Advice on alternators? And diagnosing problems...

Recently my battery light has started popping on and off. Ive never been stranded but I know the day is coming. I have yet to have the battery or alternator tested but from the situation I think its the alternator. Initially the light comes on after a few seconds after starting, then once I drive for a bit, turns off, then randomly turns back on. Now recently when driving at night the light will pop on, then as it turns off my headlights flicker.

Is it the contacts in alternator? Worst case, what should I look for in a new alternator? Any suggestions?

Any help is really appreciated. Ive got an odyssey battery i WAS trying to install, but thats just stupid to do at this point. haha

Yes same thing happened to me when my 92 OEM alternator was on its way out. Light came on, then went out. If you revved it to above 3500+ RPM the light would go out but when it came back to idle it would come on. Also when battery light turned off my dash lights, headlights and accessories became brighter.

This went on for about 4-5 months before the light stayed on constantly eventually failing on me on the highway. Luckily I was able to get help and charge my battery and run the car off my battery for my 8 mile trip home. The next day I went to Advance Auto Parts and picked up a rebuilt Worldwide alternator and installed within the next 3-4 hours in the 20 degree weather in winter (unheated garage :frowning: ). Make sure you have the rebuilt alternator tested on the bench before you bring it home. They are known to be occasionally faulty out of the box.

Also do not take the negative battery off to “test” if your alternator is out. It causes more harm than anything (search the old threads here and you’ll find OG members explaining why).

So its been almost a year now after the installing the rebuilt alternator with driving it through the snow and rain and the alternator is working fine to this day.

Sure there is the option of rebuilding your old alternator with new brushes and what not but I chose the easy route.

As for what to look for in a alternator it all depends on your preference and useage. For me the stock amperage was fine for me.

  • if you do decide to buy a new alternator Advance auto parts is have a nice promotion with $40 off 100 or more purchase. Just look around for the promo code.

Good to know^ Did you have any problems replacing it? Some people say you need to remove the axle, others say not, blah blah.

Heres the only one on the autozone website. Its super cheap… which kind of worries me :bored:

seems about rite, pay 180 and then get ur 57 back when u return the old one…not too bad of a deal…

This is what I purchased, same brand but the price I paid was cheaper. Its also 5 AMPs more than stock I believe.

Yes its a pain to remove as it requires many steps. There are many other ways to do this and thats why it took me so long since I didn’t want to pop the lower ball joint and remove the axle so I tried these steps that were “supposed” to work.

-pull it from the top going across to the passenger side and up from the intake (I tried it but wires got in the way and I believe there has to be an exact rotation of the alternator to get it out. Holding that 15? lb. alternator with one hand then trying to position it with the other, reaching down over the intake manifold with little visibility tired me out.)

-remove only the intermediate shaft and drop it from the bottom. (never tried it this way)

-or the way the manual does it, by popping the lower ball joint (see youtube video “how to remove honda ball joint”, it uses a craftsman 1/2" ratchet as a pry bar), remove the axle.

^ it can be done without removing the axle completely. What I did was remove the lower shock fork which allows the axle to drop a few more inches when its out of the steering knuckle and then position the alternator to get it through, without ripping the axle boot. ( it may be easier just to take out the axle completely).

I could have done this in probably 2 hours if I just followed procedure and not try skip the lower ball joint and axle removal steps.

With the right tools, equipment (maybe a lift), a service manual, and an experienced friend it should be quite an easy task.

You can actually get it out by just removing the oil filter, unbolting the half shaft mount, and swinging that down. After that it’s just a matter of finagling the alternator out. It’s kinda of a pain to get it oriented, but it’s much easier than the other methods mentioned.