Honda Civic Performance - JDM Discussion Engine tech, forced induction, springs, shocks, brakes, tires, etc.

Alternator or battery?

Old 23-Oct-2005, 12:45 PM
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Alternator or battery?

Just yesterday I started having this problem. Got off the GO last nite and try to start my car and it won't start. Thank god I had 2 buddies to help me push start that soab. Then again this morning I tried to start it and it won't start. I had my brother check the battery a few months ago and he said the battery was fine. I'm not no car geek here, but someone told me that the alternator recharges the battery or something like that. So I want to know should I get a new alternator or a new battery. Don't want to be spending money on an alternator just to realize it was the battery, or the other way around.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 23-Oct-2005, 01:17 PM
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starter?
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Old 23-Oct-2005, 06:02 PM
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Before you buy an alternator or a battery, take your battery to Canadian Tire or another shop and get your battery tested for free. At least with the results you won't be wasting money on unnecessary repairs.
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Old 23-Oct-2005, 06:53 PM
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get the battery tested first. what noises do you hear when you turn the ignition. if its clicking, then its prob the starter, if you hear nothing its prob the battery. pop the caps of the battery and check the underside of the caps, if they are black, the alternator is overcharging the battery.
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Old 23-Oct-2005, 08:53 PM
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You can also take the alternator to Crappy Tire or Partsource and have them check it for free.
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Old 23-Oct-2005, 10:18 PM
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how did you check the battery?
If you checked the battery and its o.k. then the alternater is doing its job and should be working fine. i agree with goose**** it might be the starter. any sounds when starting or nothing at all?
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Old 23-Oct-2005, 10:21 PM
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turn the key on does your radio come on? or your lights? if so its not your battery or your charging system its more than likely your starter.
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Old 24-Oct-2005, 01:00 PM
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Check the voltage across the battery while the car is running. Should be around 14.4V+ That means the alternator is fine.

Battery voltage when the car is off should be like 12.8V+. However, that's not a good test because a weak battery can show good voltage until a load is applied to it. So, continue to hold the meter on the battery and have someone crank it. The voltage should not drop very much, a weak battery will drop to 7V or less.
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Old 27-Oct-2005, 11:17 AM
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Funny story. I boosted my car using my moms cars. Then i took my car to the mechanic early in the morning. He took one look at it and laughed at me. The positive wire was slightly off, meaning it wasn't touching the battery. How stupid did I feel that morning. I don't know how I didn't notice that when i was boosting the car. I mean it happened to me before and I fixed it, don't know why i never looked at it. Probably because it was raining everyday and I didn't want my lazy *** to get wet.

He checked the battery though and said everything was fine.

Thanks for all the replies!
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