Any quick hints?

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My Mom has an automatic shift 4-cylinder '96 Honda Accord LX that won't start. It makes no sounds whatsoever when you turn the key, except maybe a soft click.

She has taken the battery to advance auto for testing. They person who performed the test said it might a wire loose in the alternator, or something.

Other than that, I have used a voltmeter to test across the battery terminals. When the battery has been disconnected for a few minutes, it's about 11.55 V. Once it's reconnected, it reduces to just about half that, 6.1 V or something.

My next step was to check the starter relay and a couple other relays, but alas, I don't have a repair manual to tell me where they are (the regular operation manual and Haynes manual do not contain this information). I understand the "main starter relay" might be in plain sight, but I guess I don't know what this looks like :oops:

Anyhoo, if anyone has any quick tips until my manual arrives in about 5 days, I'd really appreciate it. Especially if the voltage reducing by half like that means something. Thanks!

posted by  JaneiR36

I would take the ALT to advance and have them check it. :2cents:

posted by  lectroid

Thank you. I will look into this.

posted by  JaneiR36

Never leave and OBDII car (any car made after '93) without power or your asking for a world of trouble from the computer system. Be sure to leave a backup power source in the car while working on the battery :thumbs:

posted by  xand3r

hey there, California :laughing: Why do you show up as having zero posts? The forum software must be glitchin' again. :screwy:

Anyhoo, the manual came in the mail today. The job seems too difficult. In order to remove the alternator I would have to remove (and drain!) the power steering pump before ever being able to access the alternator -- which seems to have some kind of belt around it that I would have remove and eventually put back to the proper tightness...

I think I'm in over my head on this one. I'll most likely leave it for the mechanic. :ohcrap:

posted by  JaneiR36

Cease and desist NOW. You are spreading misinformation and obviously have no idea what it is you're talking about. Put simply, STFU!

posted by  vwhobo

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My guess is your battery needs replacing. 11.55 V is not a good battery. and if it draws down to 6 v when connected, you have a short, and since you didn't mention any smoke I'd say the battery is needing replacement. :screwy:

posted by  Comanderbob

Well, I guess what happens is, it starts from 6 V just after it's been disconnected and starts climbing up slowly. As at the time I measured it, it was 11.55. Maybe it would have climbed up some more, given more time. Maybe.

Any ideas how I would go about locating a short or loose wire? I don't have the wiring diagrams for this vehicle, and the steps given by the manual I have involve starting the vehicle -- either just by itself or using a system starter. It's really just a troubleshooting guide.

Anyway, apparently the Autozone people had already tested the alternator. Told my Mom it was a loose wire somewhere. Another mechanic looked and it and told her she needed to replace it. That's all I know from them so far.

Is there an easy way to check this thing out without removing it or spending a whole lot of money on a new alternator or expensive testing equipment?

posted by  JaneiR36

Thanks for fielding that one for me VW...tbaxleyjr...thanks to you too. The more people that tell a jackass that he/she IS a jackass the better. :laughing:

posted by  Sick88Tbird

Nope, I think, you don't have the knowledge to trouble-shoot,or rebuild an alternator. :2cents:

posted by  lectroid

meh. Not the answer I was looking for, but it'll have to do :thumbs:

posted by  JaneiR36

As it turns out, someone had already removed the alternator to have it replaced. My Mom didn't like the price so she waited to confirm what was wrong before buying a new part.

The Advance auto guys said it was bad because it was outputting 10 V on their alternator testing machine instead of 14 V. Is this number really low for a Honda Accord alternator? They said we could have it replaced, or fixed at a repair shop.

However, I'm hesitant to do either because there may be an open leading up to the alternator harness. The test was to ground the L terminal of the 4-P connector with the key on II (ignition, I believe) and see if the charging light comes on. It didn't -- indicating either a blown charging lightbulb or an open in the circuit. But then again, the battery is now so low with the load attached (3V) that I don't know if that would power even that lightbulb... or maybe it would.... I read recently that the voltage should be about 2 - 4 V with the key on II and the engine not running.

Anyway, right now, the plan is to get some wiring diagrams, troubleshoot that possible open, then find out how much it is to repair an alternator and decide whether to repair or replace it. My problem with the Hayne's diagrams is that they label the connectors something like "C209" with no indication whatsoever where it is. Maybe I'm just spoiled by my very expensive and very colorful and complete Toyota factory manual for wiring diagrams.

posted by  JaneiR36

start car disconnect battery...if it dies replace alt...if not alt is good...turn off car before reconnecting battery! :screwy:

posted by  puppy boi

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