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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First, let me say that I know many a thread has been devoted to various electrical problems. I've read them all and none of them match my situation or give me the information I need.

1. Three months ago, my battery light came on and the car died within a minute. I had to coast into a parking lot.

2. Swapped out the four year old battery [I know, I know] with a brand new one. Battery light came on, but was able to get the car home. Had a mechanic come over with a load tester and wasn't getting a charge from the alternator.

3. I let the car sit until three weeks ago and drove my other one as it is winter and, frankly, I didn't feel like messing with the BS.

4. Three weeks ago, I have another mechanic come over to check out the Legend. He installs a new battery. [I had given the other one to a family member who needed it more.] He does a load test on the alternator and everything checks out.

5. I drove the car for about two weeks without issue and then the battery light popped on and then off. Parked the car, checked all the connections and figured maybe it was a fluke.

6. Half way home, the battery light and ABS light come on. The ABS light goes off immediately, but the battery light stays on.

7. The battery light only stayed on if I was traveling less than 25-30mph or if I was braking. Any bit of acceleration or keeping a constant speed above about 30mph and the battery light would not come on.

8. Went to take the car out a few days ago and the battery light and ABS light are on at startup, but go off when I start to drive. However, this time, the battery light won't go off unless I'm under 40mph. So, that speed threshold is getting higher.

9. The only oddity that I've noticed is that there is no dimming whatsoever of interior or exterior lights when the battery light is on now. Yet, the load test says the alternator is definitely not charging.

Sorry for the long post, but is this a clear indication that the bearing [or whatever] is going out in the alternator?

The only reason I'm hesitating on ordering the part and having it replaced is that I don't understand how it could be fine for two weeks after dying on me and then die again. Or is that common if you let a dead alternator sit for a while that it'll be able to work fine again for a short amount of time?

I'm just at a complete loss.

Some things to note, because I know some of you might ask based on the other threads:

1. I have nothing but OEM equipment on the car. No amps, no newer stereo, no rice-accessories-so-my-car-glows-kewlies. Nada. What's on it is how it came from the dealership new.

2. I've had a regular mechanic and a mechanic specializing in car electronics come over to make sure that there's nothing drawing a huge amount of power when the car is off. Only the security system, which is minimal.

3. I never have an issue with the car starting.

4. The battery has been tested thoroughly to make sure it is not bad.

5. Both mechanics have tested all the connections. They both think it's either a bearing going bad or the voltage regulator is dying.

Any ideas, guys?

I split my time between the east coast and the mid west and I have a trip out to southern Indiana I have to make here in about a month. I'd like to have my baby with me! :p

Thanks, in advance!
 

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Hi:

I really like your thorough description of the problem. You have provided enough information to provide a good differential diagnosis of the problem. I think you have bad brush contact with the slip rings. Your alternator is a liitle tough to get to for the whack test. If you can get a small hammer on the alternator when the battery light is on, just give it a light whack. That will likely seat the brushes for a moment and make the light go out.

This is about the only instance where I recommend making a diagnosis with a hammer. If this makes the light go out you have your answer. The fix is to replace the alternator. You could replace the brushes but it is probably better to replace the whole thing at this point. Buy the best one you can find.

I can't see how someone would think this is a bearing going out. Have you seen the size of the bearings in these alternators? They are huge.

If you search the G1 forum you will find pictures I took of a rotor that had your same symptoms.

http://www.acura-legend.com/vbulletin/f2/battery-light-dash-117855/

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply, DrDave!

I don't pretend to know much about alternators, or how to fix cars in general, so my only guess as to why they thought it was a bearing was that they're used to that being the problem in the cars they fix.

I definitely tried to list everything specific about the problem. Being vague at this point won't help anyone.

I've already set aside money to replace the alternator completely and have arranged to have someone install it when/if I need them to. I generally don't do any work myself, so replacing the entire thing is completely reasonable to me. Especially, considering that the alternator in question is the original that came with the car.

I plan to do the test tomorrow when the weather allows and we'll see.

Also, thanks for the link. Pictures help my non-mechanical mind understand what's going on. Much appreciated!
 

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T The pimp
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its your Alternator I had the same problem with my old 92 Maxima and it did the same thing I end up have to replace the voltage regulator and new Alternator.
 

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sounds like its your alternator to me too. its possible for them to go bad intermittantly although most dont. i assume the mechanics that looked at your car also noted the condition and tension of the belt thats driving it but thats something that could affect it aswell.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
They definitely checked the belt. Oh, if only it was that simple.

I'm ordering the alternator tomorrow and should have it installed by next weekend.

Thanks for everyone's advise!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did you test anything? How was the whack test?

Dave
The whack test....

I'm not sure I was able to hit it hard enough. Also, since I'm here alone, it's not really easy to check the light. If it went off when I whacked it, it was back on by the time I was able to come around and check.

At this point, I really can't think of anything else it can be. Previously the mechanic tested everything they could test. Connections are secure, nothing is corroded and the belt is fine. Everything is pointing to something within the alternator at this point.

I got a good price on an alternator and the mechanic installing it is a close friend and is doing it for free. So, here's hoping everything goes smoothly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Stuck....

I didn't want to start a brand new thread, so I'll try my luck posting in my original....

It turns out, the alternator was definitely bad. I ordered the new alternator a while ago, but haven't had the time to put it in.

A buddy came over yesterday to help me out, since he's replaced an alternator in another G2 Legend before.

However, we hit a snag....

We removed all of the blots from the alternator and it now moves freely in it's space, but we cannot figure out how to take it out.

Is there something I've missed? According to his manuals and the online manual, we've taken out all of the proper bolts, but the alternator won't fit through the space between the bracket [above] and another metal piece [below].

We've turned it 90 degrees, we spun it around, etc. It simply will not fit through that opening.

Right now, we're stuck. Aside from removing the entire alternator bracket, which involves two very oddly angled bolts way behind the alternator, I'm not sure how it will fit out.

Any suggestions or tips would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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oh it will JUST fit i mean JUST

you just have to find the sweet spot

frankly for the $100.00 or so a shop will charge to change it out id pay the $$ the legend is a PITA to do the alt!
 

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Now that you have all the blots out you should be in good shape! Some people remove the battery tray for more access.

Good luck.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ya, I live in the middle of nowhere and the mechanic wants to charge $250 straight up with a $25/hour on top of that. So, I refuse to use a mechanic.

The bolts are out and we've removed the battery tray, etc, but we can't get it to come out.

Is it supposed to come out from the top or the bottom? I will feel so lame if it's supposed to drop out from the bottom, because we've been trying to take it out from above.
 

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i cant remember off hand but i remember we had to rotate it all the way around to pull it out. keep trying different ways. always cheaper to rebuild the alternator then buying a reman one. abs light turns off because it shuts it down to save battery... toyotas turn on the brake lights with the battery light to tell you to stop because your battery is dying.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We're going to try it again this evening if the rain holds off.

I looked at his friend's '95 GS and his alternator area has way more room to move around. I couldn't compare them side-by-side, but he's missing brackets and such that my car has.

Namely, there is a big metal bracket just below where the alternator sits on my car that is blocking me from removing it.

Also, our radiators are completely different, but both of our cars are 100% original as far as heavy mechanical parts go, except his alternator and soon-to-be my alternator.

I wonder why our radiators and that whole area by the alternator would be different?

Anyway, thanks for all the replies. I will post here to let you guys know whether I achieve some measure of success!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i cant remember off hand but i remember we had to rotate it all the way around to pull it out. keep trying different ways. always cheaper to rebuild the alternator then buying a reman one. abs light turns off because it shuts it down to save battery... toyotas turn on the brake lights with the battery light to tell you to stop because your battery is dying.
We've tried rotating it every which way. The opening, though, isn't small by a little bit; it is too small by a lot. If the rain holds off, we plan to try again this evening.

I considered rebuilding it myself or having a buddy rebuild it, but I managed to track a reman one down for less than $60. I was going to pay my friend half that to rebuild it, so I figure I'd just buy the reman one and not torture him any more than I already am having him replace this thing ::haha::
 

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I removed the alt from my other coupe but I believe I removed the heads before the alt. Did you remove the top braket that attaches to the head. If not just try taking it out from underneath, not sure if you would have to drop(just hang, not completly remove) the Ac compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dynamite is very uplifting.

Dave
That was always a possibility! ::haha::

The alternator is in and working. I plan to keep an eye on it for a little while, just in case.

We ended up just taking the bracket off and removing the alternator that way. All told, we spent about an hour and a half on it, mostly because they forgot flood lights and were working under flashlights.

Thanks for the all the responses and advice!
 
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