A guide to Your Honda Accord's Alternator
The Honda Accord
The Honda Accord has been a best-seller in America since 1989. The Accord has been known as a coupe, wagon, hatchback, and crossover. In all its varieties, it has been rated as one of the world’s most reliable cars. Currently in its 9th generation, the Accord maintains its status as an affordable vehicle that is not only good for commutes, but traveling longer distances as well.
Your Accord’s Alternator
Your Honda Accord’s alternator is a fairly simple part with only a few components. Despite this, it is critical in operating your vehicle. In short terms, it turns mechanical energy into electricity. This electricity is what powers the accessories in your Accord like the headlights and radio. Also, the alternator keeps the battery in your vehicle fully charged.
How it Works
The alternator has a rotating crank shaft that turns mechanical energy into electricity through a process called induction. It uses the power of the engine to generate electricity and sends the electricity to the serpentine belt, over to the battery to keep it fully charged. The electricity that is produced makes it so that you can start your Accord. Without an alternator, the battery would be the only source of electricity and that electricity would drain really fast.
Your Accord’s alternator is an important part of other systems as well so if it should begin to experience problems, it is important to get them checked out. Many times when an alternator begins to break down, it can seem like a problem with the battery. If you begin to have electrical problems, check the battery first because it will be the simplest to deal with. However, if things check out with your battery, there’s a really good chance that the problem is with the alternator.
There are some key symptoms of a malfunctioning alternator:
1. Your Indicator Light is On - Many cars including more recent Honda Accords have a warning indicator light labeled “GEN” or “ALT.” These indicator lights signal that there is not enough power being put out by the alternator and will be one of the first signs that something is going wrong with the alternator.
2. Flickering or Dimming Lights - If you notice that your headlights are flickering while you’re driving or begin to dim, this may indicate that your alternator is failing. The electricity from the alternator is what powers the headlights so dimming and flickering signals a problem with it.
3. Difficulty Starting Your Accord - Besides gasoline, your Honda needs electricity to run properly. The part that ignites the spark in the spark plugs is the alternator. When the alternator begins to fail, there may not be enough power in the spark plugs to ignite this spark which means your car will have trouble starting or won’t start at all.
4. Other Electrical Problems - Because the alternator is what powers the electrical components in your Accord, other parts that run on electricity may start to fail. Dashboard lights, power windows, power locks, air conditioning, and radio can all fail due to a bad alternator.
How to Test an Alternator
Many people already know how a battery is tested, but fewer know how to test an alternator. To get your alternator tested, you either need the right tools or can just take your Accord to the mechanic. There are two ways to get your alternator tested.
The first way is with a computerized battery and charging system tester. The tester provides a readout of whether the charging system is weak or not working at all. Also, it can check if one of the diodes within the alternator has failed.This test can cost from $30 to $50.
The second way is with a simple voltage test. This can be used when there is no charging system tester. The way the test is done is by checking the battery voltage with the engine off and then with the engine running. If the battery voltage doesn’t increase when the engine is started, this indicates an issue with the charging system.
Bad Alternator? Get it Fixed ASAP!
If you get your alternator tested and realize that it is having problems, get it fixed as soon as possible. Because the alternator is critical to all the electrical components in your Accord, you could risk getting stranded on the road if it is not taken care of. Certain parts can wait to get fixed, but the alternator is not one of them.
Genuine Honda Accord Alternators
To get the best possible alternator for your Honda, invest in a genuine OEM Honda Accord alternator. Only OEM alternators are guaranteed to fit and function exactly like the original part. Genuine parts take out all the guesswork for car owners. For the best in OEM parts and accessories for your Accord, browse our website.