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Honda Accord Alternator

Detecting Problems in Your Honda Accord Alternator

One of the many components that make it possible for your Honda Accord to operate properly is the alternator. It charges your car's battery and supplies power into the electrical systems in your vehicle while the engine is running. However, it will not always be smooth sailing for your Honda Accord alternator. Eventually, it will show signs of wear or damage and start malfunctioning. So before your alternator problem causes even greater damage, here are ways to detect some of the common alternator issues:

Charging problems

A quick method to determine if your alternator is plagued with charging problems is by testing your headlights. Start your car and turn the headlights on. If the light is dim, the alternator may be producing just a small amount of power or nothing at all. However, it is still too soon to be certain of anything. Rev the engine and observe the brightness of the headlights. If they become brighter, it means that there is insufficient current coming from the alternator when the car is at idle and that the alternator is unable to keep the battery properly charged. But if the brightness of the headlights remains with the same intensity, your alternator is fine.

Low output

Testing the voltage of your alternator can make it easier for you to verify if the alternator is already malfunctioning. Use a voltmeter to determine if it is generating enough current. Simply connect it to the car's battery terminals. The reading should be around 12.4 volts, and it should not drop below 10.5 volts once you start the vehicle.

You may also need to inspect the alternator, especially the drive belt. A damaged or worn belt may also cause reduced voltage. What usually happens is that the once the belt gets damaged, it tends to slip on the alternator's pulley wheel. This condition is referred to as belt slippage, and it is often coupled with a squealing sound. If such problem is ignored, the alternator could malfunction and eventually cause the battery to die out.

Other tips

You may want to check the three plates in the alternator, which can be found across a winding of copper wires. The alternator is able to produce power because of these plates, which need to be rotated. They actually fail one at a time, which causes a decrease in power output. Eventually, when all the plates have failed, it could lead to battery and ignition system failure.

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  • Keeping Your Honda Accord Alternator in Good Condition

    Your Honda Accord is equipped with an alternator, a device responsible for charging your car's battery. Also, it supplies the appropriate amount of electricity required by other components such as the radio, heater, and automotive lights while the engine is running. A faulty alternator may cause problems in these parts, which can cause a great deal of inconvenience to you. But more importantly, you may experience difficulty in starting and driving your car, preventing it to fully operate. Here are tips on how to keep your Honda Accord alternator functioning well:

    Make sure it gives off enough electrical output.

    Using a voltmeter, test your alternator if it is producing enough voltage. When you start the car, make sure that all accessories are turned off and the engine is at idle. The alternator should be connected to the battery terminals, and its reading should be around 14 volts. Then, you would have to add other electrical devices that are powered by the alternator. If the reading drops below 12 volts, your alternator is definitely not doing a good job.

    Inspect alternator components.

    Check the bolts, nuts, and belts for defects. The alternator belt should not be too tight or else the bearings in the alternator might burn out. Look out for alternator belt dust in front of the engine, too. Make sure that your alternator is clean and the air vent holes are open. Excessive heat can cause your alternator to fail completely. You might want to purchase a cooling fin kit to address this issue. Look into the pulleys as well and make sure they are properly aligned with the alternator. You can easily check it by looking along the drive belt. Also, watch out for nicks or gouges on the pulleys.

    Check the battery when inspecting the alternator.

    Check the cables connecting the battery and the alternator. Make sure that there are no signs of corrosion on them and that they are not loose. If you find the battery to be in good condition upon your visual inspection, try charging the battery then take off the jumper cables. If it dies, you most likely have a faulty alternator, which you must replace immediately.