Alternator Failed Today - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Alternator Failed Today

So I was driving this afternoon and the battery light came on my dash. I pulled over and tested the voltage on my battery terminals and it was at a whopping 17 volts while running (normally around 13.7 volts while running). To make matters worse, my battery electrolyte was dripping all over the place (I guess because the battery was being overcharged).

Drove it home for some more testing. Started the car and then disconnected the battery negative lead while it was running to test how the alternator was working. The car started running like absolute crap! Put my multi-meter leads on the positive terminal and the ground return to the vehicle to test what the alternator was cranking and it was a whopping 30 volts! No wonder the car was running so crappy.

The battery load tests good and hopefully my alternator will not kill it before I can get it to the shop tomorrow. During this process I was very careful about sparks because the hydrogen gas from the battery is very flammable and explosive! Be sure to cover the battery ports with a towel or something for extra protection from sparks.

I called up Pep Boys and I am going to take the car there tomorrow for a new alternator. They said the labor can be anywhere for 1-2.5 hours depending on if they have to remove the radiator fan or not. Does anyone know if you need to do this to install an alternator on the Pilot? With the part they said it would be anywhere from $466-$621 depending on the labor.

I will keep you guys updated on how it goes.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 06:53 PM
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I would never let Pep Boys touch my car. Either DIY (plenty of vids on YT) or ask friends & family to recommend an indy shop.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 10:25 PM
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Simple bolts plus electrical connection plus an alternator on lifetime warranty from your local parts store.
Much cheaper.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 01:06 PM
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Agreed with those posted above.

I wouldn't let pep boys (lower case intentional) touch my car.

I replaced the alternator in my 2010 Pilot 2 weeks ago. Total time was 35 minutes.

Disconnect negative cable
Release belt tension
Disconnect wire harness
Unbolt AC hose bracket to allow the hose to move slightly
Unbolt alternator
Rotate it as it is lifted up and out of the engine bay.
Lightly tap the bushing back into the mounting bracket.
Reverse for installation.


By the way.....NEVER DISCONNECT A BATTERY TERMINAL WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING.

2010 Pilot EX-L, 2009 VW Jetta, 1969 Dodge Dart Swinger 340

Last edited by 2010exl; 06-18-2017 at 01:10 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 08:10 PM
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2010exl wrote: "By the way.....NEVER DISCONNECT A BATTERY TERMINAL WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING."

I'd add a quick "amen" to that, 'though it doesn't help after you've already done it. It seems that the internal voltage regulator in the alternator has failed...doesn't happen often, but not rare either. Running/driving with it zapping the system with major overvoltage can cost MUCH more than the time and effort for a DIY "where is" (or, having someone else do it there). Let us know how it goes. FWIW. Mc
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ended up replacing my battery and alternator today. Don't worry, pep boys did not touch my car. I did get a sweet deal on a Bosch Platinum battery and an alternator for about $300 after discounts and core returns.

First time I've done an alternator and it was not too bad. Got the right torque specs and everything (45 Nm for large bolt, 22 Nm for small bolt, and 12 Nm for contact).Car is running beautifully. Only problems I can see so far was my overcharging alternator blew fuse #8 and fuse #16 (right front passenger, right rear) 20A fuses when I tried to roll my window down :-)

And yes, I will not test the alternator like this anymore, probably a little too old school, but live and learn.



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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shurguywutt View Post
Ended up replacing my battery and alternator today. I did get a sweet deal on a Bosch Platinum battery and an alternator for about $300 after discounts and core returns.
Do you think it's worth the added cost to get an AGM type battery?

It'll be interesting to see how this one holds up.
A few owners of third-generation touring/elite Pilots with AGM batteries have reported them failing rather early.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 08:28 AM
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Do you think it's worth the added cost to get an AGM type battery?

It'll be interesting to see how this one holds up.
A few owners of third-generation touring/elite Pilots with AGM batteries have reported them failing rather early.
I've had an AGM in a small aircraft for 8+ years and it continues to perform flawlessly, at times being left for almost a month without a charge from being flown or "trickle charged". I continue to be amazed at how reliable it is, and this is my second AGM for the plane with similar experience. That said, I also hear that automotive (and, incidentally, RV) AGMs aren't showing the same long term dependability. It'll be interesting to see how this one works out -- the Bosch brand has always been excellent on so many products. In any event, not having to "mess" with a flooded cell battery is a plus. Keep us posted, shurguywutt, and CONGRATS on the good job with alternator (and, battery) R & R -- glad it worked out! Mc
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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I've had an AGM in a small aircraft for 8+ years and it continues to perform flawlessly, at times being left for almost a month without a charge from being flown or "trickle charged". I continue to be amazed at how reliable it is, and this is my second AGM for the plane with similar experience. That said, I also hear that automotive (and, incidentally, RV) AGMs aren't showing the same long term dependability. It'll be interesting to see how this one works out -- the Bosch brand has always been excellent on so many products. In any event, not having to "mess" with a flooded cell battery is a plus. Keep us posted, shurguywutt, and CONGRATS on the good job with alternator (and, battery) R & R -- glad it worked out! Mc
I bought the battery because I like BOSCH and it was a great deal at around $140. I honestly did not even realize it was an AGM until I pretty much was checking out with it, so I just figured what the heck, its a BOSCH and went for it. It has a 4 year replacement warranty and "BOSCH roadside assistance" LOL. We will see how it lasts. Maybe if my cheap replacement alternator fries it in the 4 years I can replace it for free :-)


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Well, turns out the alternator did some damage. At first I thought it just blew some fuses to the passenger window and right rear window. Turns out it shorted both switches and the front window motor.

I isolated the problems by using the switches from the other doors. The right rear window works with a switch from another door. The passenger side window did not, then I jumped the motor with straight 12v and it did not want to run in either direction. I also tried that switch on the other working windows and it would not work.

Looks like I am going to need to save some money to make these repairs


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 11:41 PM
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Well, turns out the alternator did some damage. At first I thought it just blew some fuses to the passenger window and right rear window. Turns out it shorted both switches and the front window motor.

I isolated the problems by using the switches from the other doors. The right rear window works with a switch from another door. The passenger side window did not, then I jumped the motor with straight 12v and it did not want to run in either direction. I also tried that switch on the other working windows and it would not work.

Looks like I am going to need to save some money to make these repairs
...sure sorry to hear that -- it was probably too much to hope that there wasn't other damage. It's interesting (to me, anyhow ;-)) that aircraft electrical systems usually have overvoltage protection that takes the alternator offline if there's a regulator malfunction. I never understood why autos don't. No doubt there are a lot of us who empathize with the unexpected expense -- here's hoping that you can work through it without too much. Do keep us posted on the battery, too -- I'm betting you'll get a long and dependable life from this one! Mc
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 09:51 AM
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Autos don't because how do you sell more new autos then, if the old ones last forever? This is why we do not have enough aluminum/stainless or properly anodized parts in the cars.
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, bought May 2015 with 108,000 Kms / 67,000 miles.
Maintenance so far: New aftermarket rad, New OEM PCV valve, New Costco battery, New intake air duct, "Reman" Denso alternator from Amazon, cupro-nickel brake lines on all 4 corners, OEM accesssory belt tensioner...
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