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Old 01-25-2006, 07:16 PM   #1
 
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Default any signs of an alternator going out?

the car is a 95 accord LX 4cly 2.2l with 236,000 miles on it.

okay, i left my lights on the other day and had to jump start my car, after that the belt started to chirp (really bad at first) so i tightend the belt, and now i hear a kind of whine really subtle, it follows the revs of the engine (gets higher pitched the higher rpm the car is at) i checked under the hood to listen and it is definatly coming from the ps pump/alternator area. the sound may have been on there before i just started listening since i tightend the belt.

also is is possible i tightned the belt to much? could that make a whining sound?

the reason i am so worried is cause i comute 3hours every week and dont want to be stranded with a bad alternator.

any help would be great
Danny

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Old 01-25-2006, 07:34 PM   #2
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If the p/s pump belt is too tight yes it will make noise. We are having a big problem with '05 and '06 Odyssey's craping out the p/s pump because the belt tensioner is waay too strong and damaging the pump bearings. What you need to do is the old fashioned stethoscope method. Get a long screwdriver and put the tip on the suspected noisy component and your ear to the end of the handle. Soon enough you'll find the noise. Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: any signs of an alternator going out? (Next GenRacing)

No, although overtightening a drive belt could concievably acellerate bearing failures, I believe the whine you're hearing is just the alternator trying to recharge that hidiously discharged Battery.
Hints that he alternator was about to take a powder?
*Lights dim excessively when other components are turned on.
*Things like the wipers really slow down when the lights are turned on.
*Growling / Rattling noise from armature support bearings
*Alternator can't maintain 13.8 volts with everything on.
*Alternator charges no less than 15 volts (Overcharging)

I'd suggest putting the car on a charger overnight, once the battery's charged the Alternator Should shut up

P
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:43 PM   #4
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don't you mean no more than 15V?
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Old 01-25-2006, 07:44 PM   #5
 
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in your post you said something to the effect of a growling/rattling noise from armature support bearings, is that a pretty obvious noise?

also if the alternator is overcharging how will i know?

and how long does it usually take the battery to recharge after it goes dead? i have absolutely no problem starting it in the mornings when its like 15-20 degrees out side (even since the battery went dead)

thanks again
Danny


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Old 01-25-2006, 08:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: (MooGoCow3)

Sometimes my striving for literary excellence tends to cloud the issue.
To Clarify, Alternators should charge within a range between 13.8 and 14.4 volts, depending on load and battery state of charge.

My intent was to say: If you've an alternator that charges no less that 15 volts, you're in just as much trouble as one that doesn't charge at all. Blown bulbs, electronics failures and the ever favorite Hydrogen Explosion (Battery) come to mind.

P Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:12 PM   #7
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Even the best can have mental flatulence from time to time.
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Old 01-25-2006, 08:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: (Next GenRacing)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Next GenRacing
in your post you said something to the effect of a growling/rattling noise from armature support bearings, is that a pretty obvious noise?
also if the alternator is overcharging how will i know?

and how long does it usually take the battery to recharge after it goes dead? i have absolutely no problem starting it in the mornings when its like 15-20 degrees out side (even since the battery went dead)

thanks again
Danny
A bad alternator bearing will be pretty apparent . I could compare the noise to one made if you skateboarded across your mom's new hardwood floors after weeks of skating on asphalt. Not your Mom's scream, but the growling noise as the pockmarked wheels rolled over the floor.
The Overcharging alternator would announce itself with brighter than normal headlamps, faster windshield wipers, window motors (That's bad?) and other such stuff.
Depending on length of trip, and if you drove only at night, it could take longer than you think. I've seen some cars take a week to bring it to full charge again.

P
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Old 01-27-2006, 07:54 AM   #9
 
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Default Re: (P_Adams)

Quote:
Originally Posted by P_Adams

Depending on length of trip, and if you drove only at night, it could take longer than you think. I've seen some cars take a week to bring it to full charge again.

P
You should ALWAYS use a external charger to recharge a battery after it is dead dead back to a full charge as the alternator is really only designed to replace what was used on starting and for accessories during operation. Whining is probably only the alternator being overworked and could fail prematurely because of it working to hard by frying the regulator circuitry, then that could lead to overcharging which could lead to a shorted cell and possibly a battery that could explode.
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: any signs of an alternator going out? (Next GenRacing)

Replace the belt with oem and tension it again. The chirping noises will go away.
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