01-2018, 08:50 AM
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Sounds like the Engine is drawing too much power and causing the lights to not get enough. How many batteries you have? And do the lights all connect on the same bus?
Old 01-02-2018, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tommy099431 View Post
Sounds like the Engine is drawing too much power and causing the lights to not get enough. How many batteries you have? And do the lights all connect on the same bus?
2 batteries, engine and house. From what I can see all wires lead to 2 (1 +, 1 -) double sided power bars.
Old 01-02-2018, 02:41 PM
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Check the alternator output when running, and check for a bad ground. Check the ground on the engine, and all other junctions. Check connections in the electrical distribution panel as well.
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Old 01-02-2018, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by c1steve View Post
Check the alternator output when running
The motor will use juice off alternator AND supply a charge to battery. Not alt, then motor uses battery to keep ignition going.
Old 01-03-2018, 08:46 AM
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Is there a common ground between the house and starter batteries?
Old 01-03-2018, 09:36 AM
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I'd take a multimeter and check the alternator voltage output and then start working your way up the system. Some LEDs don't like higher voltage (14v+). Like c1steve pointed out, check the grounds. It wouldn't be the first time a ground came loose or got corroded.... Did the problem happen immediately when the engine started or did it take a bit?
Old 01-03-2018, 10:12 AM
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In the old days when the voltage regulator was going bad it would make the lights flicker,not sure if it would apply here.
Old 01-05-2018, 08:44 AM
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Check your terminal connections to the batteries. I had one, that I thought was crimped correctly, and wasn't. Was causing the boat to have similar issues as yours.
Old 01-15-2018, 06:55 AM
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Well have fixed the problem. Simple and stupid at the same time. After checking all the connections at the batteries and switches I found a black wire (actually 2 wires of different thickness going into one connector) under a large wiring harness. The dealer when installing the batteries failed to either notice this wire, or thought it was for something unrelated, but failed to connect it. I didnt want to just connect it so I got them involved. Turns out it was a required ground to I think they said some control box and that without it the electrics were constantly hunting a good ground and/or feeding a ground through other components.

No longer do I have my lights flickering, low voltage warnings on my GPS or marine VHF or radio head sometimes turn off when auto trim tabs are working!!!
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