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Old 03-11-2012, 09:22 PM
377 posts, read 387,181 times
Reputation: 529


My car wasn't starting and I was out at a shopping mall. Thankfully, I was near a auto parts store, so I ended up walking accross the street and had an associate do some diagnostic tests. They said to replace the battery and alternator. I bought and replaced the battery at the mall parking lot. But the alternator on the vehicle (Honda CR-V) is in an odd position and I'm going to have to take it to the dealership. I'm wondering how much it could cost.

It seems that they're have to remove the front bumber to even access the alternator because it's a weird position, so I'm a little worried that the "service fee" is going to be insane. Any ideas on how much it could cost to have an alternator replaced on a 2005 Honda CR-V.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:32 PM
2,737 posts, read 1,475,576 times
Reputation: 1785
Plan to blow $400 - $500.

But before you do that, I'd double-check to make sure the alternator needs to be replaced. Some counter-person at an auto parts store isn't necessarily your most reliable source.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:42 PM
5,448 posts, read 2,741,662 times
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I agree; if you're a member of the Auto Club, schedule an appointment to have your engine diagnosed.

Another alternative would be to take it to Jiffy Lube or a similar place for an oil change; when I had the oil changed six months ago on my 2007 Elantra with 47K miles on it, I was warned that my battery would need replacing soon.

Two weeks later, an Auto Club tow truck driver told me the same thing when he came out to jump start my car because the battery was dead.

A second opinion is never a bad idea, and can frequently save you some serious $$$$$.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:59 PM
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
13,387 posts, read 16,020,792 times
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When the battery is dead, before I replace the alternator I do the following:

a. Jump-start the vehicle, but fast enough to prevent charging the battery from the other vehicle, and see if the motor continues running long after removing the jumper cables from the dead battery. If the motor continues running without any problem, it means that the alternator is providing all the power needed by for the motor to continue running. While the motor is running, check the voltage from the alternator at the battery terminals. It should be higher than 13 volts for most vehicles (check the repair manual for your vehicle)

b. If you now turn the motor off and the battery is still dead (check the battery to make sure it's dead), then for some reason the battery is not holding a charge. Sometimes there is corrosion growing under the battery-cable terminals at the posts, or right at the connecting point of the cables and the terminal. In both instances the corrosion could be interfering with the charging power from the alternator.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:33 AM
8,584 posts, read 24,488,277 times
Reputation: 8614
Alt R&R on this vehicle isn't that difficult; Flat Rate time is 1.6 hours.

The factory procedure is to remove the top cover plate and then the brackets for the radiator/fan unit so that it can be moved slightly to give access. It's advisable to remove the fan assembly by the alternator to give even better access to the alternator/cables & lower mounting bolts for the alternator, and facilitate the belt installation. By accesssing it this way, you don't need to remove the belt tensioner.

The front bumper does not need to come off the vehicle for this R&R.

Factory list price for a rebuilt alternator assembly is around $350, so it may be worthwhile to shop around for a better price.

Per the response above: while having an alternator output sufficient to power up the electronics/fuel pump/fuel injection system may be an indicator of a alternator producing some power, it by no means establishes that it is producing it's rated output. The rated output capability is essential to being able to power the vehicle, power the accessories (HVAC, wipers, lighting, entertainment, etc) and adequately recharge the battery in normal use. An alternator with damaged output diodes can have a signficantly reduced output which will not do the job properly ... and while the local parts emporium may not have the most sophisticated techs working the counter, the test equipment they have can reveal a low output alternator even if it doesn't diagnose the causation for the low output.

The nominal charging voltage on this vehicle is 13.9v to 15.1v at 2,000 RPM with the headlights on and a fully charged battery. Honda procedure is to then load the alternator down to 13.5v at 2,000 RPM by turning on as many accessories as needed to read the amperage; ie, turn on rear window defroster, heater, lights, brake lights, wipers, etc., until the nominal voltage is dropped to 13.5v at the fusebox. The alternator output should be at least 60 amps under that scenario which also stresses the on-board electrical consumers; ie, you're testing that no system is drawing in excess of it's rated power consumption as opposed to a pro tech who would use a carbon-pile load tester to drop the system voltage to 13.5v and read the amperage output on the test unit.

I'd consider that any alternator/regulator system only carrying 13v with a charged battery to have some serious problems. Closer to 14v as an average at normal temperatures would be far better. In my shop, we always test alt readouts for an A/C wave component indicating diode problems which may not show up as significantly reduced amperage output; this is a problem area on some alternator brands and responsible for many failed batteries, electronics components, etc.
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