Battery voltage 13.3V... test bad. Alternator faulty? - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-03-2009, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Battery voltage 13.3V... test bad. Alternator faulty?

Took the car for a vacation to New Mexico last week. As I drove quite a bit through the night, I noticed a periodic flicker of lights; kind of it is bright and then it sort of loses brightness just a little bit, and then so again in few minutes.

I also had two occasions where I thought it was somewhat unwilling to crank. I mean it did crank and turn over, but it was kind of "sluggish".

So I just went to O'Riley's to have my battery tested.

The guy says:

- the battery reads 13 V, which is high
- the battery tests "bad"
- most likely I have a faulty alternator (hence too high voltage) which killed my battery

I drove it back thinking I'd take it to Honda to look it over, I have extended warranty to 70K. I don't care if I need a new battery (it's an 05, with 44K miles, so it is somewhat time for it to go anyway) - but figure if there is an alternator problem, they should take care of that... Came home and tested the voltage with a digital voltmeter too and it read 13.3 V eh...

Does any of this make sense? In other words - does it sound like alternator is an issue here?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-03-2009, 06:48 PM
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I'm assuming this is a 4 cyl? The dimming, esp when the a/c comes on, is normal. The slow crank may be a cause for concern.

Voltage really is meaningless unless it's at 12.5 or lower or 15v or higher. 13.3 right after you shut the car off is nothing to be worried about.

You need to know what the alternator's current output is under load.

A fully charged battery should have an open circuit voltage of at least 12.6. Once it's load tested at half it's cold cranking amps for 15 seconds it's voltage while still under load shouldn't fall lower than 10.6 or so. If cold out, this voltage will change. There are other electronic testers for the battery that can also determine if there's a problem within the battery.

The battery should recover to around 12.1-12.5.

With the car running you should see 14.2 volts, slightly higher in cold weather.


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post #3 of 12 Old 07-03-2009, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yes indeed, this is a 4 cylinder I am talking about (LX)...

Thank you for your explanation! I'll swing by Autozone tomorrow too to have the battery tested. It is very possible the battery is going anyway but at this point, I want a second opinion on that too.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-03-2009, 07:56 PM
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If the engine is running, and the alternator is charging, 13 volts is actually low. When the alternator is charging + battery voltage, it should be 14 or higher. The local Autozone had a Bear battery tester, which Honda recommends using, and my battery while it started the car, was close to the end of it's useful life. When I would start the engine, it drained the battery to the point where it was causing communication errors from the multiplex integrated control unit. This caused some very strange things.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-04-2009, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I went to local Autozone too... and they had a battery tester that seemed to be a bit more comprehensive than the one the other place used. I mean they actually needed to know the cold cranking amps to test it right.

The battery ended up being bad anyway and I got the new one.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-07-2009, 12:31 PM
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Um... let's talk about this for a while.. Alternators (and regulators) are designed to charge a battery anywhere up to 14.4V (depending on the car, battery and load). The problem occurs when your rectifier or regulator goes bad.

the rectifier takes the Alternating current (alternator, right...) and turns it into Direct Current (DC) to charge your battery. If that goes bad, you are trying to charge your battery with AC. batteries are like capacitors and make great filers, they don't pass AC, but it will eventually kill them.

If the regulator goes bad then you could be putting as much as 18-20 VDC into your battery, thus overcharging it and slowly killing it (and your new one).

Just because the battery shows 13 volts (unloaded) does not mean it's good. What were the load volts?

You could have a shorted plate that produces 0 load volts. As soon as you drop the load, your back up to 13 volts.

You might want to get a quick charging system test on the car, just to make sure the regulator and rectifier are good just to be on the safe side.

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-14-2016, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredsvt View Post
I'm assuming this is a 4 cyl? The dimming, esp when the a/c comes on, is normal. The slow crank may be a cause for concern.

Voltage really is meaningless unless it's at 12.5 or lower or 15v or higher. 13.3 right after you shut the car off is nothing to be worried about.

You need to know what the alternator's current output is under load.

A fully charged battery should have an open circuit voltage of at least 12.6. Once it's load tested at half it's cold cranking amps for 15 seconds it's voltage while still under load shouldn't fall lower than 10.6 or so. If cold out, this voltage will change. There are other electronic testers for the battery that can also determine if there's a problem within the battery.

The battery should recover to around 12.1-12.5.

With the car running you should see 14.2 volts, slightly higher in cold weather.
Hi. My name is Margie. I recently had what I thought, was a battery issue. Took my 2005 S2000 to the Honda dealer because the battery was still under warranty. So they tested everything telling me my alternator was bad and I needed to have it changed out ($750 later). I opted to take it home and have it checked at a few more places. AutoZone and another car place where my truck was at, checked it and said all was good.

Called Honda and they gave me some stuff about the load limits being different on this car then the information you show above as being ok. They used some tester. (G5 maybe?) Told me I would be driving around and my car would just STOP.

Little concerned that 2 places would check out ok and then Honda proceeds to tell me something totally off the wall. I think he said something about 150 for the load? Do you know what he is talking about? I am afraid to go too far and hate to spend almost $800 for something it does NOT really need.

Suggestions Please?
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-14-2016, 10:46 AM
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Do your dash lights dim once in a while? If you're experiencing the symptoms stated in the beginning of the thread, then there's a chance your alternator is bad. $750 is high for that job. Have you been to a local shop? Get more quotes. You could also buy your own alternator and let them put it on.

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-14-2016, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KavonK View Post
Hi. My name is Margie. I recently had what I thought, was a battery issue. Took my 2005 S2000 to the Honda dealer because the battery was still under warranty. So they tested everything telling me my alternator was bad and I needed to have it changed out ($750 later). I opted to take it home and have it checked at a few more places. AutoZone and another car place where my truck was at, checked it and said all was good.

Called Honda and they gave me some stuff about the load limits being different on this car then the information you show above as being ok. They used some tester. (G5 maybe?) Told me I would be driving around and my car would just STOP.

Little concerned that 2 places would check out ok and then Honda proceeds to tell me something totally off the wall. I think he said something about 150 for the load? Do you know what he is talking about? I am afraid to go too far and hate to spend almost $800 for something it does NOT really need.

Suggestions Please?
Yes, it is a 4 cyl and all the load tests and outputs came out fine at AutoZone.
Waiting to hear back from Honda on the load limits they said I had etc etc.

Thank you.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-14-2016, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by salcuta88 View Post
KavonK

Do your dash lights dim once in a while? If you're experiencing the symptoms stated in the beginning of the thread, then there's a chance your alternator is bad. $750 is high for that job. Have you been to a local shop? Get more quotes. You could also buy your own alternator and let them put it on.
I have not necessarily noticed the lights. I don't drive it regularly but start it. Honda was the only place that said it was bad. AutoZone and a local repair shop said the alternator tested fine. I called the Honda dealer out on it and they claimed they used some sophisticated tester and the normal.
Okay so just got off the phone. They use something called a GR8 test (tester) with code: 0682G-45DT194HQ3.
Girl had trouble reading the results. something about not loaded: 13.59 volts with 34.1 Amps. The battery is good. Loaded was 13.14 and could not make out the amps.

Then off to the side it said 105amps.
Thanks.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-14-2016, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by KavonK View Post
I recently had what I thought, was a battery issue. Took my 2005 S2000 to the Honda dealer because the battery was still under warranty.
What makes you think you had a battery issue? We need details, Margie.

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-14-2016, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KavonK View Post
Hi. My name is Margie. I recently had what I thought, was a battery issue. Took my 2005 S2000 to the Honda dealer because the battery was still under warranty. So they tested everything telling me my alternator was bad and I needed to have it changed out ($750 later). I opted to take it home and have it checked at a few more places. AutoZone and another car place where my truck was at, checked it and said all was good.
Margie

It could also be as simple as a loose accessory belt. One of the things driven by that belt is the alternator.

If the belt is loose (and it almost certainly is on 11 year old car if it's never been replaced), the alternator won't spin fast enough to put out the expected amount of power, or something like that.

I don't know about the s2000, but on my Accord the test is a simple visual check. If an arrow on one part is pointing to a bar on another part, the tension is good.

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