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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past month I've started getting an intermittent issue with my gages/RPMs dying while driving for 1-2 seconds, then coming back on along with Check Eng, !, and VTM lights. Its some kind of electrical/connection issue. P0685 code is there and maybe some others. It is very intermittent and hard to reproduce for a mechanic but seems to occur mostly/always when its cold outside. I took it to dealer yesterday and they performed SW updates and test drove without issues in the warm afternoon sunshine but I'm not sure that fixes anything.

History:
-Radio backlight has been dark when truck is cold, slowly illuminates within 5-15 mins after starting truck. This started 1-3 months ago? Also occurs when truck is somewhat warmer but has been powered off a while - 45 minutes, maybe less. It used to illuminate gradually within seconds, now that is taking longer and longer. Mechanic did not notice the issue because it was daylight and backlight is only noticed at night.
-3 years ago I added trailer lights. 6-8 months ago, I started getting blown fuse on my tail-lights, which affected cruise, couldn't shift out of Park, etc.

I put a 30 A fuse in for a couple days when I ran out of the 15/20 fuses. It might have blown too. I finally traced the issue to the trailer wiring contacting the muffler which melted the insulation and shorted the circuit. I disconnected the trailer lights completely and the issue hasn't recurred. But is it possible this burned other wiring/connections/relays closer to the power source?

-I got a new battery a month ago - Duracell from Sams. Battery has been checked out several times as good and the connections tightened 3 times as well, just to make sure.
-I tried to replace the PGM-FI relays 1 and 2 yesterday after getting it back from the dealer. Relay 2 is a blue relay, I found one at Oreilly for $6 and replaced it. Relay 1 is brown and was listed for $36 but out of stock in all local stores. So I swapped it for the identical brown ignition coil relay right next to it.

Symptoms yesterday vs today:
-yesterday I experienced the power down several times on my way to work, in the first 5-10 miles. It seemed to last closer to 2-3 secs whereas it has always been closer to 1 second before then. I took it to the shop at that point.
-today I experienced "hiccups" during the first 5-10 miles on the highway where my RPMs would flutter, but no lights expect for TPMS ever came on and the electrical power never seemed to really die. Hiccups seemed to cease during the last 10 miles to work when I was on cruise. I still had the same backlight illumination issue on the radio as the previous day.

What was different:
-Software updates had been performed yesterday
-PGM FI relay 2 was replaced
-PGM FI relay 1 had been swapped for Ignition coil relay (might have moved a faulty relay into another system???)
-Tuesday was a few degrees warmer than Monday
-I parked outside last night, whereas truck was in the garage the night before. Engine should have been colder Tuesday than Monday, however parking outside maybe eliminated large temp differentials between the garage temp and the airflow temp on the highway which were experienced the day before??

Thoughts? How can I trace this down? to me the backlight issue seems it might be a symptom of low voltage/bad wiring near the source which clearly was not fixed by the software updates or relay changes. But it could always be entirely unrelated and just an old radio??? Is there a way to test relays definitively? Also do relays really go out? One guy at Autozone told me they never really fail and the issue is probably elsewhere.
 

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It sounds like that you might be losing your ground connection, might want to look at all the ground straps. Make sure the wires aren't frayed and the bolts are tight at both ends.
good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It sounds like that you might be losing your ground connection, might want to look at all the ground straps. Make sure the wires aren't frayed and the bolts are tight at both ends.
good luck
I'm not sure how to do this or what to look for -apparently my dealer service center didn't bother checking?

I'm pretty good with mechanical issues, but when it gets into electrical - beyond installing a light fixture/recep, or resetting/changing fuses I'm kinda lost.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Here's the Body Ground Locations, it's also been discussed before, Corrosion occurring not just at the battery negative but at the ground location down from the battery.
 

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Thanks, but what do I check for? Is it entirely visual, or is there a quantitative test such as checking for resistance or voltage above or below a certain threshold?
 

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Thanks, but what do I check for? Is it entirely visual, or is there a quantitative test such as checking for resistance or voltage above or below a certain threshold?
You need to do a visual, look for corrosion and frayed wires where the bolts connect to the frame. You can take a socket and make sure they are tight.
You could use an ohm meter and check resistance between battery ground and each connecting point.
Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So the one ground looked good. The rest I couldn't find despite looking in the locations in the diagram.

Meanwhile, I have replaced both of the suspect relays now, and haven't had any additional electrical issues. Fingers crossed.
 
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