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'97 Accord swinging overcharge #4660630
02/09/18 07:33 AM
02/09/18 07:33 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline OP
Alex_V  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
I have a '97 Accord in the shop that will swing from 14V to 18V, back and forth, over the course of 5-8 seconds. When the voltage spikes the battery light and several other lights on the dash (SRS, ABS, all the door-open indicators) come on. After several minutes it seems to stabilize but the thing usually dies and refuses to restart before that happens. Ideas?


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4660647
02/09/18 07:54 AM
02/09/18 07:54 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,557
ROCHESTER, NY
Char Baby Offline
Char Baby  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 10,557
ROCHESTER, NY
Sounds similar to my old Accord when the alternator was in need of replacement.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic LX
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Char Baby] #4660648
02/09/18 07:56 AM
02/09/18 07:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,585
wv
krismoriah72 Offline
krismoriah72  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,585
wv
Voltage Regulator in the Alternator.

Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4660658
02/09/18 08:05 AM
02/09/18 08:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline OP
Alex_V  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
K. I'd not yet seen one act this way, but I knew it had to have something to do with the regulator - just didn't want to throw an alternator on it (unless the VR can be replaced separate?) and it be the PCM or something giving a bad signal to the alt. - if the system even works that way. Having multiple small wires running to the alternator I wasn't going to rule out that the PCM commands it.


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4660677
02/09/18 08:28 AM
02/09/18 08:28 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
The regulator is replaceable but cost a fortune. It doesn't matter if the ecm is triggering it or not it shouldn't be putting out 18v, that kind of voltage can do damage. I would go with a new Bosch one from RA.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4660698
02/09/18 08:52 AM
02/09/18 08:52 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,027
TX, USA
JMJNet Offline
JMJNet  Offline
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,027
TX, USA
Replace the alternator before it can do more damage.

Some places have local alternator/starter shop that can get you better alternator and faster.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4660711
02/09/18 09:02 AM
02/09/18 09:02 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,100
Texas
WyrTwister Offline
WyrTwister  Offline
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,100
Texas
Just as a precaution , check those little wires on the altanator for bad connection , etc. .


Wyr
God bless
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4660879
02/09/18 11:21 AM
02/09/18 11:21 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 12,991
Onondaga County
Miller88 Offline
Miller88  Offline
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 12,991
Onondaga County
I'd check the connections from the alternator to PDC / battery


18 Forester 2.5I 6M
00 Jeep Cherokee
01 Ford F-350 XL 4x4 5M
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Miller88] #4661208
02/09/18 05:33 PM
02/09/18 05:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
For sure check all connections but back in the day in the field we use to pop the battery cable to check the alternator (it didn't work on generators and they needed + input), if it continued to run the unit was working if it died it wasn't.
Do not do this today! The point is even when the cable was removed the alternator would still regulate not spin up to 18V. I am surprised this car hasn't burned out all the bulbs in the car.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Trav] #4661628
02/10/18 07:15 AM
02/10/18 07:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 321
sw ohio
willbur Offline
willbur  Offline
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 321
sw ohio
Originally Posted By: Trav
For sure check all connections but back in the day in the field we use to pop the battery cable to check the alternator (it didn't work on generators and they needed + input), if it continued to run the unit was working if it died it wasn't.
Do not do this today! The point is even when the cable was removed the alternator would still regulate not spin up to 18V. I am surprised this car hasn't burned out all the bulbs in the car.


Disconnect alternator? My electrical system repair textbook (back in the day) said never to do this as high uncontrolled voltage would result with nothing to adsorb it. Was that book wrong? We used to do a very quick field test of alternator by holding a screwdriver to the rear bearing housing- if it was pulled in by the magnetic field, it was producing at least some output.

Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: willbur] #4661700
02/10/18 08:54 AM
02/10/18 08:54 AM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Course the book isn't wrong its a dirty way to do it but guys did it anyway, back in those days cars used mechanical regulators and nothing electronic so nothing happened for the couple of seconds it was off.
Screwdriver on the rear bearing worked also as you say to at least determine if it was working.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4662952
02/11/18 12:55 PM
02/11/18 12:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,301
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,301
New Jersey
I believe if there is a large voltage drop on the - / body part of the voltage regulator, the voltage value can rise.

Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: JHZR2] #4662970
02/11/18 01:14 PM
02/11/18 01:14 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,594
MA, Mittelfranken.de
It does slightly with the old mechanical regulators but I never saw 18+v, as I said for momentary removal no harm done on those systems.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Trav] #4666433
02/15/18 05:56 AM
02/15/18 05:56 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 919
dayton oh
kc8adu Offline
kc8adu  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 919
dayton oh
the common denso regulator is $15 on ebay and comes with a brush set.
i changed one in the car in 10 minutes on a 99 accord.
sounds like thats what is wrong with the op's unit.
mine was not sealed right at the factory and when a rather large family of carpenter ants colonised the car the washing to get rid of them killed the reg.
btw if the ground reference is poor the reg will respond with higher output.
so check that first.but its a cheap easy fix on the car.
regulator ebay
Originally Posted By: Trav
The regulator is replaceable but cost a fortune. It doesn't matter if the ecm is triggering it or not it shouldn't be putting out 18v, that kind of voltage can do damage. I would go with a new Bosch one from RA.

Last edited by kc8adu; 02/15/18 06:02 AM.
Re: '97 Accord swinging overcharge [Re: Alex_V] #4667623
02/16/18 09:30 AM
02/16/18 09:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline OP
Alex_V  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,198
Campbellsville, KY
Solved. After much head banging and talking to the owner (who thought the problem had persisted since before the alternator was changed the last time with a $75 Ebay unit) and his nephew who said he thought different, I put a Napa reman on it and all was good.

Gotta say, the little car ran and drove real good for 323K.


To quote a friend, "Synthetics, man."

'85 GMC C3500, 454, 132K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 173K (totaled 2018, in rehab)
'85 Mercedes 300TD, OM617 turbo, 217K (wife's)
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K

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