2005 Honda Civic Charging Issues

Tiny
PRECI0US
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 160,000 MILES
I have a 2005 Honda Civic LX, a couple days ago the batter light started coming on. I took it to Les Schwab and they tested the batter and it was fine. Then we left and noticed that the battery light was only coming on at low RPM's, like when I pushed in the clutch to change gears. We took it to Les Schwab and had them check the alternator, they said it was running at 10 amps and should be at 14. Later the car died and we jump started it and then the car was fine for a whole day of driving, no battery light, it could idle and stay running, it was fine, thought it was fixed. Then it started again, battery light off and on, the engine light started coming on, it is currently dead. I called a mechanic and they said an alternator doesn't usually partially go out, it's all or nothing so if it's the alternator then the alternator wouldn't work at all. The car has recently been wrecked with some bumper and roof damage. What would you say the problem is?
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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011 AT 4:24 AM

12 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
An alternator can work on/off if the carbon brushes are wearing off. The alternator was tested to be charging below specs so either it is bad or it is not running at its desired rpm to provide the required charge.

Check the harmonic damper and if you have any abnormal noises when enign is started, running, the damper couls be bad and this would affect the alternator running speed.
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 6:01 PM
Tiny
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Thank you for your help, we will try the above.
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 6:07 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
You're welcome.

I believe the 10 and 14 amps mentioned are in voltage and not amps as the alternator output is rated at 70 A.

If alternator is tested correct, you are looking at the possibility of a bad PCM.

If you require testing procedures for the alternator, let me know.
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 6:18 PM
Tiny
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Yeah could be voltage, I'm just a girl trying to relay the information! Lol.I will have my husband do your suggestions and let you know if it works or not. At least then we can move on to something else. Uhm, I probably do need the alternator testing procedures. Again, thank you so much
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 6:24 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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Here you are.
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 6:47 PM
Tiny
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My husband wants to know if they check engine light should be on if there is a problem with the PCM?
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 10:16 PM
Tiny
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So, now when we unplug the batter cable the car died, which it didn't in the past, the leads us to believe the alternator is dead, but the battery light is still going on and off with a fully charged battery?
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 AT 11:29 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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You should not be removing the battery terminals when engine is running. It can damage the PCM. Anyway that indicates the alternator is not charging and I believe it is faulty.

CEL might not indicate if it is a fault with the PCM. It woud only indicates if sensors or wiring circuits are faulty.
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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 AT 1:15 PM
Tiny
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Well, we took it to a mechanic this morning, just to confirm it is the alternator. They said it is. We will replace it ourselves, hopefully that is what it is. Thank you for all your help.
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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 AT 8:29 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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You're welcome.

Have a nice day.
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Thursday, January 27th, 2011 AT 1:35 PM
Tiny
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Apparently it ended up just being a broken bolt that had something to do with the ground wire, so that's why it worked sometimes and not others. According to my husband the alternator was fine, but the bolt was broke so we had to get another one anyway.
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Friday, January 28th, 2011 AT 12:06 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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A broken bolt can prevent the alternator from grounding correctly and affect the charging system but this should be coupled with a noisier engine operations due to the alternator not being held tightly.
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Friday, January 28th, 2011 AT 12:28 PM

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