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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30 Dec 2010, 05:01 pm
Cameo
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Default Charging indicator stays on

For the first time the battery icon on the instrument panel of my '94
Accord is staying on, indicating that the battery is not being charged,
I guess. This is the worst time of the year to think about getting it
quickly serviced by a shop, so I wonder if anybody could think of
something that I might try to do on my own to try to resurrect charging
for at least a short time.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 30 Dec 2010, 05:30 pm
Tegger
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Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Cameo" <cameo@invalid.invalid> wrote in news:ifj30m$f70$1@news.eternal-
september.org:

> For the first time the battery icon on the instrument panel of my '94
> Accord is staying on, indicating that the battery is not being charged,
> I guess.




Yep.



> This is the worst time of the year to think about getting it
> quickly serviced by a shop, so I wonder if anybody could think of
> something that I might try to do on my own to try to resurrect charging
> for at least a short time.
>



A quick guide to using a car without a working alternator:
1) Leave the headlights and rear window defogger /off/. They are BIG
power-suckers.
2) If possible, leave the car idling rather than shutting it off, so as to
keep from having to use the starter, which is also a BIG power-sucker.
3) Each time you park in a place where you have an electrical outlet, hook
up a portable charger to the battery, and leave it until you need the car
again.

To fix the problem permanently, you need to replace the alternator. That's
kind of involved on your vehicle, because you need to remove the power-
steering pump first.

But... one question before you replace the entire alternator: did the light
start coming on intermittently at first, flickering from time to time?

--
Tegger
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 30 Dec 2010, 06:17 pm
Cameo
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Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Tegger" <invalid@example.com> wrote:
> A quick guide to using a car without a working alternator:
> 1) Leave the headlights and rear window defogger /off/. They are BIG
> power-suckers.
> 2) If possible, leave the car idling rather than shutting it off, so
> as to
> keep from having to use the starter, which is also a BIG power-sucker.
> 3) Each time you park in a place where you have an electrical outlet,
> hook
> up a portable charger to the battery, and leave it until you need the
> car
> again.
>
> To fix the problem permanently, you need to replace the alternator.
> That's
> kind of involved on your vehicle, because you need to remove the
> power-
> steering pump first.


I kinda' thought about these things but I was hoping for something like
"tap the alternator gently with a hammer" advice. ;-) Fortunately I do
have a battery charger I can use in the garage. But that still leaves
out pretty much the idea of taking a night drive.

> But... one question before you replace the entire alternator: did the
> light
> start coming on intermittently at first, flickering from time to time?


No flickering. It just happened today after a lunch at a local
restaurant. The indicator light stayed on solidly after start. I could
hardly wait to get home and post that message. Any idea what Honda
dealers would charge for such a job? Oh, I think you are in Canada, so
that might not apply here in the US, anyway.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 30 Dec 2010, 07:19 pm
Tegger
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Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Cameo" <cameo@invalid.invalid> wrote in
news:ifj7e1$4eq$1@news.eternal-september.org:


> Tegger wrote:
>
>
>> But... one question before you replace the entire alternator: did the
>> light start coming on intermittently at first, flickering from time
>> to time?

>
>
>
> No flickering. It just happened today after a lunch at a local
> restaurant. The indicator light stayed on solidly after start. I could
> hardly wait to get home and post that message. Any idea what Honda
> dealers would charge for such a job?




Is this an aftermarket alternator, or the original alternator?



> Oh, I think you are in Canada, so
> that might not apply here in the US, anyway.
>



Prices are just about identical both sides of the border.


--
Tegger
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 30 Dec 2010, 07:43 pm
Cameo
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Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Tegger" <invalid@example.com> wrote:
> Is this an aftermarket alternator, or the original alternator?


I bough the car from a bank (repo) when it had 35 K miles and unless it
was replaced before that, it was not replaced after. I think it's the
original NipponDenso alternator.

> Prices are just about identical both sides of the border.


So what's your gestimate?

BTW, I followed my own tip and did tap the alternator on a few places
(just in case some brush needed to be reseated) and when I started the
engine again, the charge indicator light (surprise!) turned off when the
other indicators did. But now I don't know if it would have done it even
without that tapping or not. I'll see how this thing behaves tomorrow,
but even if it appears normal again, I think I'll have it checked out
next week anyway.

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 31 Dec 2010, 03:59 am
Grumpy AuContraire
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Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

Cameo wrote:
> "Tegger" <invalid@example.com> wrote:
>> Is this an aftermarket alternator, or the original alternator?

>
> I bough the car from a bank (repo) when it had 35 K miles and unless it
> was replaced before that, it was not replaced after. I think it's the
> original NipponDenso alternator.
>
>> Prices are just about identical both sides of the border.

>
> So what's your gestimate?
>
> BTW, I followed my own tip and did tap the alternator on a few places
> (just in case some brush needed to be reseated) and when I started the
> engine again, the charge indicator light (surprise!) turned off when the
> other indicators did. But now I don't know if it would have done it even
> without that tapping or not. I'll see how this thing behaves tomorrow,
> but even if it appears normal again, I think I'll have it checked out
> next week anyway.




Sounds like worn brushes to me...

JT
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 31 Dec 2010, 02:23 pm
Cameo
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Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Grumpy AuContraire" <GrumpyOne@GrumpyvilleNOT.com> wrote:
> Sounds like worn brushes to me...


Yes, that's my thought, too. I just have no idea if it's possible to
just replace the brushes without removing the alternator. I have a
feeling that if I take it to a shop, they would just want to replace the
whole alternator assembly and not bother with the brushes. It would be a
better deal for the shop because of the markup on the whole unit.

It would be nice to be able to replace the brush with the alternator in
place. Maybe that way I could do it myself. Any of you have done this
job before?

By the way, was it here some time ago that somebody posted about that
hammer tapping method or I've read about it somewhere else? First when I
read it I thout it was a joke, but now I'm not so sure.

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 03 Jan 2011, 01:37 am
Cameo
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Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Tegger" <invalid@example.com> wrote:
> But... one question before you replace the entire alternator: did the
> light
> start coming on intermittently at first, flickering from time to time?


Soon after I posted my prior reply to you, the light started doing what
you suggested. However, one or two strategically placed taps with my
small hammer would fix the problem for a while. I guess this behavior
confirms for you that the cause is indeed worn brushes, right?

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 03 Jan 2011, 07:39 am
Tegger
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Cameo" <cameo@invalid.invalid> wrote in news:ifrubf$ggu$1@news.eternal-
september.org:

> "Tegger" <invalid@example.com> wrote:
>> But... one question before you replace the entire alternator: did the
>> light
>> start coming on intermittently at first, flickering from time to time?

>
> Soon after I posted my prior reply to you, the light started doing what
> you suggested. However, one or two strategically placed taps with my
> small hammer would fix the problem for a while. I guess this behavior
> confirms for you that the cause is indeed worn brushes, right?
>
>



That's the brushes all right.

You can buy a new brush-holder (comes with brushes) from the dealer (~$30).
The brush holder can be removed from the rear of the alternator from under
the car. Space is VERY tight, but it can be done. This means you don't need
to remove the alternator from the car. You'll need a very well-fitting
stubby Phillips screwdriver.

If you're handy with a soldering iron, you can buy loose brushes from any
rebuilder and solder them onto the existing brush-holder. That's what I did
once.

--
Tegger
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 03 Jan 2011, 12:01 pm
Cameo
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Charging indicator stays on

"Tegger" <invalid@example.com> wrote:
> That's the brushes all right.
>
> You can buy a new brush-holder (comes with brushes) from the dealer
> (~$30).
> The brush holder can be removed from the rear of the alternator from
> under
> the car. Space is VERY tight, but it can be done. This means you don't
> need
> to remove the alternator from the car. You'll need a very well-fitting
> stubby Phillips screwdriver.
>
> If you're handy with a soldering iron, you can buy loose brushes from
> any
> rebuilder and solder them onto the existing brush-holder. That's what
> I did
> once.


Thanks for the confirm, Tegger. I am going to try to do it today, just
need to get an 8 & 10 mm socket first. One thing I did try was to see if
I could remove that 4-P connector covered with a large rubber boot. I
tried to slip the boot back to expose the connector, but it seems to be
pretty solidly cemented to it. Now I wonder if the boot is not even
supposed to be slipped back from it and instead, just removed together
with the connector. But then I don't know where the connector clips are
under that rubber that would release it. The smaller rubber boot
covering the terminal seems to slip off easily.

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