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Battery problems and other issues

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Old 07-08-2015
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Battery problems and other issues

Hey guys, new here. I posted on another forum and wasn't getting any responses so I am hoping to get some help here...

I have a 1998 civic HX. The other day the battery died. It did this fairly randomly (no lights left on or anything like that). A voltmeter showed 0 volts. After 5 hours connected to a charger, it gained 6V and could not charge higher than that. Also the plastic caps were popped off.

I bought a new battery yesterday. Today the voltmeter showed 18.3V when parked or driving. Obviously this is an issue. I also have an SRS light that turns on and off (been doing this for 2 weeks. I ignored it assuming it was a sensor). I noticed today using my bluetooth OBDII sensor that the SRS illuminates when my voltage spikes anywhere above 14V (estimated). I am assuming this is caused by a faulty regulator and that is what caused my previous battery to die. In addition to this I have a CEL for my EGR flow being insufficient. I also have a strong sulfurous smell coming from the front end of my car. Not sure what exactly is causing that or if it is linked.

Also, the first time the SRS light came on was two weeks ago. When it did my belts up front squealed. Not sure if that was something that caused the regulator to fail and in turn causes the voltage spikes.

Basically I want to purchase a new alternator and want to know if that will fix the problem. I was told alternators for these cars have built in regulators so that should be good. In addition, is there any way to check if something caused the regulator to go bad? I would hate to purchase the new alternator and have some other issue break it too.

Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Originally Posted by jzhartman View Post
Hey guys, new here.
Welcome.... to the dark side.
I posted on another forum and wasn't getting any responses so I am hoping to get some help here...
This isn't a chat room either LOL
I have a 1998 civic HX. The other day the battery died. It did this fairly randomly (no lights left on or anything like that). A voltmeter showed 0 volts. After 5 hours connected to a charger, it gained 6V and could not charge higher than that. Also the plastic caps were popped off.

I bought a new battery yesterday. Today the voltmeter showed 18.3V when parked or driving. Obviously this is an issue. I also have an SRS light that turns on and off (been doing this for 2 weeks. I ignored it assuming it was a sensor). I noticed today using my bluetooth OBDII sensor that the SRS illuminates when my voltage spikes anywhere above 14V (estimated). I am assuming this is caused by a faulty regulator and that is what caused my previous battery to die.



I also have a strong sulfurous smell coming from the front end of my car. Not sure what exactly is causing that or if it is linked.
SRS light will come on and have no codes when system voltage goes above about 16 volts.
Sulfur smell is the battery getting cooked due to high voltage.

Usually this is caused by a bad voltage regulator inside the alternator.

In addition to this I have a CEL for my EGR flow being insufficient.
Separate problem. Most of the time the passage will be found restricted or completely clogged with carbon buildup, and cleaning it out is considered routine maintenance.

The actual cleaning procedure varies depending on the construction of the manifold and EGR system.

Also, the first time the SRS light came on was two weeks ago. When it did my belts up front squealed. Not sure if that was something that caused the regulator to fail and in turn causes the voltage spikes.
You're getting a new alternator, so inspect the belts and replace if necessary at this time. Tighten belt(s) again if the belts scream, new belts can stretch a bit during break in..

Basically I want to purchase a new alternator and want to know if that will fix the problem. I was told alternators for these cars have built in regulators so that should be good.
Should be good with this.

After fixing the obvious problem (alternator) here, I might check to see if there is an excessive drain on the battery if it gets run down or dead overnight though.

In addition, is there any way to check if something caused the regulator to go bad? I would hate to purchase the new alternator and have some other issue break it too.
Nah, it probably went bad on its own. It happens.
There's some service info in print about the SRS light can be caused by the alternator overcharging, so it must not be all that rare of an issue.

HTH
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Old 07-08-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Thanks for the reply!
I just purchased an alternator off of Amazon. Any chance you can let me know if theses seems like a good choice?

I really wasn't sure what I was looking for in terms of specifications or brand names but according to Amazon it will fit my car. It also says that it is brand new and not reconstructed. Hopefully 70 Amps is good. Here's a link to the exact one I bought:

Amazon.com: Premier Gear PG-13330 Professional Grade New Alternator: Automotive Amazon.com: Premier Gear PG-13330 Professional Grade New Alternator: Automotive

Thanks again
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Old 07-08-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

I can't really comment on that......it's a crapshoot most of the time. (When a company calls their product 'professional' anything, that usually means it's crap. LOL)
If they say it fits, it might fit. Looks like Honda used the Mitsu alternator on all except Si.

If you have problems though, another replacement might be a few days away instead of a drive a few blocks to a local parts store.
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Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Hmmm... Should I try to cancel the order or just wait and see? I think Advance auto tests alternators so maybe I can have them look at it first... Also the other alternators from that company have good reviews online so I was hoping for it to be a good deal. Granted it seems with most car parts you get what you pay for...
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Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Originally Posted by jzhartman View Post
Hmmm... Should I try to cancel the order or just wait and see? I think Advance auto tests alternators so maybe I can have them look at it first... Also the other alternators from that company have good reviews online so I was hoping for it to be a good deal.
It's entirely up to you. I wasn't really trying to discourage you or anything.....They are all likely fairly comparable no matter where you buy it IMO.

I was just thinking out loud why I prefer to deal locally.

And poking fun at the term 'professional grade'.

Granted it seems with most car parts you get what you pay for...
Sometimes you don't even get that much.
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Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
I was just thinking out loud why I prefer to deal locally.
Haha ok. I usually do too, however I am trying to drive as little as possible so I like the idea of an overnight delivery to my door for this one.

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Sometimes you don't even get that much.
And that's what I'm beginning to learn
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Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Keep your original alternator and consider having it rebuilt by somebody local to you that has a good reputation. An auto electric place. We've mentioned this many times in the forum and it seems people usually can get them rebuilt for a small fraction of the price of a new one.
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Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Originally Posted by Stock 99 View Post
Keep your original alternator and consider having it rebuilt by somebody local to you that has a good reputation. An auto electric place. We've mentioned this many times in the forum and it seems people usually can get them rebuilt for a small fraction of the price of a new one.
Good call. I was almost asleep when I wrote those replies.
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Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Ok, I'll be sure to do that.

And do you have any tips for removing the alternator? The best I can tell there's the bolt that relieves the tension and a few others for support. Do I just take those off and undo the plug the place the new one in the same way?
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Old 07-09-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Originally Posted by jzhartman View Post
Ok, I'll be sure to do that.

And do you have any tips for removing the alternator? The best I can tell there's the bolt that relieves the tension and a few others for support. Do I just take those off and undo the plug the place the new one in the same way?
DISCONNECT THE BATTERY FIRST!!!!
You got a belt, the wire plug, a big fat hot wire held on by a nut , and top and bottom mounting bolts.

See if you can get it out of the car now.

If not,
You may need to remove the mounting bracket(s) from the engine to gain more clearance.
You may need to remove the axle to gain more clearance.
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Old 07-13-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Ok I am having the hardest time with the stupid thing and getting frustrated...

First it took me a good 4 hours to get the old alternator out (through the top). Then it took me another 5 hours trying to get the new one in the same way. Eventually I learned to take the lower mounting bracket off, Jack up the car, and feed it up through the bottom. I figured that was the end of the hard part. Wrong again...

My current issue is that I can't get the stinkin' bolt through the alternator and the lower mounting bracket. I have literally spent hours trying to move it around and it just won't go through for the life of me. I tested the fit and it was good before. Ugh!

Anyone else ever have this problem and any tips to figure it out? I swear I have to be the worst DIY mechanic ever!

Edit: I should add that I can't get my car on jackstands because the jack I have is too small to lift the front of the car high enough to fit the stands under the sides...
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Old 07-13-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Edit: I should add that I can't get my car on jackstands because the jack I have is too small to lift the front of the car high enough to fit the stands under the sides...
This could have made life a lot simpler.

I tested the fit and it was good before.
Bottom bracket and alternator both on the workbench, do they fit together?
Does the bolt go through ok while they are together?


Replacement is only a little over an hour according to the labor guide...See what we have to deal with in the shop? LOL
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Old 07-14-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
This could have made life a lot simpler.
Haha yeah... I am fairly certain that if I ever need to do this again I could have the old one out and the new one in the general area within a half hour. I just didn't know what I was doing or how best to do it...

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Bottom bracket and alternator both on the workbench, do they fit together?
Does the bolt go through ok while they are together
Yeah, they both fit. I talked to a buddy of mine who used to work at a Honda dealer and he said that getting the bolt lined up can be really hard sometimes.
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Old 07-16-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Well I figured out why it doesn't fit. Hours of trying to shift it and it turns out it never would fit right. When I tested the fit on the bench I didn't realize I had the bracket backwards. It fit that direction because the side of the bracket with the bushing is about 1/16" thinner... I am attaching the pictures of my alternators for comparison so you can understand why this was so frustrating...

Is it ok to file that little nub so this fits and my troubles can end?
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Old 07-16-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

I can't tell what the difference is from here.

When I read bushing I figured it was one of these (pic) causing a headache, this bushing can move but you might need a hammer and drift to move it:
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Old 07-16-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Not quite the bushing. Here, I took the some more pictures and made notes on them. The side by side shows the little nub that I mentioned on the new alternator. I also showed a picture of what it looks like looking through the hole with the bracket on as well as a picture of the "test fit" that I did before where it fits when the bracket is backwards.
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Old 07-16-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues



Grind that sucker off. Or grind on the bracket.
Damn aftermarket crap LOL
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Old 07-16-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

I know right? This is ridiculous how long it took me to figure it all out. Although next time I honestly think I could have it done within two hours max.

And to take these pictures I had to remove my alternator again. The first time it took me a whole day. This time it took 5 minutes... Amazing what happens when you known what you are doing!

Edit: Spent less than 1 minute filing down the nub and it's a perfect fit now. Tomorrow morning I should have this thing drivable again!

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Old 07-18-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

All I can say is that I hate whoever sold me this on Amazon saying it would fit... New problem: plug doesn't fit.
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Old 07-18-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

No wonder it didn't want to be installed.
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Old 07-23-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

The 3 pin plug is Canadian, 4 pin plug is U.S.
Has to do with the US model having and ELD (EDL..? Whatever that is!)
My new alternator should be here tomorrow and I can probably install it in about an hour. This whole ordeal sucked but I learned a lot from it and am now a pro at replacing alternators...
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Old 07-23-2015
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Re: Battery problems and other issues

Originally Posted by jzhartman View Post
The 3 pin plug is Canadian, 4 pin plug is U.S.
Has to do with the US model having and ELD (EDL..? Whatever that is!)
I think that's the first time I've heard of that but it makes perfect sense.

It's ELD, Electrical Load Detection, that's where the computer can turn the alternator charging up or down depending on needs, electric loads, battery SOC, and they do it for gas mileage.
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