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alternator question

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:24 pm
by KU40
When alternators fail, do they spin freely or do they become very hard to spin?

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:05 pm
by CBFryman
neither. Unless its the bearings that fail. Generally what causes an alternator to fail is the regulator going bad, if it isnt hte regulator you may have burnt the coils of wire inside the alternator.

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:20 pm
by tirefryr
CBFryman wrote:neither. Unless its the bearings that fail. Generally what causes an alternator to fail is the regulator going bad, if it isnt hte regulator you may have burnt the coils of wire inside the alternator.



I wouldn't generalize it to any one thing. Certain makes and models are prone to have one component failure over another or a series components fail. Most of the time when I recieve them, it's a diode problem versus a regulator.

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:38 pm
by KU40
I guess I could explain my problem a little further. I'm not real sure what it is. It just seems like my engine has been running more labored lately, and my voltage fluctuates sometimes. like just sitting at a stoplight it'll dip a volt for no apparent reason, and at the same time my engine will make a deeper noise. like weeeeeee dundundundun weeeeeeee. (how do you like my description? :)) maybe my RPM's dip, I dont' remember. but i spose if they did dip, that would lead to lower rpm's on the alt so less voltage. so maybe my thinking is backwards. But i figure one causes the other though.

This doesn't happen every stop light, just every couple maybe. and sometimes my voltage will change for no apparent reason, like I'll be going 35 and it'll be about 14, then it'll dip down to 13.5 for a block or two, then it'll go back up to 14. it also seems to be running at 13.5 more than it used to, especially with it being this cold out, that should help it, right. since some mornings it's at like 14.5 volts when I first start my car (in the summer it's always just 14 when i start, i never get that extra bar on my digital meter).

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:08 am
by John
While that could be alternator related, it could also be battery, electronic component, etc related... As for cold helping it, eh I suppose it'll do better than when it really hot, but extreme temperatures, like cold, won't help much either. The cold part could also be your battery.

First off, check connections...

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:26 am
by RADEoN
KU40, my car is currently doing the same thing. I'm pretty sure it's just frigid weather related.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:16 pm
by KU40
well mine was doing it before the cold moved in, too. it just doesn't really want me to fix it completely i guess. always has to have something amiss.

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:24 pm
by danssoslow
This might seem like a stretch, but hold on with me for a moment.
I figure with it being cold outside, you guys have your defrosters on, right? Most of today's car's hvac systems will use the a/c compressor, even when heating, when the defrost is on as a dehumidifier. If you don't happen to use the a/c in the summertime, this would explain why you don't see it then. Also, the condenser doesn't always run, when your driving, it wouldn't be noticable, and the chance of it running while the engine is at idle is just...chance.

It might sound like a stretch, but seems logical to me. As an easy test of this, try doing your normal commute tomorrow only using the vents for heat. Maybe even taking the ride to work in the morning with the heat off completely.

Good luck. And if you try it, and I'm completely wrong, flame the poo-poo out of me.:cwm12:

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:55 am
by KU40
Well my alternator went out this morning i think. wonderful. At least it's remanufactured with a lifetime warranty, so I'll get a replacement free. But still have 3-4 hours of labor bills coming up

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:26 am
by 95Honda
If the alt was causing enough load on your engine to seriously drop your rpms while sitting at idle, it would burn up in a few minutes.... This is all assuming you don't have much of an electrical load on your system at that time....

Swap the alt yourself man.... Basic hand tools and a little patience is all that is needed.... Regaurdless of belt set-up.

If you are talented enough to put in a car audio system, you would have no problem replacing the alt.

I, and I'm sure most anyone else here that knows how to do this will help you. If you need someone to walk you through it, PM me and we'll get together on the phone to go through it... I can't stand the though of someone paying labor to have their alt replaced.