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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In 2/1/2020 I got a whining noise and read about the power steering and alternator issues this year Pilot has. Noise lasted 2 days, so I cancelled my plans to go out of town to address the matter. I filled up the power steering reservoir and by the time I returned home from the auto parts store the noise was gone. Fast-forward to last week 12/31/2020 the noise began again and the power steering fluid is still high so I was about to remove the alternator as soon as I had a day off, but I checked the battery and it was low and the condition visually was OK. I replaced the battery and using a tester, I tested both the battery while engine was on and off. While off the battery tested with a green light at 12v and while running it was over 12v but less than 14v. Today the noise stopped again!? I test the battery each time before I drive and when I arrive to my destination. Is there anything else to check for ? Is it safe to drive as long as the battery continues to test at 12v and above 12v while running?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated ✌
 

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Welcome,
What year and model?

I feel it is safe if it always starts and the gauges are fine, no CEL lights on the dash, etc.

Alternators can 'Whine', especially when they are on their way out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome,
What year and model?

I feel it is safe if it always starts and the gauges are fine, no CEL lights on the dash, etc.

Alternators can 'Whine', especially when they are on their way out.
It's a 2008 Pilot EX-L with approx 160,000 miles, just weird that it would come and go twice
 

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I had a power steering pump issue and did some investigating, found this video is helpful and the guy's library of videos in general are all cool.

 

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Nobili spiritus embiggens pequeño sparus tyre.
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Does the whine just follow acceleration or does it also follow RPMs? To test this, leave the vehicle in Park and as the man says, "Rev up you engines!" If that's the case, do not ignore the whine and test and/or replace the alternator sooner rather than later. Even so, it can be intermittent. I ignored it at first, to my regret.

Alternator issue?

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does the whine just follow acceleration or does it also follow RPMs? To test this, leave the vehicle in Park and as the man says, "Rev up you engines!" If that's the case, do not ignore the whine and test and/or replace the alternator sooner rather than later. Even so, it can be intermittent. I ignored it at first, to my regret.

Alternator issue?

Thanks for the info and video. I started it up and while in park I rev the engine and the noise increased as I pushed down on the accelerator. The alternator tester shows that the charge with engine running is 13.5v but less than 14v. the light at 13.5 lights, but the light at 14v does not. should I turn on accessories and recheck ????
 

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If the whine follows RPMs, it's your alternator. Just a matter of time.

Don't do like me and wait for it to decide to die at a time of its own convenience rather than yours. :(
 

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In 2/1/2020 I got a whining noise and read about the power steering and alternator issues this year Pilot has. Noise lasted 2 days, so I cancelled my plans to go out of town to address the matter. I filled up the power steering reservoir and by the time I returned home from the auto parts store the noise was gone. Fast-forward to last week 12/31/2020 the noise began again and the power steering fluid is still high so I was about to remove the alternator as soon as I had a day off, but I checked the battery and it was low and the condition visually was OK. I replaced the battery and using a tester, I tested both the battery while engine was on and off. While off the battery tested with a green light at 12v and while running it was over 12v but less than 14v. Today the noise stopped again!? I test the battery each time before I drive and when I arrive to my destination. Is there anything else to check for ? Is it safe to drive as long as the battery continues to test at 12v and above 12v while running?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated ✌
You need a voltmeter to check the alternator. A healthy alt/battery system should be capable of holding 14.4 volts at idle under load. This means idling with lights on and fan running at max. If you are significantly under that voltage, its an indication of a failing alternator.
 

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I'm confident in saying that the noise in the video is the alternator. Replace asap if you have this sound.
 
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Does the whine just follow acceleration or does it also follow RPMs? To test this, leave the vehicle in Park and as the man says, "Rev up you engines!" If that's the case, do not ignore the whine and test and/or replace the alternator sooner rather than later. Even so, it can be intermittent. I ignored it at first, to my regret.

Alternator issue?

Can't see a damn thing under that hood! LOL
 

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Can't see a damn thing under that hood! LOL
LOL, like I said, it may not decide to act up when it's convenient for you, or even during daylight hours.

My cinéma vérité is more valued for its soundtrack than its lighting and cinematography. :D
 

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The electtrical meter won't identify a bad dieing bearing in an alternator

Take a 3 foot section of water hose, put one to your ear and the other against the alternator, then the power steering pump and then the bearing at the center of the idler pulley. Have a friend gently rev the engine up and down until you can identify the source of the noise.

The power steering pump has two small seals that will start to leak and let air into the power steering system. This can cause a whine that comes and goes. Most the auto parts stores sell them as a set.for about $15. They are easy to replace with little spillage. Just be sure to place rags under the hose end while you replace them. There are YouTube videos showing how to do this repair. Search for Power steering noise Honda.

Have fun!!!
Gill
 

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The power steering pump has two small seals that will start to leak and let air into the power steering system. This can cause a whine that comes and goes.
Perhaps you're referring to this?

 

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Thanks for the info and video. I started it up and while in park I rev the engine and the noise increased as I pushed down on the accelerator. The alternator tester shows that the charge with engine running is 13.5v but less than 14v. the light at 13.5 lights, but the light at 14v does not. should I turn on accessories and recheck ????
If you weren’t getting at least 14.2V with full load (headlights on, front and rear blowers both at full speed) then I’d suspect the alternator.

As for your voltmeter, do yourself a favor and purchase something with better granularity. Even the cheapie $7 multimeter from Harbor Freight will do. Knowing the voltage readings at 0.1V or better granularity will tell you a lot more compared to what you are currently using.
 
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OP..... the whining noise you have may be similar to what happened to my daughter who drove around for a month with a whining screeching sound under the hood before informing me. She has a cigarette lighter voltmeter/USB charger plug-in not for absolute accuracy but to observe for consistent voltmeter readings. The car is consistently 13.8-14V when driven then one day the whining screeching sound stopped and I get the phone call.....
 

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August 6:
I've been starting to think the same thing -- twice in as many months, a whine that follows RPMs whether in gear or idling, not tied to AC, steering or anything else as far as I can tell. Happened when it's quite hot out. So, a harbinger of an imminent alternator failure? How much time do I have if it's only this intermittent? What are some good ways to test an alternator to know for sure?
August 22:
plplplpl said:
Alternator -- Do Not Ignore the Whine

Just as I feared and predicted yet ignored to my own detriment, the couple of times in the past few weeks I heard a whine that accompanied RPMs blossomed this evening into a full-fledged alternator failure. The symptoms described in this thread have it right; first the battery light comes on, then the VTM-4, then seat belt, air bag, ABS, etc.,etc in a cascade of electrical system failures followed by poltergeist-ish mechanical failures like wipers and transmission until finally you're just dead in the water, in my case in the form of pouring rain, although there's really no good time to break down. Being a dad to a couple of teenagers, I've become inured to whining, but this is one I ought not to have ignored. Sorry for the cinéma-vérité videography.

https://youtu.be/4sJKQifudQQ

Two hours and a flatbed later, I managed to get it back home, since all my favorite mechanics were closed on a Sunday night, and hook it up to my mid-'60s battery charger, because I'm hoping to put just enough of a charge into it to make it about 30 minutes away to a trusted mechanic Monday or Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
THANKS EVERYONE FOR THE INPUT !!!!! REPLACED THE ALTERNATOR AND THERE IS NO NOISE AND THE POWER IS AWESOME !!! VEHICLE SEEMS MUCH MORE RESPONSIVE WHEN I ACCELERATE, BUT I DID NOTICE A SLIGHT VIBRATION WHEN TURNING THE WHEEL FULLY WHILE IN PARK. HAD TO WRESTLE THE LOWER BOLT BACK IN AFTER THE ALTERNATOR REBUILD AT THE LOCAL SHOP, BEST BATTERY CO INC. OVERALL BETTER THAN PAYING THE DEALER A RANSOM FOR WHAT I DID MYSELF AND IT FELT GOOD SHOWERING AFTER GETTING FILTHY FROM ALL THE DIRT AND GRIME I ENCOUNTERED.

YOU GUYS ROCK :cool::cool::cool:
 

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THANKS EVERYONE FOR THE INPUT !!!!! REPLACED THE ALTERNATOR AND THERE IS NO NOISE AND THE POWER IS AWESOME !!! VEHICLE SEEMS MUCH MORE RESPONSIVE WHEN I ACCELERATE, BUT I DID NOTICE A SLIGHT VIBRATION WHEN TURNING THE WHEEL FULLY WHILE IN PARK. HAD TO WRESTLE THE LOWER BOLT BACK IN AFTER THE ALTERNATOR REBUILD AT THE LOCAL SHOP, BEST BATTERY CO INC. OVERALL BETTER THAN PAYING THE DEALER A RANSOM FOR WHAT I DID MYSELF AND IT FELT GOOD SHOWERING AFTER GETTING FILTHY FROM ALL THE DIRT AND GRIME I ENCOUNTERED.

YOU GUYS ROCK :cool::cool::cool:
143882
 
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Glad you did it at your convenience. You'll never know the inconvenience you avoided.
 
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